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Dry scalp

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Dry scalp is one of the most common of all scalp problems. Although it is not a serious dermatological issue, it can cause lot of irritation due to constant itching, which might become very embarrassing in public. There could also be various medical reasons behind dryness in scalp and such problems need to be addressed by dermatologists.


Symptoms associated with dry scalp

Dry scalp is itself a symptom which is usually accompanied by the following symptoms: 

  • Flaky scalp, excessive itching and dandruff – scalp cells start falling
  • Redness in scalp due to vigorous itching
  • Thinning of hair and rapid hair fall

The symptoms differ from one person to another depending upon the cause.


What causes dry scalp?

  • Lack of oil and moisture in scalp due to excessive shampooing, changing brands frequently, not oiling or conditioning, etc.
  • Scalp problems like scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff and eczema
  • Side effects of hair cosmetics like dyes, heat treatments and certain medicines or from diseases like HIV and Parkinson’s.
  • Excessive washing of hair or too little washing also dries your scalp
  • Poor nutrition, lack of vitamin B 12, vitamin E, omega 3 fats, etc. in diet can also lead to dry scalp

Diagnosis of dry scalp

Diagnosis of dry scalp is not really complicated and so is the problem. Your doctor can identify the problem from the symptoms itself. Dermatological test or scalp evaluation test would be performed to evaluate the condition of your scalp, hair and follicles.

Apart from this you need to tell your doctor about any medical condition that you might be suffering from, the medicines you are taking and also let him/know the diet and lifestyle you follow.


Treatment for dry scalp

The first strategy would be to reduce the dryness with the help of shampoos, conditioners and oils. Your doctor would prescribe medicated products for this reason that would control itching, flakiness and dandruff at the same time.

Topical emollients or creams and steroid creams are usually prescribed for treating scalp psoriasis and eczema. If the condition is severe, then your doctor might also give you prescribe oral medication.

Your doctor might give you vitamin supplements and correct your diet so that the problem gets sorted permanently. You need to increase consumption of fish, dairy, nuts and green vegetables to ward off scalp problems.


Managing dry scalp at home

Apart from medical treatment, dry scalp and associated problems can be managed very well at home. For this, you need to take a little extra care of your hair.

Daily hair care: Make sure your hair is clean. You must oil your hair thrice a week and shampoo every alternate day, followed by application of condition. Opt for shampoos with tag lines- “for dry scalp”, “dry and damaged hair”, “moisturizing and conditioning”. Make sure your hair is completely dry before you tie it up.


Home treatments that you can apply

  • Honey is an excellent conditioner. Mix generous amount of honey with eggs and use it as hair mask. Leave for an hour and then rinse with a moisturizing shampoo
  • The pulp of tender coconut is full of fats which prove beneficial for dry scalp. Smash the pulp in mixer and mix with some olive oil or coconut oil and apply directly on your scalp.
  • Warm oil massage is excellent for resolving dry scalp problems. You can use tea tree oil, almond oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc. for this purpose

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: August 23, 2014

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