Does your child complain about an itching sensation on scalp? Does your son often scratch his hair? Does your daughter suffer from hair fall at such a small age? Do they refuse to socialize and seem quiet all of a sudden?
If your answer is a yes to all or any one of the above questions, it might be dandruff in children’s hair. No matter how often you clean your kid’s hair, dandruff can be a nagging problem. Read on to know how to treat dandruff in kids and help regain their confidence.
What Is Dandruff(Seborrheic Dermatitis)?
Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea, in young children is a common skin condition that mainly affects the scalp (1). It causes flaky skin to form on the scalp or any other part of the body that is especially oily. The flakes are white or yellowish in color. Other than the scalp, dandruff also occurs on the eyebrows, ears, eyelids, armpits, groin, neck, crease of the nose and the belly button.
In some cases, dandruff causes redness and itchiness in the affected area. If not treated properly, it can also lead to hair fall.
While it may seem like a stubborn condition, using a mild dandruff shampoo for kids hair can be easily process. If this does not yield better results, consult a pediatrician and he may suggest a medicated shampoo.
[ Read: Scalp Problems In Children ]
What Causes Dandruff In Kids?
Dandruff is not contagious, but it can be embarrassing for your little one. Even the serious cases of dandruff can be ruled out when treated rightly. However, it is essential to learn the causes of dandruff to rule out the serious medical conditions. Some of the known causes include:
A tiny fungus called malassezia can be the reason for dandruff in children. The fungus grows excessively on the scalp but does not cause any problems. It contributes to skin cell division rate that leads to more dead cells and mixes with hair oil to form white flakes. Especially, any form of illness or hormonal changes can trigger the fungus to grow in excess.
Kids suffering from eczema are also prone to dandruff. Eczema is common among young children and in fact, nearly 20% of kids complain of this skin condition. It appears as scaly, dry and cracked skin that is itchy that forms all over the body, including the scalp. Eczema aggravates with your kid’s diet or allergens present in the environment. The itching can lead to an infection if scratched.
3. Overactive Oil Production:
The overactive oil glands present in the scalp also cause kids’ dandruff. This phenomenon happens around the puberty, where the excess hormones alter the oil glands to make more oil. The oil accumulates at the hair follicle base thereby causing the dry flakes to clump. These dry flakes are so big that they are clearly visible on the scalp. Moreover, boys have more noticeable dandruff because they develop excess oils.
4. Contact Dermatitis:
Contact dermatitis develops as a result of sensitivity to hair products that causes dandruff. Shampoos to hair serums, the sensitivity, can be to any hair product. Reactions can be flaking, itching, redness and scaling of the scalp. Repetitive usage of shampoos or hair styling products can cause scalp irritation, leading to dandruff.
Other skin disorders like acne or psoriasis can also lead to a buildup of dead skin on the scalp.
[ Read: Tips To Cure Hair Loss In Children ]
How To Treat Dandruff In Kids Hair:
If your kid is suffering from dandruff, it could often be an embarrassing situation for her. It could cause her social isolation, and she may be low on self-esteem. Dandruff in kids may sometimes also lead to hair loss, causing more stress. If you are wondering how to treat the dandruff in your kid’s hair, here are a few things you can do:
1. Brush Hair Thoroughly Before Wash:
Brush your child’s hair thoroughly before every wash. It will remove all the dead skin flakes and make it easier for the shampoo to work on the scalp.
2. Use A Medicated Shampoo:
Doctors may prescribe a shampoo that contains either salicylic acid or tar. Your kid may need to use this to clean her hair every day, every alternate day or few times a week. The frequency of shampoo will depend on the severity of the dandruff. These ingredients reduce scaling and help the medication work on the scalp.
3. Use Regular Shampoo Alternately:
On days when your kid is not using the medicated shampoo, let her wash her hair using a regular mild shampoo. It will ensure her hair stays clean, and no oil buildup.
4. Say No To Conditioner:
If your kid has been using a conditioner or any other styling product, keep it away for now. Using these products will leave behind a residue, which will further worsen the condition.
