Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Seborrhea (Dandruff)

It is a common form of skin eczema that occurs in parts of the body with high oil (sebum) production. Body areas that are commonly affected include the scalp, ears, face, chest, and folds of skin, such as the underarms or the skin below breasts or overhanging abdominal folds. The cause of seborrhea is unknown, although a yeast that often lives on the skin, Malassezia furfur, may play a role.
One common manifestation of seborrhea that affects the scalp is dandruff. Scalp seborrhea can also present as thick, flaky, localized patches of scale. On the face, seborrhea produces reddish-brown, dry-looking, or thick, greasy scales on the eyebrows, sides of the nose, and behind the ears. Reddish, scaly patches may also appear in the folds of skin mentioned above. Although skin affected by seborrhea may feel "dry," moisturizing only makes them redder.
Scalp seborrhea and dandruff do not cause permanent hair loss. Often, scalp seborrhea doesn't even itch significantly. Seborrhea can appear during infancy, starting shortly after birth and lasting several months. It may affect the scalp ("cradle cap") or produce scaly patches on the body. Adults of all ages may develop seborrhea, too, especially on the scalp and face.
Some people who have weakened immune systems, such as those on chemotherapy  or  with HIV disease or certain neurological disorders, may have very severe seborrhea. It is important to emphasize, however, that seborrhea is a very common condition, affecting perhaps 5% of the population (with men predominating). The vast majority of those who have it are completely healthy and have no internal or immune problems.


As the epidermal layer continually replaces itself, cells are pushed outward where they eventually die and flake off. In most people, these flakes of skin are too small to be visible. However, certain conditions cause cell turnover to be unusually rapid, especially in the scalp. For people with dandruff, skin cells may mature and be shed in 2–7 days, as opposed to around a month in people without dandruff. The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish patches on the scalp, skin and clothes.
Dandruff has been shown to be the result of three required factors

  1. Skin oil commonly referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions
  2. The metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms (most specifically Malassezia yeasts)
  3. Individual susceptibility
Common older literature cites the fungus Malassezia furfur (previously known as Pityrosporum ovale) as the cause of dandruff. While this fungus is found naturally on the skin surface of both healthy people and those with dandruff, it was later discovered that a scalp specific fungus, Malassezia globosa, is the responsible agent. This fungus metabolizes triglycerides present in sebum by the expression of lipase, resulting in a lipid byproduct oleic acid (OA). Penetration by OA of the top layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, results in an inflammatory response in susceptible persons which disturbs homeostasis and results in erratic cleavage of stratum corneum cells.
Rarely, dandruff can be a manifestation of an allergic reaction to chemicals in hair gels, sprays, and shampoos, hair oils, or sometimes even dandruff medications like ketoconazole.
There is some evidence that excessive perspiration and climate have significant roles in the pathogenesis of dandruff.

Home Remedies:

Dandruff treatment using Fenugreek Seeds

The use of fenugreek seeds is one of the most important remedies in the treatment of dandruff. Two tablespoons of these seeds should be soaked overnight in water and ground into a fine paste in the morning. This paste should be applied all over the scalp and left for half an hour. The hair should then be washed thoroughly with soap-nut (ritha) solution or acacia concinna.

Dandruff treatment using Lime

The use of a teaspoon of fresh lime juice for the last rinse, while washing the hair, is another useful remedy. This not only leaves the hair glowing but also removes stickiness and prevents dandruff.

Dandruff treatment using Green Gram Powder

A valuable prescription for removal of dandruff is the use of green gram powder. The hair should be washed twice a week with two tablespoons of this powder mixed with half a cup of curd.

Dandruff treatment using Beet

Beets have been found useful in dandruff. Both tops and roots should be boiled in water and this water should be massaged into the scalp with the finger tips every night. White beet is better for this purpose.

Dandruff treatment using Snake Gourd

The juice of snake gourd has been found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of dandruff. The juice should be rubbed over the scalp for this purpose.

Dandruff treatment using Other Remedies

Dandruff can be removed by massaging the hair for half an hour with curd which has been kept in the open for three days, or with a few drops of lime juice mixed with indian gooseberry juice every night, before going to bed. Another measure which helps to counteract dandruff is to dilute cider vinegar with an equal quantity of water and dab this on to the hair with cotton wool inbetween shampooing. Cider vinegar added to the final rinsing water after shampooing also helps to disperse dandruff.
Hot oil therapy is the best method to cure dandruff. Massage hot oil into the scalp at bedtime. Next morning an hour before the bath, rub lemon juice mixed with cosmetic vinegar into the scalp with cotton wool.

Mix beetroot juice in vinegar and apply on the scalp. Ginger juice and beetroot juice mixed together and applied on the scalp are also beneficial.

During the first five days of the treatment when the patient takes an all-fruit diet, a warm-water enema should be taken daily to cleanse the bowels. Simultaneously, an attempt should be made to keep the body in good health.

Mild dandruff is the result of excessive oiliness of the skin and not due to dryness of the scalp. Chronic dandruff may occur due to psoriasis of the scalp.

People should avoid spicy and greasy food because it helps dandruff to increase and spread. People should add more vegetables and fruits on the diet. It is very essential to take fresh foods avoid taking tinned and canned foods add more green vegetables and fruits.

Egg shampoo is one of the oldest beauty recipes. Eggs are full of protein. Simply wash your hair with egg. Beat up one or two eggs with a cup of water and thoroughly massage this into your wet hair for about five to ten minutes. Rinse off thoroughly and remember not to use hot water. There is another method to use egg shampoo. Simply beat one egg in a cup of water and mix to it 1 to 2 tablespoons shampoo. Do not worry about which shampoo has to be used. As a last rinse use the juice of one lemon in a cup of hot water. Continue this complete treatment once a week for three months, then once a fortnight for the next two months.