Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that inflames the skin, possibly resulting in rashes and flaky scales forming on oily areas of the body such as the scalp, ears, eyebrows or chest. Approximately 50 million people suffer from dandruff in the US alone, and some cases of seborrheic dermatitis are far worse than others.
Seborrheic dermatitis that affects the scalp is commonly referred to as “dandruff”. Dandruff isn’t dangerous but it can be a huge burden. The skin’s over production of oil often causes the scalp to itch, and hair loss to occur. Typically, you’ll see small white flakes appearing in your hair or falling off of your hair onto your clothes.
Dandruff runs in families, but can also affect people who have acne, too much stress, or oily skin. The amount of scales depends on how severe the condition is, and the time of year also plays a big role in dandruff appearing. Summer is usually a time when dandruff goes into remission for most people.
For serious cases, special shampoos can be prescribed by doctors. These potent products may contain chemicals such as ketoconazole or corticosteroids to treat dandruff forcefully with the hydration your skin needs. Other over-the-counter brands such as Selsun Blue or Head & Shoulders utilize chemicals like selenium sulfide and pyrithione zinc to treat dandruff effectively as well. Remember when using these shampoos to thoroughly rinse your hair afterward because shampoo and conditioner residue will further skin problems.
In addition to the long list of dandruff products out there, countless essential oils are also available if your hair is too dry. Almond and chamomile oil is great for moisturizing and soothing the scalp. Also, lavender oil deep conditions the hair, and helps specifically control dandruff by evening the oil content on the skin. A well crafted mix of oils can have wonderful benefits, so try some combinations out and see what works for you.