Description

Dandruff affects twenty percent of the population. It is a chronic, non-inflammatory, scalp condition that results in excessive scaling of the outer layers of the skin. The skin on the scalp, and the rest of your body, normally scales and sloughs off. For those with dandruff, the rate at which this occurs is two times higher than that of the average person.

 

Symptoms and Signs:

Excessive scaling of the skin of the scalp with the appearance of white flakes near the root of hair shafts and on clothing. It is often itchy.

 
Causes:

A specific cause is not known.

For some people, dandruff is associated with seborrheic dermatitis, an itchy, scaly rash on the scalp. This rash often occurs during times of stress.

Some people believe dandruff may be caused by an abnormally high level of the yeast Pityrosporum ovale residing on the scalp. There is controversy surrounding this theory.

 
What to Expect:

As previously mentioned, excessive scaling of the skin will occur on the scalp.

 


Remedies

{tab=- Aromatherapy -}

Aromatherapy

Patchouli oil is great for treating dandruff caused by seborrhea dermatitis. Add 40 drops to 100mL of shampoo. Do not apply patchouli oil directly to your scalp as it will cause irritation.

Rosemary oil mixed with tea tree oil (see Miscellaneous, below) and olive oil makes a great dandruff treatment. Add 40 drops combined rosemary and tea tree oil to 100mL of shampoo. Do not apply rosemary oil directly to your scalp as it will cause irritation.

{tab=- Food Supplements -}

Food Supplements

Flaxseed oil is beneficial in cases of dandruff. Take one tablespoon daily. You may also add this oil to salads. Do not cook with this oil as it turns rancid very easily. Be sure to keep it refrigerated.

{tab=- Herbs -}

Herbs

Oregano oil has many beneficial properties. One source suggests mixing three to five drops of the oil with 5mL extra virgin olive oil (to make it more palatable) and putting two or three drops of this mixture under the tongue several times a day.

Chaparral, Nettle, Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme may also prove useful. Consult with your herbalist, naturopath, or other health practitioner to determine the appropriateness of these herbs for your needs.

{tab=- Minerals -}

Minerals

Zinc picolinate has also shown promise. Take 25mg daily.

{tab=- Miscellaneous -}

Miscellaneous

Tea tree has many antiseptic properties. Add 40 drops to 100mL of shampoo. You may also purchase tea tree oil shampoo. See the cosmetics section of your local health food store.

{tab=- Vitamins -}

Vitamins

Biotin supplementation has shown to be beneficial for infants with seborrheic dermatitis. The proper dose depends on weight. You should check with your naturopath or other health practitioner for the appropriate dose for your child. Unfortunately, supplementation with biotin in adults has not been as useful. However, if you wish to try, take 3mg two times daily.

One study suggests that many people with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis may benefit from folic acid supplementation. Suggested doses is 2.5mg daily for infants, 5mg daily for children, and 10mg daily for adults.

Vitamin B2 has been shown to help eliminate dandruff and alleviate dermatitis. Take 50 to 100mg daily along with equal doses of vitamins B1 and B6 (see below) to enhance effectiveness.

Vitamin B6 is also beneficial for the treatment of dandruff and dermatitis. Take 50 to 100mg daily along with equal doses of vitamins B1 (see above) and B2 (see above) to enhance effectiveness.

Vitamin B12 injections may provide improvement of symptoms for those with seborrheic dermatitis. You must discuss this option with your naturopath or other health practitioner.

Some people have found relief with vitamin E supplementation. Take 400 IU daily.

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Actions and Remedy Listings

 

Biotin

Chaparral

Flaxseed Oil

Nettle

Oregano Oil

Patchouli Oil

Rosemary

Rosemary Oil

Sage

Tea Tree Oil

Thyme

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B6

Zinc