Dandruff: Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

Dandruff: Treatment, Causes, and Remedies 

Dandruff is a condition of the scalp that causes skin flakes to appear. It is often accompanied by itching. The exact reason is not identified but there are certain factors involved. It generally occurs to people who do not brush or wash their hair often. Dandruff can be embarrassing and difficult to treat, but help is available.



Shampoo and scalp products are available over the counter in most stores and pharmacies. They can control seborrheic dermatitis, but they cannot cure it.

Before using anti-fungal shampoo, individuals should carefully try to remove any scab or crusty patches on the scalp, as far as possible, this will make the shampoo more effective.

Most anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos contain the least active ingredients:
  • Ketoconazole: an effective anti-fungal. Shampoos containing this ingredient can be used by anyone at age or anyone.
  • Selenium Sulfide: It reduces the production of natural oils by the glands in the scalp. It is effective in treating dandruff.
  • Zinc Pyrithione: It slows down the growth of yeast.
  • Cole tar: It contains a natural anti-fungal agent. Long-term use can lead to dyed or treated hair. Tar soaps can also make the scalp more susceptible to sunlight, so users should wear a hat when going out. 
  • Salicylic Acid: These help the scalp to get rid of the skin cells. Many "scalp scrubs" contain salicylic acid. Treatment can sometimes leave the scalp dry and cause the skin to deteriorate.
  • Tea tree oil: Derived from the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), many shampoos now contain this ingredient. It has long been used as an anti-fungal, an antibiotic, and an antiseptic. Some people are allergic to it.

The best strategy is to choose a shampoo from one of these ingredients and shampoo the hair every day until the dandruff is under control.

Alternate dandruff shampoo with regular shampoo may help. A specific shampoo may stop taking effect after some time. At this point, it may be a good idea to switch with another component.

Some shampoos should be left on the scalp for about 5 minutes, as rinsing won't give the component-time to work too quickly. Others must be rinsed at once. Users should follow the instructions on the container.

10 Possible causes of dandruff 

Here are certain factors that can lead to the cause of dandruff. 

1. Seborrheic dermatitis

People with seborrheic dermatitis have irritable, oily skin and are more likely to develop dandruff.

Seborrheic dermatitis affects many areas of the skin, including the back of the ears, breastbone, eyebrows, and side of the nose.

The skin will be red, smooth, and covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis is closely associated with Malassezia, a fungus that usually lives on the scalp and feeds on oil.

This does not usually cause a problem, but in some people it becomes hyperactive, causing the scalp to become irritable and produce extra skin cells.

As these extra skin cells die and fall, they combine with oil from the hair and scalp to produce dandruff.

2. Do not brush enough hair

Regular combing or brushing of hair reduces the risk of dandruff, as it aids in the normal flow of the skin.

3. Yeast

People who are sensitive to yeast have a slightly higher chance of dandruff, so yeast may play a role. Dandruff is often worse during the winter months and better when the weather is hot.
This may be because ultraviolet-A (UVA) light from the sun counteracts yeast.

4. Dry Skin

People with dry skin are more likely to develop dandruff. Cold air, combined with overheated rooms, is a common cause of itchy, scaly skin. Dandruff consists of small, non-oily flakes from dry skin.

5. Shampooing and Skin Care Products

Some hair care products can trigger a red, itchy, scalping scalp. Repeated shampooing can cause dandruff, as it may irritate the scalp.
Some people say that not doing enough shampoo can lead to the formation of oil and dead skin cells, which can cause dandruff, but there is a lack of evidence that this is true.

6. Some Skin Conditions

People with psoriasis, eczema, and some other skin disorders receive dandruff more often than others. 

7. Medical conditions

Adults with Parkinson's disease and some other neurological diseases are more likely to develop dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

One study found that 30 to 83 percent of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis, compared to 3 to 5 percent in the general population.

The risk of developing dandruff may be higher in patients recovering from a heart attack or stroke and with a weakened immune system.

8. Diet

Not consuming enough foods that contain zinc, B vitamins, and certain types of fat can increase the risk.

9. Mental Stress

There can be a link between stress and many skin problems. Mental stress is found as a reason for many. Managing stress can help in reducing dandruff.

10. Age

During adolescence, dandruff is more likely than adolescence, although it can be lifelong. It affects men more than women, possibly for hormone-related reasons.


There are hardly any complications with dandruff, and it is not normally necessary to consult a doctor; However, sometimes dandruff can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Seek medical help if:

There are signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness, or swelling.
Dandruff is very severe, or it persists after home remedies.
There are signs of eczema, psoriasis, or any other skin condition. The scalp is very itchy.

Complications with dandruff are rare, but they may result from one of the treatments.

If any shampoo or scalp treatment causes irritation, the person should stop using it and make another suggestion from the pharmacist.

