Friday, January 6, 2012

No More Bad Hair Days : Tips For Clearing Stubborn Dandruff

Dandruff - that dry, itchy, white flaking of the scalp - affects up to 70% of the population in various degrees of severity. It results from skin cells reproducing too rapidly, producing visible flakes. Dandruff is worse in dry climates and when the hair is not washed often. Mild dandruff can be kept under control with shampoos containing zinc pyrithione such as Dan Gard. What happens when these do not work?
This means you may have stubborn, more severe dandruff. And if you have yellowish crusting (scales) either on the scalp, face, chest or back, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. In this case, the crusty scales are often oily, accompanied by a red, itchy scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis tends to flare up with stress and with the cold, dry winter months.
An effective option for these stubborn cases is shampoos containing tar which have a triple action - they dissolve the scales, are antiseptic (fight bacteria), and soothe itching and redness. Dr. Robert Solomon, a Dermatologist in Toronto at St. Michael's Hospital states: " Tar shampoos are generally safe and effective against severe dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. A tar shampoo like Polytar AF is highly effective since it is the only combination of tar with salicylic acid, as well as an antifungal and soothing menthol; unlike other tar shampoos, it actually has a nice scent".
Here are some general tips to follow: Shampoo at least 3 times a week with a non-medicated shampoo or an anti-dandruff shampoo (depending on severity), massaging scalp gently Three times a week, do the following: use an anti-dandruff shampoo first to clean your scalp, then rinse well. Follow with a trusted medicated shampoo like Polytar; Make sure you leave it in contact with your scalp for at least 5 minutes before rinsing If your scalp condition does not improve within 2 weeks of this regimen, see your physician or pharmacist.