Dandruff During Pregnancy and How to Manage It

What is Dandruff?

You probably have noticed white flakes speckling your best outfit as you prepare to leave for work, or maybe desperately trying not to scratch your scalp in public places. Yes, you have dandruff!

​Dandruff is a skin condition of the scalp which causes itchiness and flaking of the skin. The condition as embarrassing as it might be is not due to poor hygiene. A proper understanding of the human skin will shed more light on this condition and relieve some of your concerns.

​As new skin cells are produced, the dead skin cells are shed to make room for the new ones. This shedding process is natural and continues throughout life.

​However, there are instances where the process occurs rapidly especially in the scalp resulting in white flakes-- Dandruff. The white flakes are the so-called dead skin cells.

​What causes dandruff in Pregnancy?

The condition, which involves the excessive growth of skin cells, could be caused by a number of factors. Many of which are not specific to pregnancy.

In pregnancy-related dandruff, the main culprit is hormonal changes which are further discussed below.

  • Your skin produces more oil: Hormonal changes during pregnancy is but normal, and can have a significant effect on your skin. Excessive oil production could happen, which could cause a rapid build-up of dead skin cells and thus could lead to flakiness on the scalp.
  • Heightened Sensitivity: Normal microorganisms are always present on the skin. During pregnancy, your body is unusually sensitive and these fungi or bacteria which were previously hosted by the skin are now seen as aliens and a reaction is evoked by the now sensitive body to get rid of the pesky visitors. This overreaction induces itching and flaking on the scalp.
  • Sensitivity to hair care products: The hair care products you normally use could be a contributing factor to dandruff in pregnancy. As said earlier, your pregnant body is more sensitive and your conditioner, shampoos and other products could trigger a defensive response from the skin causing abnormal shedding of skin cells. The products are not necessarily harsh, it is just that your scalp reacted differently in your present condition. Switching things up a bit like using a sulfate-free dandruff shampoo can help. You can check a comprehensive list and reviews of these shampoos at The Hair Central.

​How Can You Manage Dandruff In Pregnancy?

Thankfully, this condition is manageable. Here are a few health tips to prevent dandruff from happening.

  • Managing stress: Pregnancy comes with a lot of stressors that could trigger changes in your metabolism and skin condition. Reducing stress will generally improve your skin's health.
  • Eating a diet rich in zinc and B vitamins: Zinc and B vitamins are necessary for maintaining optimal metabolism, can help improve your immunity and aid in the regeneration of skin cells. Egg yolk, cauliflower, mushrooms, and bananas are excellent sources of B vitamins.
  • Treatment with Dandruff Shampoo: washing your hair regularly with an anti-dandruff shampoo is effective in treating dandruff problem. These shampoos for dry scalp contain at least one of the following active ingredients:
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    Ketoconazole is a broad spectrum synthetic antifungal which is quite effective in combating dandruff.
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    Selenium sulfide is used as an anti-infective agent on the hair and skin to control the growth of fungus, bacteria, and yeast.
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    Zinc pyrithione has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
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    Coal tar helps soften the keratin in your hair and makes it easier to eliminate dead skin cells.
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    Salicylic acid can effectively break down flaky scalp build-up.

​REMEBER: It is always best to check with your doctor before using these shampoos for safety.

​Opting For Natural Ingredients?

​There are also a number of shampoos made from natural ingredients that you can use in the treatment of dandruff. These are the following:

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    Tea-tree oil
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    Sea Salt
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    Apple Cider Vinegar
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    Aloe Vera
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    Coconut Oil


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    Daily hair washing with these natural anti-dandruff containing shampoos is recommended.
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    For better results, some of these products should be rubbed into the scalp and be allowed to stay in the hair for some time before being washed off.
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    You can always switch back to your regular shampoo once the dandruff is cleared.
Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via kristicathey.intelligentmother@gmail.com. Welcome to Intelligentmother.com

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