A normal human has about 80,000-150,000 hair on the scalp.
The most common hair and scalp problems are HAIR LOSS and DANDRUFF.
A daily loss of 50-200 hair is a normal process.
Causes of hair loss-
- Metabolic disorders like diabetes, thyroid disorders, crash diets.
- Hormonal changes in pregnancy
- Cancer chemotherapy
- Excessive intake of vitamin A
- Deficiency of iron, proteins or zinc.
- Harsh hair treatments like perming, curling or straightening.
Hair loss treatment-
- Hair loss due to stress is generally temporary and a reversible condition when the stress is relieved.
- Hair loss due to crash diets also re grows once the nutrition is improved.
- Corticosteroid injections may be used in some cases, where the hair loss is in patches.
- Topical medicine for hair loss- minoxidil
- Oral medication- finastride
Dandruff i.e. excessive scaling of the scalp affects about 50% of the population.
Causes of dandruff-
- Chronic or recurrent skin disorder, like seborrheic dermatitis
- Fungal infection by Pytyrosporum ovale- This is the most common cause. The fungus, Pytyrosporum ovale is naturally found on the scalp. But some people may be more affected than others. It feeds on the natural oils of the scalp skin. It causes irritation and shedding of dead skin.
Treatment of dandruff-
Mild dandruff can be controlled by shampooing daily until the dandruff is under control. Once the dandruff decreases shampooing can be done twice a week.
Anti-dandruff shampoos generally contain pyrithione, tar or selenium sulfide. All these act as exfoliants. These exfoliants hasten the shedding of the dead cell layer of the scalp.
If these shampoos do not help then anti-dandruff shampoos containing anti-fungal medications like ketaconazole are used.