How often is it that we see commercials on television or in glossy magazines promoting anti-dandruff hair care products! Dandruff is a common problem, an embarrasment sometimes for young people, but it is essentially a medical problem that affects almost every second person and almost all age groups.
Though not serious, it may cause awkwardness, dandruff is a condition characterized by the shedding of flakes (dead skin cells) from the skin of scalp. However, it is not confined to the head alone and can affect the ears, eyebrows, sides of the nose, beard, moustache and the hairy part of the chest. It can manifest itself on any part of the body which has hair follicles. Dandruff is often mistaken for dry scalp but it is more than that. When skin cells die, a certain amount of flaking is considered normal. Sometimes, there is a great amount of flaking that becomes chronic and is coupled with redness and irritation on the scalp. Homeopathic remedies for dandruff are very effective in treating it naturally and also ensure a permanent recovery from it.
Natural Homeopathic Treatment Of Dandruff
The biggest advantage of using homeopathy for dandruff is that it provides a holistic approach to healing as it treats not only the symptoms but also the root cause of a disease or disorder, with hardly any side effects. In the case of dandruff, homeopathic remedies can be customised to suit the specific requirements of a case.
Top Most Homeopathic Medicines For Dandruff
The highly recommended homeopathic medicines for dandruff are Kali Sulph, Phosphorus, Natrum Mur, Thuja Occidentalis, Graphites, Calcarea Carb and Sulphur.
1. Kali Sulph – For Yellow, Scaly Dandruff
Kali Sulph is very effective on the scalp. It is one of the best medicines to help cases of dandruff with yellow flakes. In people requiring it, the flakes are moist and sticky, abundant in number. Not just dandruff, Kali Sulph is equally effective to treat several skin issues where scales formation occurs, psoriasis for an example.
When and How to use Kali Sulph?
This medicine can be prescribed to anyone who has dandruff with yellow sticky flakes on scalp. It will help to clear off the flakes already present and check further tendency of formation of flakes. Among its different potencies, it gives best results in 6X potency. One may take Kali Sulph 6X three to four times a day.
2. Phosphorous – For Dandruff With Itching And Falling Of Hair
This medicine is most effective to treat dandruff with itchy scalp and hair fall. Flakes are excessive that fall down on shoulders in cases needing it. Itching gets worse from scratching; hair strands fall in bunches. Burning sensation and increased sweating on scalp occurs in some cases.
When and How to use Phosphorus?
This medicine should be preferred in cases having dandruff with itching on scalp and hair loss. This medicine can be used in both low to high potencies. In most cases, low potency of phosphorus is selected to start with the treatment. Phosphorus 30C once a day is the ideal dose to start with.
3. Natrum Mur – For White Flaky Dandruff
Natrum Mur proves the most beneficial to treat cases of white flaky dandruff. The scalp may be greasy and oily. Scalp can be itchy too. Sometimes hair fall accompanies.
When and How to use Nat Mur?
Natrum Mur can be used in cases presenting with dandruff having white flakes. Natrum Mur works best in 6X potency that can be repeated three to four times a day.
4. Thuja Occidentalis – For White Scaly Dandruff With Itching and Dry Hair
Thuja Occidentalis sourced from plant Arbore Vitae is a natural medicine that works magnificently to treat dandruff. It gives excellent results when white scaly dandruff is present, accompanied by scalp itching and dry hair. Scratching relieves itching; sometimes stinging sensation on scalp assists.
When and How to use Thuja Occidentalis?
This medicine is a good choice for cases having white scaly dandruff with itching and dry hair. This medicine is available in different potencies from low to high. Usually it is given in 30C once a day only. For using higher potencies, one should always seek physician’s consultation.
5. Graphites – For Scaly Dandruff With Itching And Burning
Graphites is very useful when along with dandruff, there is marked itching and burning on the scalp. Flakiness decreases post-washing but comes back again. Flakes may also be noted behind ears, on eyelid margins and moustache area.
When and How to use Graphites?
People who have intense itching and burning on scalp from dandruff can use this medicine. This medicine is most widely used in 3X potency. In the beginning of the treatment, Graphites 3X one tablet once or twice a day is the suggested dose as per intensity of the complaint. Do not increase the number of tablets or repeat it more than twice without seeking advice from a homeopathic physician.
