Baking Soda for Dandruff

September 8, 2014 | 0

Your skin is made up of layers of cells that are frequently shed off and replaced by other cells from the deepest skin layer. This scenario is also encountered in the skin covering your scalp. However, when the rate and number of skin cells shed from the scalp exceed the normal range, a condition called dandruff ensues. Dandruff is a common scalp condition that manifests as marked flaking of the skin on your scalp. It should also be noted that this is a chronic condition, which may take some time before it fully resolves.

Most of the time it manifests as a mild condition but recurrence is also common. Normal regular shampooing with a gentle cleanser may alleviate mild cases of dandruff. Recurrent cases may need medication for remission to fully occur. The good thing is that even with stubborn cases, medicated shampoos can fully eliminate this condition.

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Symptoms of dandruff

Dandruff symptoms are very easy to recognize even at the earliest stage of the disease. You will see white, oily looking flakes, which are dead skin cells in your hair. These may be observed during combing of hair or when you are taking a shower. You may also feel an itchy sensation in your head. The scalp also becomes scaly which is followed by the pruritic feeling and vivid flakes, which may drop off as you scratch yourself.

These symptoms may worsen during the fall and winter. This is because during these seasons, there is increased indoor heating which contributes to the development of dry skin. Mostly, dandruff affects teenagers and adults. However, a certain type known as cradle cap, can affect babies.

The scalp of the baby becomes scaly, crusty, and may lead to your baby feeling uncomfortable. It affects mainly newborns but children of any age can be affected. Cradle cap is not a serious condition and normally clears on its own by age three.

Causes of dandruff

Dry skin can be caused by many primary skin conditions. Only the major causes will be highlighted. Dry skin is the commonest cause of dandruff. Dandruff due to dry skin should be distinguished from other causes because the management strategies implicated are different. Dry skin flakes are smaller and less oily than flakes produced due to other causes.

You will also notice other manifestations of dry skin from other parts of your body. Treatment of this type is easy at it only involves hydrating your skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is also one of the common causes. It results from irritated oily skin. It is marked by red, greasy skin that is covered by yellow or white flakes. This condition affects areas of your body that display high lipid content.

Areas that are commonly affected include the scalp, eyebrows, breastbone, and groin area. The third most common cause is not taking great care of your scalp e.g. not shampooing often enough. In such conditions, oils and skin cells from your scalp may build up resulting in dandruff. Other skin conditions may also result in development of this condition. These include eczema, which is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin, psoriasis, and any other acne.

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Fungal infection, also called malassezia, is also implicated in the pathogenesis of this condition. Fungus causes irritation of the skin, which may lead to dryness, as you tend to scratch at an increased intensity. Increased sensitivity to hair products may cause a condition called contact dermatitis, which is a high graded risk factor.

Baking soda for dandruff

As mentioned earlier, accumulation of oil and skin cells in your scalp results to dandruff. Baking soda treats this condition by enhancing the removal of these individual constituents of dandruff while leaving your hair clean and soft. By acting as a dry shampoo, it absorbs oils, which are naturally produced by the scalp. This clears the flakes and makes sure that your hair and scalp remains very healthy.

If you do not have excessive amount of oil production, you will benefit more than other people who tend to over secrete oils. Baking soda does not cause any hair loss as it only acts as an absorbent material that sucks all the excess oil out of the scalp and hair. Its effects may even prevent hair loss as your hair become stronger and you scratch your scalp less often. It can also be used by those doing hair styling to wash off all chemicals left after use.

baking soda for dandruff

Treatment and prevention of dandruff

Most of the time you may not have to see a doctor as dandruff is a mild condition with rare complications. However, this cause may take some time before you heal completely as this condition tends to be chronic in nature. If simple measures such as enough hydration to avoid dry skin, daily or ample shampooing, and not irritating your scalp fails, you may consider the use of medications.

baking soda dandruff

Medications mainly include shampoos that have enhanced activity by addition of antifungal or other agents. These include zinc pyrithione shampoos, tar-based shampoos, and shampoos containing salicylic acid such as neutogena T/sal and selenium sulfide shampoos among many others.

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