Dry scalp can affect anyone at anytime of their lives. It can even affect our babies. There is a difference between dry scalp and dandruff. It may be hard to tell the difference between the two because they have a lot of similarities. Dry scalp is when you skin on your head gets irritated and flakes off. These flakes are usually small white flakes. They can cause your scalp to itch and usually if you have dryness on your scalp you may have a tendency to have dry skin on other parts of your body as well.
Causes of a Dry Scalp
Dry scalp can be caused by a few things. The cold dry air can affect your skin. Other things that can affect your scalp is contact dermatitis, which can be caused by your products that you are using on your head. This can be a reaction from your shampoo, hair gel, or other hair products. Age can be a factor though anyone is prone to getting dry scalp, but people who are older can be more susceptible.
Babies and Dry Scalp
When babies get dry scalp it’s usually called cradle cap. Cradle cap is when your baby will develop thick oily patches on their scalp that are either white or yellow in color and will flake off. The cradle cap doesn’t hurt your baby and it doesn’t itch. This is usually a condition that is treatable at home, and is very common. Cradle cap usually happens due to the environment and/or genetic conditions. Not every baby will get cradle cap. If you see that your child is developing cradle cap you can do some things at home to help resolve it. Try to shampoo less and use a medicated gentle baby shampoo. You can rub baby oil on your child’s head after washing to make sure that it doesn’t get over dried. Hydrocortisone cream can even help clean it up. Once cradle cap is resolved it usually doesn’t come back. Children can have cradle cap up to three years of age. If it doesn’t clear up on its own at home you can always speak to your pediatrician and discuss if there are other things you can do.
Dry Scalp Treatments
For other people who have dry scalp the ways of resolution are similar to how you resolve your babies cradle cap. You will want to make sure that you aren’t over shampooing. Maybe switch to how many days you have between washings of your hair. You can also switch types of shampoos to have a gentler shampoo that is less harsh on your hair. Make sure that you use a moisture conditioner. There are leave in conditioners you can try to help keep your scalp very moisturized. Another way to keep your head moisturized is to use hot oils to soak in moisture. If you use these treatments, make sure you keep your head moisturized as best you can and if the dryness doesn’t go away, you may have dandruff and other treatments may be needed.
Everyone is At Risk
Anyone can get dry scalp, it is not fun and it can cause lots of discomfort from the itching and the flakes falling out of your hair. It does not look appealing. The good news is that it is treatable, and that it can be managed. Dry scalp may not be a year round thing, it could only happen in the winter when the weather is dryer, and there isn’t enough moisture in the air. Make sure that you don’t over shampoo your hair, change products, and keep lots of moisture applied to your scalp.
What if it is dandruff?
If dry scalp becomes more and is dandruff, this is a tad different then just dealing with dry scalp. Dandruff is not curable, once you have it you have it forever. Though there are ways to manage it and make it less of a hassle. Dandruff is large oily flakes of skin that are either white or yellow in color. Dandruff is usually caused by a dermatitis that can happen anywhere you have oil glands, and will cause the skin to become red, scaly, and oily. Your skin like with dry scalp can be itchy. One of the easiest ways to maintain dandruff is to use a dandruff shampoo. This will help alleviate you symptoms. Make sure to limit the amount of times you shampoo even with the dandruff shampoo, and keep all the oils out of your hair. Try and make sure that you scalp stays less oily, and get some sun exposure which can help as well. If these things don’t work there are other treatments you can try from salicylic acid or coal tar.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Dry scalp or dandruff can be frustrating. Treatments are easy, just make sure you maintain them. Keeping up with treatments and finding the right one that lessens your symptoms is key. If you can’t find a treatment that is working for you speak with a doctor to see if they have any other options that will work best for you.