Dandruff, a condition that involves the shedding of dead skin cells in oily parts of the body, is often treated on the scalp with dandruff shampoo. The question that lingers in many consumers' minds however is, does this treatment option really work, and if it does, can it work for me?
First of all, it is important to know what causes dandruff and what you can do to avoid getting dandruff in the first place. It's also important to know what makes it worse if you already have it.
Dandruff Causes and Triggers
First, it is important to understand what causes dandruff and what outside factors can make it worse. The causes of dandruff are often simple, but many people don't always understand them. When you fail to understand the cause of the condition, it is hard to figure out what you can do to help treat it.
Dandruff can be caused by over usage of gels, hairsprays and sometimes even coloring treatments that can cause scalp dryness. Moisturizing shampoos can be used to help keep the scalp from drying out.
In contrast, oily skin can also contribute to dandruff. Some of these oils found on the scalp can be decreased by trying to keep your hands out of your hair because these oils are often transferred from your hands to your head and cause more frequent and larger flaking. It is also important to understand that when these oils form on your head, a fungus may also be present that must be killed in order to reduce the affects of dandruff.
Dandruff Shampoo Effectiveness
The best treatment for most people is a dandruff shampoo; however, some dandruff shampoos seem to work better than others. Most of the dandruff shampoos that work for people contain the agent Selenium sulfide, which kills the fungus that causes these cells to form, removes the dead cells and decreases the rate at which they are produced.
The most important ingredient to look for in a dandruff shampoo, however, is Zinc Pyrithione. This ingredient will kill the fungus that causes the flakes to occur, thereby helping to treat dandruff. So, to answer the simple question, does dandruff shampoo really work, the answer is yes, it does; as long as you find one with the right ingredients that will both remove the flakes and kill the fungus that causes them.
External dandruff flakes may look as though they are disappearing with multiple uses of any shampoo, because the flakes are being washed away each time. However, unless you have a shampoo with the key ingredient listed above, the chances that the dandruff is actually being fixed, and your scalp is being freed from the fungus, is actually very minimal. Most likely, you are instead just removing the flakes each time you shower.
Also, if your dandruff is worse than normal and the over-the-counter shampoos are not working to treat your condition, you may want to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about prescription shampoos that are available. These shampoos have higher concentrations of the ingredients and medications that treat dandruff and can help even the worse cases.