Home Remedies For Dandruff In Kids:
Home remedies are excellent in resolving kids dandruff and protect the scalp from itching. Here are 10 easy home remedies to get rid of dandruff.
1. Lemon Juice:
- Lemon is a great exfoliant. Though it will not help in preventing dandruff, it removes the dead skin cells from the scalp. It reduces all the flakes accumulated on the scalp.
- Extract the juice of few lemons and mix with water.
- Massage the diluted acidic juice onto your little one’s scalp.
- Let it remain for a few minutes if it is mild dandruff and for at least 10 minutes if it is severe.
- Wash off the scalp followed by combing the hair.
- Do not use lemon juice frequently as it shows a strong drying effect on the skin. It may also take away the natural oils from the hair making them dry and brittle.
2. Aloe Vera Juice:
- Aloe vera extract is soothing to the scalp and treats dandruff effectively. Sometimes, your kid may scratch his head that could damage his scalp. Aloe vera, therefore, heals wounds and reduces inflammation.
- Peel away the protective layer and extract the gel from the leaf.
- Juice the extract and then apply it to the scalp.
- Let it remain for 10 minutes and then wash off your tot’s hair using lukewarm water.
3. Mayonnaise Or Butter:
- Butter is an effective remedy for dandruff, It moisturizes the hair and offers a lustrous look. It removes most of the dry flakes and is suitable for all kinds of hair.
- Take a right amount of butter and gently rub on your kid’s scalp.
- Rub on the hair shafts also.
- Cover the head with a shower cap and let it remain for one hour.
- Rinse it off using plain water.
- Eggs are another excellent home remedies that reduce dandruff making the scalp and hair healthier.
- Beat one egg and mix it well.
- Apply the mixture to the wet hair and let it remain for some time
- Wash off the hair using cold water followed by hot water.
[ Read: Natural Hair Care Tips For Kids ]
5. Bergamot Essential Oil:
- The Bergamot essential oil has an excellent aroma and offers a brilliant fragrance to your child’s hair. It is effective in reducing dandruff.
- Add few drops of oil in shampoo.
- Use this mixture to wash the hair.
6. Indian Gooseberry Paste:
- Gooseberry plays an effective role in eliminating dandruff. You can use the powder form since fresh berries are difficult to get all the times.
- Prepare a paste of the fruit with water
- Apply onto the scalp
- Leave until it dries and rinse off
- Apple is also a best home remedy for curing dandruff. It contains an enzyme, phenolase that decreases the cell turnover rate. Therefore, the dead skin cells are shed slowly and reduces dandruff accumulation.
- Mash an apple and add two tablespoons of warm water to dilute the paste.
- Apply the mixture to the scalp and massage for some time.
- Let it remain for about 15 minutes and then rinse off the hair.
8. Coconut Oil:
It is the most potent oil with anti-fungal properties. The capric acid content in the oil works as an anti-fungal agent. Regular application of coconut oil helps in treating severe dandruff.
9. Baking Soda:
Baking soda is another most powerful anti-fungal agent. Mix baking powder with enough amount of water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the scalp and leave for some time. Then wash off your kid’s hair properly.
10. Tea Tree Oil:
Mix few drops of tea tree oil in your kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo. Be careful while rinsing the hair since it can harm the eyes. It is useful in curing dandruff.
Though home remedies are the best solutions, you can quick fix the problem more effectively through anti-dandruff shampoos. You can check out the best anti-dandruff shampoos filtered out for your kid.
Dandruff in your kid will usually subside in a few weeks. If you notice any excessive itching or redness, it is time to check again with your kid’s doctor. In some cases, a recurring dandruff condition can be the symptom of some other illness. It is important to ensure timely dandruff treatment for kids.
Dandruff can also be a result of stress. More often than not kids do suffer from stress, so ensure you have a good chat with your kid. Observe your kid’s behavior and see if anything unusual catches your eye. In most cases, cleaning hair regularly will help reduce and treat the dandruff.
Have you tried any of the above home remedies for dandruff in kids? If yes, do tell us if it worked wonders for your kid. If you have any home remedies to treat dandruff problem in kids, do share them here.
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