Dry Scalp Remedies: Natural Dandruff Shampoos Explained
Scalp changes are almost always reversible. This is because they mostly originate from changes in the scalp’s fungi population and/or sebum composition. When the sebum balance is restored and the excess fungus is removed, the scalp rediscovers its natural state, and the problem goes away on its own, without resorting to any serious medical intervention.
Mainstream medicine has several ways of treating dandruff, and nowadays the prognosis leans towards prescribing anti-fungal shampoos or creams for those who complain of such issues. This is in contrast to earlier times, when an anti-inflammatory treatment would have been prescribed by the skin doctor. With these anti-fungal remedies, the causes of the dandruff are taken care of, and the symptoms are alleviated as a result of the treatment.Common anti-fungal treatments include:
- Medication which has an over-the-counter version and a prescribed version. It is used to treat several different infections of fungi and yeast. It is available in a wide range of medical shampoos, and it works by stopping the fungi from creating cell membranes. By doing this, the fungus’ lifeline is effectively cut, and it dies. The infection then clears up, and normal scalp functionality is resumed.
- A cream or foam used to treat skin infections.
- Listed on the World Health Organization’s “Most Important Medications” list, Miconazole is used to cure fungal infections by applying it to the skin or membrane. It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. For oral use, it comes in the form of oral gel and tablet. For external use, it is used as a cream or powder. For vaginal treatment, it is used as a vaginal cream or vaginal suppository.
Hair washing is another issue that needs to be addressed when we are talking about dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Many individuals believe that abstaining from washing their hair will alleviate the symptoms, and that hair washing can make the dryness even worse, thus adding to the already itching and discomforting sensation.
In fact, it is the other way around. Washing the hair and scalp is essential for the healing process. Without washing the affected areas, the scaling will continue. Washing the hair and scalp on a regular basis can help minimize the buildup of scaling. In some cases, it can eliminate it altogether. It depends on the scalp and hair type that is involved, and on that person’s genetic makeup.
Likewise, washing with an anti-fungal shampoo -- be it an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product, or a prescription-strength medical shampoo prescribed by a physician – can bring about fantastic results. Many times, people who are sure to wash their hair and scalp with anti-fungal, natural dandruff shampoos, even as frequently as daily or semi-daily (at first), can find this to be the answer to their prayers. Chronic cases of flaking, itching, redness, and general discomfort can in fact be cured!
There are times when a doctor or pharmacist will recommended an over-night treatment for a week or two, as opposed to an ongoing regiment of daily/semi-daily hair washing. In these cases, the anti-fungal treatment is massaged deep into the scalp for several minutes.
The hair and scalp are then covered with a shower cap, and in the morning the shower cap is removed. The remaining shampoo is massaged into the scalp again, and is then rinsed off with water. If there is no significant change in a week or two (depending on the instructions), another visit to your physician should be made, in order to see how to best continue the treatment.
When it comes to hair washing, there is another thing that is important to remember: whenever possible, keep your hair and scalp dry. In other words, when you are not in the shower, or not using an over-night kind of treatment, it is best to keep those areas dry. Why? Because fungi thrive in moisture, and it is a big part their life cycle.
It is advisable to keep the hair and scalp dry, and avoid long periods of time when those areas are wet. Showering and bathing are all well and good, and washing the hair frequently is one of the best things to do against the conditions of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
However, leaving the scalp and hair wet for long periods of time, after the bath or shower have already taken place, is not recommended. Such behavior could facilitate the growth of the fungi which are causing those issues to begin with.