Do you know the biggest telltale signs that your scalp is in trouble? These include dry flakes, dandruff, sensitivity, and brittleness. Here are 3 ways to keep your scalp healthy. By Grace Mantjiu
Dry air from heaters and air conditioners can strip moisture from the scalp, causing your skin to itch. Wearing a headscarf or hat also creates just the right humidity for microbes (bacteria causing diseases) on your scalp. This, in turn, causes dandruff, also resulting in irritation and itchiness.
Scalp problems and treatment
1. Dandruff – This is caused by an overproduction of yeast, which results in the itchy, white and yellow flakes on the skin. Contrary to popular belief, dry or sensitive skin does not cause dandruff. It is in fact, caused by dry scalp, which is a sign that your skin’s moisture barrier is damaged. Dandruff damages the skin by drying it out. This makes it tight and uncomfortable.
Treatment – Over-the-counter shampoo for dandruff will help with dandruff. However, if you have a more severe case, you may need a prescription for anti-fungal or medicated cream.
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2. Scalp psoriasis – A rare genetic condition that causes an accelerated shedding of skin cells. It occurs when your body fails to shed skin cells at a normal rate, causing a build-up of cells that result in reddish sliver patches.
Treatment – Use a shampoo that contains coal tar or salicylic acid ingredients to manage it. If that doesn’t work, consult a dermatologist.
3. Scalp eczema – This is an itchy red or brownish rash that looks like small raised bumps. The most common type of scalp eczema is known as seborrheic dermatitis.
Treatment – You have to treat this condition early in order to avoid hair loss. Use a shampoo that contains primrose or seed oil to help alleviate the symptoms.
4. Ringworm – A rash that is usually painful and scaly, causing inflated lymph bumps. Although commonly found in children, adults get them, too. You can get this fungus from direct contact either from people, objects or animals.
Treatment – Oral medication such as antifungal pills combined with medicated shampoos will help treat ringworms.
Tips to keep your scalp healthy
- Exfoliate monthly with a scalp or DIY mask that has peppermint oil, olive oil, ground almonds or brown sugar. Massage onto your scalp for five minutes, and rinse out with shampoo.
- Shampoo your hair regularly or twice a week. But, if you exercise every day, shampoo every second day.
- Have a 10-minute scalp massage to promote increased blood flow at least once a week.
- Treat your scalp with essential oils such as peppermint or tea tree.
- Give your hair a break from protective hairstyles and chemicals. This will result in your scalp breathing, therefore becoming healthy.