Dealing With Common Scalp Conditions
Before rushing out to buy the latest and greatest treatment for scalp conditions, it may pay to briefly look at what the most common causes are. Internet advertisements and promotions often take us back to the days of the snake oil salesmen of the Wild West, selling a tonic you could rub into your scalp, or if you preferred, drink it. It would do about the same amount of good either way.
One cause can be a skin disease or a yeast infection. Here is where topical medication may be in order, but you want to know the underlying cause for certain before spending money on creams or lotions that may be treating a non-existing situation. One of the more common causes behind undesired scalp conditions is one or more ingredients in soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, or hair tonic you may use. While your hair may be responding favorably, if dead cells can respond favorably to anything, the skin on the top of your head may not be, and the very substance you're using to look attractive might just be wreaking havoc with your scalp.
Finally, there's the nutritional factor. A nutritional imbalance, or poor diet can lead to many different kinds of problems, among them undesirable scalp conditions. Diet and nutrition are rarely a factor however unless your dietary habits are really poor. Still, that is one area worth consideration. Even if an improper diet isn't the cause behind whatever scalp conditions you may be afflicted with, improving your eating habits certainly isn't going to hurt you any.
While sunburn is one fairly common cause of a burning, itchy scalp, a chemical substance of one kind or another is far more likely to cause that type of a condition. We usually recognize the symptoms of sunburn, and know the cause, but if the shampoo we're using contains sulfates, ethoxylates, petrochemicals, or certain fragrances, and many of them do, any one of those ingredients could cause a problem akin to a bad sunburn.
Allergens And Irritants - The stuff we put in our hair can also contain allergens. This can lead to a situation where there is little or no reaction for a long period of time, and all of a sudden you start experiencing an itchy, flaky scalp. You haven't changed anything. You've been using the same shampoo for the past 6 years. All of a sudden though you're becoming allergic to it, and it may take some time to figure that out. Even if a substance is not an allergen, it can be an irritant, and an irritant can be a direct cause of dermatitis, most commonly experienced as dandruff.
Carcinogens and Sensitizing Agents - Hair dyes can be bad actors sometimes. Many hair dyes contain carcinogenic ingredients. While we seldom hear of scalp cancer, skin cancer is another matter, and can just as easily appear on the scalp as anywhere else, though it normally doesn't. Mostly though, hair dyes contain what might be best described as sensitizing agents which, once you become sensitive to them, you always will be, and the future use of any product containing the particular compound or ingredient is apt to create unfavorable scalp conditions.
Home Remedies - Many scalp conditions can be treated at home using remedies that are antibacterial, anti fungal, or simply soothing if irritants are the problem. Rosemary and lavender are both well known as remedies for a variety of scalp conditions, and tea tree oil is especially valuable in dealing with dandruff. The root cause of dandruff and an associated dry scalp is usually seborrheic dermatitis, which in turn is caused by the body attempting to rid itself of toxins through the skin. Dandruff can sometimes be eliminated completely, and at other times merely controlled until the underlying cause is determined and treated.
Any scalp conditions which fail to respond to home remedies, or appear to be worsening, should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist. The dermatologist may be in a position to prescribe a fast acting medication, or may need to outline a program for eliminating scalp conditions that might be more stubborn, but most scalp conditions lend themselves to treatment.