During pregnancy, a lot of unexpected changes occur. While some women report thicker, longer, and healthier-looking tresses, others face an itchy, irritating, and all-too-common situation: pregnancy dandruff.
Prenatal dandruff is characterized by persistent flaking of the scalp, accompanied by itching. Pityriasis Simplex Capillitii, as it’s scientifically known, causes more than simple superficial concerns. Dandruff can cause real discomfort throughout the pregnancy and the severity of itching and flakiness varies from one person to another.
It’s not uncommon to make a self-diagnosis for dandruff. Sometimes, however, dandruff is mistaken for one of the following, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The terms dry scalp and dandruff often go hand in hand due to the similarities in symptoms. However, the treatment options for the two are different. Your gynecologist may refer you to a dermatologist, should symptoms persist.
There are multiple causes for worsening dandruff symptoms during pregnancy. In most cases, expecting mothers who suffer from Pityriasis Simplex Capillitii take a trial-and-error approach to figuring out the triggers, which include but aren’t limited to:
Now that we’ve explored the most common triggers of pregnancy dandruff, here are a few tips for improving its symptoms:
According to the popular pregnancy book, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, sugary foods are common triggers for dandruff. Moms-to-be, therefore, should try foods that are rich in healthy fats instead. A few examples include avocado and nuts.
Some pregnant women get dandruff due to excessive hair washing which causes dryness. Others go days between each wash, resulting in an oily scalp. Finding the perfect balance is no easy feat. If you’re a mom-to-be with dandruff, you may find that experimenting with your shampoo routine will help.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for both first-time and veteran moms. However, stress, worry, and anxiety often go with the territory. To reduce stress and subsequently dandruff, consider enrolling in prenatal yoga or try a few meditation techniques at home. There are a plethora of online resources to reference – however it’s always best to do a quick check with your doctor before beginning.
Tips for reducing pregnancy dandruff at home
Some pregnant women swear by using natural products to effectively treat dandruff. The most popular include tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera. For best results, choose one natural remedy at a time, and rub gently into the scalp at least once or twice per day. Wait 7-10 days to see if your dandruff symptoms improve.
The standard recommendation for pregnancy dandruff is getting an over-the-counter shampoo containing 2% ketoconazole.
If your symptoms persist or worsen even after trying homemade or over-the-counter treatments for pregnancy dandruff, the next best solution is to visit your gynecologist.
Your medical provider should be able to provide a safe prescription to reduce unbearable itching and excessive flaking. Most prescription medicines for pregnancy dandruff are topical, meaning they’re applied externally on the scalp.
When it comes to dandruff during pregnancy, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Go over suspected triggers with a fine-tooth comb and try the possible solutions described in this article.
There is no definitive cure for dandruff, a persistent and lifelong skin disorder. With well-documented techniques, however, it’s possible to keep your symptoms under control.