A person with a weak immune system, for example, due to HIV or AIDS, should ask their doctor about any dandruff.

Dandruff in infants

Newborns and young infants often have a type of dandruff called the cradle cap. There will be yellow, smooth, crusted patches on the skull.

It often appears within the first 2 months after birth and lasts for a few weeks or months.

Washing gently with baby shampoo and applying baby oil can help prevent the scales from growing.

It is important to see a doctor if there are signs of skin cracks or infection, if there is itching, swelling or bleeding, or if it spreads to other parts of the body.

9 simple home remedies to get rid of dandruff naturally

1. Try Tea Tree Oil

Historically, tea tree oil has been used to treat diseases ranging from acne to psoriasis.

It also proves to have powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce symptoms of dandruff.

In fact, according to one review, tea tree oil is effective in fighting specific stress of fungi, which can cause both seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.

Another 4-week study investigated the effect of tea tree oil on dandruff, treating 126 people with 5% tea tree oil or a placebo shampoo.

At the end of the study, tea tree oil reduced the severity of symptoms by 41% and improved lethargy and itching.

Note that tea tree oil can cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is best to dilute it by adding a few drops to a carrier oil like coconut oil before applying it directly to the skin.

2. Use Coconut Oil

Known for its many health benefits, coconut oil is also often used as a natural treatment for dandruff.

Coconut oil can help improve skin hydration and prevent dryness, which can worsen dandruff.

A small study of 34 people showed that coconut oil was just as effective as mineral oil in improving skin hydration.

Other research has found that coconut oil may help in the treatment of eczema, a skin condition that may contribute to dandruff.

One study compared the effect of coconut oil and mineral oil on atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema characterized by itching and inflammation.

Applying coconut oil to the skin for eight weeks has reduced symptoms by 68%, compared to just 38% in the mineral oil group.

Coconut oil and its compounds have been found to have antimicrobial properties in some test-tube studies, although the effects on specific stresses of the fungi that cause dandruff have not yet been investigated.

3. Apply Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a type of succulent that is often added to skin ointments, cosmetics, and lotions.

When applied to the skin, aloe vera is believed to help in the treatment of skin conditions such as burns, psoriasis, and cold sores.

It can also be beneficial in treating dandruff. According to one review, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of aloe vera may help protect against dandruff.

Similarly, a test-tube study found that aloe vera was effective against many species of fungi and may help control fungal infections that cause hair loss from the scalp.

Test-tube studies have also found that aloe vera can reduce inflammation, which can relieve symptoms.

4. Reduce stress levels

Stress is believed to affect many aspects of health and well-being. It can affect everything from chronic conditions to mental health.

While stress itself does not cause dandruff, it can exacerbate symptoms such as dryness and itching.

Maintaining high levels of stress for long periods of time can suppress immune system activity.

A weakened immune system can reduce your body's ability to fight fungal infections and skin conditions that contribute to dandruff.

To maintain stress levels under control, try some stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing or aromatherapy.

5.Apple cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been associated with a variety of health benefits. Apple cider improves insulin sensitivity and weight loss. 

Apple cider vinegar can also be used for the treatment of dandruff.
The acidity of the vinegar is believed to help shed dead skin cells on the scalp.

Apple cider vinegar is also said to reduce the growth of fungi and thus balance the pH of the skin to fight dandruff.

6. Try Aspirin

Salicylic acid is one of the primary compounds found in aspirin which is responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition to being found in aspirin, salicylic acid is also found in many anti-dandruff shampoos. Salicylic acid helps rid the skin of the scalp and loosen flakes so that they can be removed.

7. Track Your Intake of Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the body.
Not only do they form cell membranes that surround your cells, but they are also important in the function of your heart, immune system, and lungs.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for skin health. They help to keep balance oil production and hydration of the skin and promotes wound healing.

Deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can cause many symptoms, including dry hair, dry skin, and even dandruff.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also reduce inflammation, which can help relieve symptoms of irritation and dandruff.

Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. You can also take fish oil supplements or increase your intake of other omega-3-rich foods such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

8. Use more probiotics

Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria that are good for your health.

There are several potential probiotic benefits, including protection against allergies, lowering cholesterol levels, and weight loss.

Probiotics can help enhance immune function, which can help the body fight fungal infections that cause dandruff.

Probiotics have also been shown to help reduce symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, especially in infants and children.

9. Use baking soda

Baking soda, found in kitchen pantries around the world, is a quick, convenient and easily available remedy to help treat dandruff.

It is believed to act as a gentle extrovert to remove dead skin cells and reduce scaling and itching.

Baking soda also has antifungal properties that can be beneficial in the treatment of dandruff.

So these were 9 Home remedies for how to get rid of dandruff. Check out our other article on exercise for weight loss.

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