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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 dust-related skin issues, including dandruff. Parents might wonder if they can use an anti-dandruff shampoo and get rid of the flakes. But, dust is not the only reason why kids could get dandruff. In this article, we shall discuss what dandruff, its various causes, symptoms and treatment. Read on to know more.
What Is Dandruff?
Dandruff is basically dead skin that is found on the scalp or in a person’s hair, which normally results in white flakes or even itchiness. But in some rare cases, serious conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis may occur, which could lead to inflammation of the scalp.
Below, we shall discuss some more causes of dandruff in children.
Causes of Dandruff in Children
Various causes of dandruff in kids include-
1. Improper Shampooing
Sometimes when we shampoo our kids’ hair, dead skin cells, which should have gotten rinsed, stay back due to improper washing of the head. This causes accumulation of dead skin on the scalp, leading to dandruff.
Malnutrition in kids is the most common reason for dandruff. Kids prefer to eat more unhealthy snacks or junk food rather than a fully nutritious diet, leading to scalp itching or dandruff.
3. 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.
It is a yeast-like fungus, which, when grows 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.
5. 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 easily, but dandruff is a milder form of this condition in children, with less serious implications.
Dandruff Signs and Symptoms in Children
The signs and symptoms of dandruff in children include –
- Visible dry white flakes on your child’s scalp or outfit.
- Presence of oily flakes on the scalp.
- Continuous itching of the scalp area.
- Red patches on the scalp either caused due to itching or excessive dandruff.
Can Dandruff Harm the 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 skincare specialist for effective relief.
Dandruff Treatment for Kids
Tested and tried dandruff treatments for kids include-
1. Using 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 skincare specialist who will recommend an effective medicated shampoo based on your kid’s situation.
2. Staying Hydrated
Tell your kids to drink as much water they can. If they do not drink by themselves, give them water or juice in measured quantities to meet the daily need regularly. Keeping them hydrated can definitely reduce dandruff.
3. Brushing Before Shampooing
Brush your kids’ hair properly before rinsing them with the medicated shampoo. Brushing will help eliminate the flakes to some extent, which in turn, will help better cleaning of the scalp after shampooing.
4. Using Separate Combs and Towels
Maintain separate combs and towels for your kids as germs on common towels and combs may lead to more dandruff issues.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 to kids’ hair as it may lead to dandruff or other hair related issues.
8. 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 every day, however, is not recommended.
Home Remedies for Dandruff in Children
Home remedies for treating dandruff in kids include –
1. 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.
2. Tree Oil
Tree oil has anti-fungal properties, which help 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 helps to keep your scalp moist and soft. Apply curd on the scalp and keep it for half an hour before washing it off.
Lemon contains Vitamin C that helps in treating scalp issues such as dandruff. Apply lemon juice with a cotton ball, and keep it for half an hour before washing.
Neem is also effective in treating dandruff. Mix coconut oil with neem juice and massage properly on the scalp.
6. 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.
7. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is a cooling agent which contains anti-fungal properties. Extract aloe vera gel directly from the plant and apply it on the scalp before shampooing.
Eggs also help to keep the scalp moist. Just beat an egg and apply it on the scalp, before shampooing.
9. 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.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut contains anti-fungal properties and also acts as a good scalp moisturiser. Apply coconut oil directly on the scalp, and keep it for a while before shampooing.
11. White Vinegar
White vinegar is one of the best solutions to the dandruff issue. It avoids fungal growth and also helps provide relief from itching. Mix white vinegar with water to wash your kids’ hair.
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.
Take an ample amount of butter and rub it on hair. Keep the butter for one hour. Then wash it off with plain water. It dissolves dandruff and eliminates most of the flakiness.
14. Amla/Indian Gooseberry
When to Consult a Doctor?
In case your kids’ scalp starts to show redness or blood clots, due to excessive itching and dandruff, it becomes important to seek immediate medical 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 in your child. With a little bit of hygiene and care, dandruff can be treated to promote a healthy scalp and healthy hair.
Also Read: Home Remedies for Head Lice in Kids