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Dandruff is a common issue among kids that causes irritation and itching on the scalp. Kids generally play outdoors, making them more susceptible to dust and thus dandruff.
What is Dandruff?
The small pieces of dead skin that are found in a person’s hair, which normally results in white flakes or even itchiness, is called dandruff. But in some rare cases, serious conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis may occur, in which inflammation of the scalp area happens.
Causes of Dandruff in Children
Various causes of dandruff issues in kids include-
- Improper shampooing: Sometimes when we shampoo our kids’ hair, dead skin cells which should have got rinsed, stay back due to improper washing of head. This causes accumulation of dead skin on our scalp, leading to dandruff.
- Malnutrition: Malnutrition in kids is the most common reason for dandruff. Kids prefer to eat more of unhealthy snacks or junk food rather than a fully nutritious diet, leading to scalp itching or dandruff.
- Sensitivity to Hair Products: Sometimes, the hair product you use may not suit your kid well, leading to dandruff issues. Try to change the product, but prefer to do so only after consulting a doctor.
- Malassezia: It is a yeast-like fungus, which, when growing rapidly, leads to disturbance in the natural growth of cells; this, in turn, leads to dandruff and scalp itching. Certain illnesses or hormonal changes in kids generally is the cause of the emergence of such fungi.
- Seborrhoeic Dermatitis: This disease is also known as eczema, which results in inflammation of the skin. This type of skin disorder does not go away that easily, but dandruff is a milder form of this condition in children, with less serious implications.
Dandruff Signs and Symptoms in Children
Various signs and symptoms that must be noticed in children, so that effective measures can be undertaken for dandruff treatment, include:
- Visible dry white flakes on your child’s scalp or outfits
- Presence of oily flakes in the scalp area
- Continuous itching of the scalp area
- Red patches on the scalp either caused due to itching or excessive dandruff
Can Dandruff Harm Child’s Scalp?
In most cases, mild dandruff is what irritates your child and it doesn’t affect the scalp area much. But in certain rare cases, like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, Malassezia or psoriasis, the scalp area gets inflamed and turns red. In such cases, it becomes essential to consult a skin care specialist for effective relief for your kids.
Dandruff Treatment for Kids
Tested and tried dandruff treatments for kids include-
- Use a Medicated Shampoo: Use of medicated shampoo can treat dandruff in kids to a great extent. Just do not go with any shampoo; rather, consult a skin care specialist who will recommend an effective medicated shampoo based on your kid’s situation.
- Stay Hydrated: Tell your kids to drink as much water they can. If they do not drink by themselves, give them water in measured quantities so that they drink water or even juice regularly. Keeping them hydrated can definitely reduce dandruff.
- Brushing Before Shampooing: Brush your kids’ hair properly before rinsing them with the medicated shampoo. Brushing will help elimination of flakes to some extent, which in turn will help better cleaning of the scalp after shampooing.
- Separate Combs and Towels: Maintain separate combs and towels for your kids as germs on common towels and combs may boost more of dandruff issues.
- Proper Nutrition: Green and leafy vegetables are a must for children dealing with dandruff issues. Proteins, carbohydrates and the other required nutrients lead to moist and healthy skin, which in turn reduces or completely removes dandruff.
- Oiling of the Scalp: Oil your kid’s scalp regularly or even on alternate days, as this will help keep the scalp moist, and thus make it dandruff-free.
- Do Not Apply Any Harmful Hair Products: Kids are most susceptible to skin problems, and for the same reason, hair gels or creams should not be applied on kids’ hair as it may lead to dandruff or other hair related issues.
- Frequent Shampooing: Shampoo your kids’ hair on alternate days. Frequent shampooing helps keep away dust which is the main cause of dandruff in kids; shampooing everyday, however, is not recommended.
Home Remedies for Child Dandruff
Home remedies for treating dandruff in kids include-
- Baking Soda: Baking soda acts as an incredible scrub that helps exfoliate the scalp. You just need to add a bit of baking soda to your regular shampoo and apply it normally on the scalp before rinsing it thoroughly.
- Tree Oil: Tree oil has anti-fungal properties, which helps in soothing a dry scalp. Mix a few drops of tree oil with almond or olive oil. Mix the oils thoroughly and apply on the scalp with the help of cotton. Keep it on for half an hour and then rinse your scalp thoroughly.
- Curd: Curd helps to keep your scalp moist and soft. Apply curd on the scalp and keep it for ½ hour, before washing it off.
- Lemon: Lemon contains Vitamin C that helps in treating scalp issues such as dandruff. Apply lemon with a cotton ball, and keep it for ½ hour before washing.
- Neem: Neem is also effective in treating dandruff. Mix coconut oil with neem juice and massage properly on the scalp.
- Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds have anti-fungal and scalp soothing properties. Make a paste of grounded fenugreek seeds and curd and apply it on the scalp before shampooing.
- Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera is a cooling agent which contains anti-fungal properties. Extract aloe vera gel directly from its’ plant and apply it on the scalp, before shampooing.
- Eggs: Eggs also help to keep the scalp moist. Just beat an egg and apply it on the scalp, before shampooing.
- Apple Cider: Apple cider is efficient in clearing clogged hair pores. Mix apple cider with water in equivalent quantities and apply it on the scalp, before shampooing.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut contains anti-fungal properties and also acts as a good scalp moisturizer. Apply coconut oil directly on the scalp, keep it for a while before shampooing.
- White Vinegar: White vinegar is one of the best solutions to dandruff issue. It avoids fungal growth and also helps provide relief from itching. Mix white vinegar with water to wash your kids’ hair.
- Garlic: One needs to overlook garlic’s bad odour, but rather focus on its anti-fungal properties. Mix grounded cloves in water and apply it on your kids’ scalp, before shampooing.
When to Consult a Doctor?
In case your kids’ scalp starts to show redness or blood clots on the scalp, due to excessive itching and dandruff, it becomes important to seek immediate doctor assistance.
Having looked at the facts and treatments related to dandruff issues in kids, we are sure that you’re now equipped with what it takes to beat dandruff!
Also Read: Head Lice in Infants & Children