Dandruff is common both in adults and children, but as per the experts and researchers, the chances of occurrence of dandruff increase many fold at the age of puberty. This problem thrives during the time when the person is in adulthood and shows sign of declining as one grows older.
The cells of the skin by the natural process continue to change with the upper layer shedding to give room for new cells. Similarly skin cells on the scalp are shedding. In normal cases, the process of shedding of skin cells is not visible to the human eye but when there is excessive shedding, most likely due to fungal action, the process becomes visible with the human eye and you can notice gray flakes appearing on the scalp of the child. In many cases they do fall off from the head of the child.
Though dandruff is not contagious and cannot spread from mother to child but care should be taken that in case the mother has dandruff, the flakes should not fall on the head of the child. Sometimes dandruff could cause itching on the scalp of the child and the child may scratch and convert it into wounds. If the child scratches her head you should also check her head for lice infestation.
Improper hygiene could be the main cause of dandruff in kids. In case the child is washing her head on her own, there could be chances that the shampoo does not get washed away and flakes of dried shampoo may stick to her scalp. This could be mistaken for dandruff. Before going in for treatment, properly observe the head of the child. In certain cases the dandruff may also be caused by some other skin infection like eczema. In case of swollen glands and fall of hair at a particular spot, the child may be infested with ringworms.
Home Remedies & Treatment
In case you find that the child has dandruff, you can start with brushing her hair both before and after shampoo. Use mild shampoo and wash hair daily, this will help remove excess flakes. If this simple process does not work, you can buy some medicated shampoo containing salicylic acid and ask the child to properly wash hair twice a week using medicated shampoo. During the time the child has dandruff, avoid application of oily or greasy conditioners. Also avoid styling of hair using certain sprays or hair setting agents. These will make the conditions worse.
While washing the hair never use very hot water. Use warm water only. Excessively hot water tends to destroy hair follicles and also causes injury or excessive dryness to scalp skin. You may need to change the shampoo your child uses and select one which helps eradicate dandruff. Before the child washes her hair or starts using the shampoo on her own, ensure that she reads the instructions printed on the bottle of shampoo and understands the procedure to be followed by her for washing the hair. Explain to her once or more times as to how she should take shampoo on her palm and massage it on the scalp for two minutes.
In case of excessive scratching of head by the child, it will be better to visit your doctor once. He is an expert and can make a better judgement of the problem faced by the child. He can advise you about the shampoo to be used in a particular case and other preventive measures necessary. Healthy food will play an active role in treatment of dandruff in case of children. They should be taught about the good effects of healthy food and ill effects of fast food and junk food. Exercise is necessary for people of all ages, encourage the child to play outdoor games and run around in a park. All these steps taken will help eradicate dandruff.