How to Deal with Dandruff in Teenagers Naturally at Home

Dandruff is a very common condition, during the teenage years. It occurs due to increased or altered sebaceous glands secretion along with an exaggerated inflammatory response in susceptible individuals, resulting in whitish dry or greasy flakes on the scalp with or without itching.

This could just be limited to the teenage years or early or early adulthood and gradually settles with age once the sebaceous activity subsides. There are many myths associated with dandruff and here we highlight some common ones and list ways for effective control.

How to Deal with Dandruff in Teenagers?

6 Dandruff Myths and Facts:

1. Dandruff increases with an oily diet

Fact: Increased intake of oily food and/or junk food has overall health implications. It decreases our innate immunity or disease-fighting capacity. Oily food does not increase dandruff or oil over the skin surface.

Dandruff might increase in dry seasons like winters, during stressful situations, associated fungal or bacterial infections of the scalp, associated skin diseases like psoriasis, etc., and predisposition to allergy/atopy, an immune-compromised state like HIV infections, etc.

2. We should avoid oiling the scalp if we have dandruff

Fact: Keeping the scalp excessively dry by using harsh anti-dandruff shampoos and avoiding oiling of the scalp initiates a rebound inflammatory response and over-secretion of the sebaceous glands resulting in increased flakes.

Hence, regular oiling of the scalp once a week or as advised by your dermatologist might help reduce the dry flaking in most cases. A doctor might help in the frequency and choice of oil and conditioners according to the severity of the condition.

3. Dandruff causes graying of the hair

Fact: Excess dandruff for prolonged periods might cause the sudden conversion of hair from the growth phase to the falling phase resulting in excess hair fall, but it has no correlation with premature graying of the hair.

4. Dandruff during teen years causes pimples/acne on the face

Fact: Dandruff on the scalp is a result of impaired oil secretion from the sebaceous glands of the scalp skin.

Similarly, acne or pimples is caused because of impaired oil secretion from the sebaceous glands of the facial skin. That is why both dandruff and acne might coexist but are not a result of each other.

5. Dandruff can spread to others

Fact: Usually dandruff is an inflammatory condition and is not contagious. Sometimes, it can be associated with a fungus called pityrosporum, which is a normal flora of the skin and is found in all humans.

6. Dandruff suggests blood impurities

Fact: It is a myth that chronic or recurrent dandruff suggests some blood impurities. It is just a localized condition of the scalp more common during teenage years and has no direct or indirect correlation with impurities or deficiency in the blood.

Dandruff in Teenagers

How to Deal with Dandruff in Teenagers?

Controlling dandruff in teenagers requires an understanding of the pattern and severity of the condition in each individual. Teenagers must be in the habit of taking care of their health, skin, and hair by regular cleansing, oiling, etc.

They should avoid frequent use of styling products, hair colors, and other hair cosmetics if they increase dandruff or hair fall. Therefore, they should observe aggravating factors and try to avoid them.

When to See a Dermatologist:

  • Routine over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos and oils are not effective.
  • Dandruff is associated with itching or boils on the scalp or hair fall.
  • If there are underlying skin diseases like psoriasis, seborrhea dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, etc.
  • If there is a strong family history of inflammatory skin diseases or allergies.
  • If dry or greasy flakes are also visible on the eyebrows, mid-brows, eyelashes, or around the nose.

The doctor will prescribe medicated anti-dandruff shampoos for anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effects. You may also be advised to use stay-on lotions which are anti-fungal or steroid-based.

There are two phases of dandruff treatment – the active phase and the maintenance phase. During the active phase, you might need frequent applications of shampoos and lotions as prescribed by your dermatologist.

Once your dandruff is completely cleared, he or she may start the maintenance phase which is the application of lotions once or twice a month and weekly prescription-based shampoos.

The dermatologist would also look for signs of other skin conditions and treat them simultaneously. You might also be prescribed antibiotics along with anti-histamines if the dandruff is severe and progressing to seborrhea dermatitis.

Controlling dandruff, especially in teenagers requires proper guidance and patience to follow the maintenance phase as advised.

SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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