ARE FLAKES ON SCALP DANDRUFF?
Q My 12-year-old daughter has flakes on her scalp which itches. Is it dandruff? Please suggest some remedies.
ADandruff by definition is a scalp condition marked by itching and flaking of the scalp. The causes can be dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis). Our skin cells are forever renewing themselves. When the skin cells on our scalp are renewed, the old ones are pushed to the surface and out of the scalp. For a person with flaky scalp, the skin renewal is faster, ie. more dead skin is shed. Seborrheic dermatitis is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales.
Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp can be difficult to differentiate. In addition, they share similar signs and symptoms such as itchy, red, scaly skin. The scales of psoriasis are often thicker and drier in appearance than seborrheic dermatitis scales.
Psoriasis usually affects more than one area of the body. If you have scalp psoriasis, you may also have mild psoriasis on your elbows, knees, hands or feet or may notice subtle nail changes, such as pitting.
Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products can cause a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Consult an Ayurveda doctor for a differential diagnosis and prompt treatment. Here are some home tips: Healthy diet plays an important role; include cabbage and garlic in your diet. Avoid or reduce yogurt, milk, jaggery, black gram, shellfish, sesame and sour and salty foods.
Before washing your hair, massage scalp with a paste of fenugreek seeds and buttermilk.
Mix Triphala powder with water and use to wash scalp.
Apply oils like Ayyappala Thailam or Eladi Keram on scalp 15 minutes before washing.
Use an anti-dandruff shampoo thrice weekly; switch between two products.
Consider multivitamin, zinc and/or fish oil supplements.
46 DR VL SHYAM is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner