Dandruff are dry shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. As skin cells die a small amount of flaking is normal however, some people experience an unusually large amount of flaking which can also be accompanied by redness and irritation.
Most cases of dandruff can be easily treated with specialized shampoos. There is, however, no true cure.
Dandruff is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the population at the post-pubertal age and of any gender and ethnicity. It often causes itching. It has been well established that keratinocytes play a key role in the expression and generation of immunological reactions during dandruff formation.
A very common fungus called malassezia may contribute to dandruff. This fungus lives on the scalp of most healthy adults without causing any problems. One theory is that the immune system of people with dandruff may overreact to that fungus.
Dandruff may get worse when you're stressed. Cold, dry winters can trigger dandruff or make it worse.
Dandruff has been shown to be the result of three required factors:
Skin oil commonly referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions
The metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms (most specifically Malassezia yeasts)
Ingredients in shampoos are used to control dandruff.
Zinc pyrithione - it heals the scalp by normalizing the epithelial keratinization or sebum production or both. Studies have shown a significant reduction in the number of yeasts after use of ZPT, which is an antifungal and antibacterial agent.
Steroids - The parakeratotic properties of topical corticosteroids depend on the structure of the agent, the vehicle and the skin onto which it is used. Corticosteroids work via their anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative effects.
Selenium sulfide - it controls dandruff via its anti Malassezia effect rather than by its antiproliferative effect, although it has an effect in reducing cell turnover.
Coal Tar - is a keratoplastic causing the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and slow skin cell growth.
Imidazole antifungal agents - Imidazole topical antifungals such as ketoconazole act by blocking the biosynthesis of ergosterol, the primary sterol derivative of the fungal cell membrane. Changes in membrane permeability caused by ergosterol depletion are incompatible with fungal growth and survival.
Hydroxypyridones - instead they interfere with the active transport of essential macromolecule precursor, cell membrane integrity and the respiratory process of cells. Ciclopirox is widely used as an anti-dandruff agent in most preparations.
Neem - has anti-fungal properties that can be effective in treating dandruff.
Black Pepper - Yes black pepper, it contains the dandruff fighting minerals zinc and selenium. In Indian traditional Ayurveda, powdered black pepper has been used to treat dandruff.
Egg oil - In Indian,Japanese, Unani (Roghan Baiza Murgh),and Chinese traditional medicine, egg oil was traditionally used as a treatment for dandruff, but there is no clinical evidence indicate efficacy for this purpose.
Listerine - Yup the common Listerine use as mouthwash can treat dry and itchy scalp. Listerine kills fungus and yeast that cause the itching and redness of the scalp.