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Dandruff is a harmless disease of the skin/scalp, wherein a thin mica like scaling, which aggravates on scratching, occurs along with acute burning and itching sensation. Papules are rough and itching having no discharge. Though this condition may occur at any age, it is very common among the young.


The actual cause of dandruff is not clear, but some doctors believe it is the result of either too much or too little oil being produced by sebaceous glands in the scalp.

Sometimes there is an underlying fungal infection of the scalp. Dandruff appears when the skin on the scalp sheds its dead cells rather more quickly and profusely than usual. It is usually worst on greasy skins.

Signs & Symptoms

Dry white scales are shed on the clothes. Occasionally, dandruff can develop into a more severe seborrhoeic dermatitis, the signs of which are a reddened, greasy and very itchy scalp with brownish scales in the hair.

Herbal Medicines

  1. Clean the hair 2 or 3 times a week with a mildly medicated shampoo.
  2. The emulsion prepared with the oil of sandalwood and lemon juice is highly effective. One part of sandalwood oil is mixed with three parts of fresh lemon juice and briskly shaken in a glass bottle before applying.
  3. Application of a mixture of neem oil and camphor is also effective, followed by washing the hair.
  4. Some internal medicines for blood purification and relieving itching sensation may be used as and when required.
  5. About 25gm of dry amla is soaked in a litre of water overnight. It is boiled in the morning until half of it remains. To this 25gm of yoghurt is added and the paste applied on the scalp. After one hour the paste is washed first with amla water and then plain water. This procedure should be repeated every week for 2 to 3 months.
  6. Decoction of bark of a neem tree is also useful for external application.
  7. Coconut oil mixed with lemon juice is very effective for external usage.

Ayurvedic Remedies

Popular Ayurvedic safe drugs indicated for dandruff are:

  1. Brihat Haridra Khanda available in powder form can be taken in a dose of 1 ½ teaspoonful well mixed in a glass of milk twice a day. This powder not only cures the dandruff but also improves the complexion and colour.
  2. Blood purifying oral liquids are Khadirarista and Saribadyasavam. Any one of them or both together can be taken internally twice a day preferably after meals. Dose is 20ml medicine well mixed in 20ml of water.
  3. Bhringaraj Tailam applied externally and Bhringaraj churna (½ teaspoonful twice daily) taken internally cure dandruff within a month.
  4. Septilin tablets (Himalaya Drugs) in the dose of one tablet twice daily can be taken if there is any infection of the scalp. This medicine should not be used by pregnant women.
  5. Purified powder of sulphur (Gandhak Rasayana) 60mg twice daily mixed with honey or butter can be taken by mouth for fungal infection and dandruff of long duration.
Do's & Don'ts
  1. Dandruff is the most common cause of hair fall.
  2. Hygiene and cleanliness of combs is essential as reinfection is common.
  3. Do not wash hair too often.
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