6. Calcarea Carb – For Yellowish White Coloured Dandruff
Calcarea Carb is mainly indicated when there is yellowish white dandruff on the scalp. The scales can be thin or thick and can be dry or moist varying from case to case. Increased sweating on the scalp is a characteristic attending feature.
When and How to use Calcarea Carb?
Use of this medicine should be thought in cases with yellowish white scales along with excessively sweaty scalp. Among its various potencies ranging from low to high, it is advised to start with 30C potency once a day. If no changes are noted, then high potencies can be used after consulting homeopathic doctor.
7. Sulphur – For Dandruff With Dry Scalp
Use of Sulphur is considered in cases of dandruff with dry scalp. Persons needing it also complain of itching on scalp. It is worse in evening. On scratching, a burning sensation is felt on the scalp, which may be sore to touch.
When and How to use Sulphur?
Sulphur is usually given in cases of dandruff when the scalp is dry, itchy and if scratched, attended with burning sensation. Its use can be done in different potencies like 30C, 200C, 1M, but generally it is picked in 30C potency initially. In mild cases, Sulphur 30C can be taken twice a week. In moderate to severe cases, Sulphur 30C can be taken once daily. Do not self-medicate with its higher potencies. For using high potencies like 200C and 1M, seek help from homeopathic doctor.
Causes Of Dandruff
Some of the reasons and worsening factors behind dandruff include:
1. Oily skin: It is the major reason of dandruff in most cases. Skin oil is commonly known as sebum or sebaceous secretions.
2. Fungus named malassezia: It could be one of the many reasons. What happens is that in some people at times their immune system gives exaggerated response to this fungus (that normally lives on the scalp without troubling the person) leading to scaliness.
3. Excessive exposure to sunlight and dust.
4. Excessive sweating on scalp may also contribute to it.
5 .Use of some hair care products (like shampoos, sprays, gels, oils) may also lead to it. This happens from an allergic reaction to chemicals in such products.
6. Persons who already have dandruff may see worsening of the problem, if they do not wash hair frequently because infrequent washing leads to accumulation of dead skin cells and formation of flakes.
7. Not brushing or combing the hair frequently causes dandruff to stay because brushing takes off dead skin cells.
8. Certain other skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis (an autoimmune skin disorder with inflamed patches on skin covered with silvery white scales)
9. Dandruff gets worse in cold, dry winters
10. Stress may also make dandruff worse
Who Is At Risk Of Dandruff?
Though dandruff can affect anyone, there are some factors that increases the risk of it as follows:
1. Male: Dandruff is more common in males as compared to females.
2. Age: Dandruff can occur at any age but usually it affects people at puberty, young adults and is less common in elderly over 50 yrs of age.
3. Weak immune system: People having weak immune system especially people affected by HIV, or those who had undergone organ transplant.
Signs and Symptoms of Dandruff
Some people are affected by it chronically (for long duration), while others may exhibit periodic patterns, with dandruff clearing up at intervals and then recurring, especially during winter months. The signs and symptoms are as follows:
1. Flakes on scalp: Flakes may fall off on shoulders, particularly noticeable on dark clothes, something that all anti-dandruff shampoo ads keep harping on.
The flakes may be white or yellow, small or large and dry or greasy. Sometimes, it resembles a dry flaky sheet on the scalp punctuated by areas of pinkish or reddish swollen skin in severe cases. Some people exhibit no symptoms on the scalp, but only the flakes.
2. Itching, burning or uncontrollable scratching may be an attending symptom. Dandruff can thus become a source of constant social embarrassment, especially when it is so severe that flaking shows on dark clothes or the person is left scratching the scalp every now and then.
3. Hair loss in some cases.
4. In babies less than one year of age, scaling or crusting on scalp can occur medically known as cradle cap.
Lifestyle Changes To Manage Dandruff
1. Maintaining good hygiene of scalp
2. Choose the right shampoo for hair wash
3. Reduce use of hats
4. Manage stress
5. Avoid scratching the scalp, if itchy
6. Light scalp massage should be done
7. Limit use of excessive unnecessary hair products