Dandruff is nothing but dead skin of the scalp. The skin of the scalp like the other body parts sheds continuously and the dead cells are replaced by new ones. At times there is excessive scaling from the scalp which maybe precipitated by change of weather (rainy season and winters), poor nutrition, fungal infection, or due to stress. This excess scaling of the scalp, mixed with the dust and grime and the sebum secretions from the scalp lead to development of dandruff, also called seborrhoea.
While a dietary and lifestyle change is required to eradicate dandruff, certain shampoos are effective in controlling dandruff formation. These are medicated shampoos available in the market and can be purchased over-the-counter whereas some are prescribed by doctors.
The different types of anti-dandruff shampoos available are:
- Shampoos containing the antifungal and antibacterial zinc pyrithione like Selsun and head & Shoulders.
- Coal tar based shampoos which slow down the shedding of the skin cells of the scalp which is commonly seen in seborrhoeic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. Example of such a shampoo is Neutrogena.
- Shampoos containing Selenium sulphidealso slow down the rate of death of the skin cells, thereby reducing scaling. An example is Selsun Blue.
- Shampoo like Nizoral contains Ketoconazole as its active principle which is antifungal in nature.
These shampoos when used for a period of time, reduce the scaling and the dandruff production on the scalp.