DR. NATASHA TURNER ND'S BLOG

Acute Case of Dandruff

Posted March 20, 2012

Q: My husband has an acute case of dandruff. Now, it has been a year or so that the dandruff has become severe. Before then, it was not so severe. He has tried professional hair products, but the dandruff still persists. Can you suggest any products or treatments because he is really embarrassed by this problem?

A: Dandruff is a troublesome, often embarrassing, problem. Dandruff is a natural process caused by the turnover of skin cells on the scalp. It becomes more of an issue when this process speeds up, resulting in flakes on our collars and combs.

Your husband may want to visit a dermatologist to have his condition properly diagnosed. It could be a result of seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal infection, eczema, psoriasis or just a severe case of dandruff. I, of course, cannot make a diagnosis, but determining the exact problem will allow for the best treatment plan.

Natural anti-fungal compounds such as tea tree oil should be included in his course of treatment if the diagnosis is seborrheic dermatitis. In the meantime, these simple recommendations for treating the dandruff, no matter how it is caused, may help:

Zinc citrate: Deficiencies of zinc (the typical dose is 25 to 50 mg per day) can cause this type of problem, as can a deficiency of biotin (usual dose of 1000 mcg per day). Vitamin C: 1 to 2 grams per day is great for tissue healing and repair, as is vitamin E taken daily. Vitamin E is moisturizing. Zinc and vitamin A are very important for oil regulation in the skin and are also useful in the treatment and prevention of acne.

Fish oil concentrate: EPA/DHA oils are very useful for all types of skin conditions. Two-four capsules a day of a pharmaceutical-strength product such as Clear Omega can easily meet your needs.

Diet: Consider a gluten-free and dairy-free diet for one month if the diagnosis is eczema, seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis. Many, if not all, of these conditions respond to elimination diets and are often related to food allergies. Check out The Hormone Diet for recipe ideas. Good luck!

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