Today is June 10, 2021

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 10, 2021

Shampoo Week

Natural ways to fight dandruff

Dandruff is a skin condition of the scalp that is relatively easy to spot. Telltale flakes can be seen on shoulders, and are especially noticeable on dark clothing.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Dandruff can be embarrassing and sufferers may try various methods to alleviate the symptoms. While relatively harmless, dandruff can cause itching and irritation. The Mayo Clinic says the condition may worsen during the fall and winter when indoor heating can dry out the skin. Leading causes of dandruff include irritated, oily skin that forms flaky white or yellow scales. Failing to shampoo enough may contribute to the buildup of oils and skin cells, which also can cause dandruff. A yeast-like fungus known as malassezia lives on the scalps of many adults, and when it is overproduced, can cause more skin cells to grow, resulting in dandruff. Dry skin and skin sensitivity also may contribute to dandruff.

Dandruff typically does not require the care of a doctor. Many over-the-counter shampoos and products designed to alleviate flaking are readily available. Many dandruff products contain coal tar to lessen symptoms, offers the American Academy of Dermatology.

People who suspect they have dandruff should speak with a doctor just to rule out dandruff as a symptom of something more serious. After such discussions, those concerned about over-the-counter treatments may want to try these natural remedies.

· Lemon juice: Massage two tablespoons of lemon juice into the scalp and rinse with water.

· Apple cider vinegar: Mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup water in a spray bottle. Spritz on the scalp and wrap your head with a towel. Allow to penetrate for up to an hour before washing hair as usual.

· Tea tree oil: Add some tea tree oil to a favorite shampoo and wash normally.

· Aspirin: Crush two aspirins into a fine powder and add it to your shampoo. Leave the mixture on for one to two minutes and rinse well.

· Olive oil or coconut oil: These oils can be massaged into the scalp and left to sit. Shampoo normally afterward. Shampoos that contain coconut oil or olive oil can be used as well.


National Body Piercing Week

How to care for new piercings

Piercings remain popular style statements. Piercings continue to evolve, as do the locations on the face and body where they can be found. Therefore, how people care for them naturally has changed as well.

Body jewelry can be beautiful and make a statement, but piercings require aftercare and a certain level of responsibility. Those preparing to get new piercings can work with their doctors to develop the best aftercare plan.

Research your piercing place

There are no federal regulations governing body piercing. In some areas, only certification is required. Customers want to ensure they’re getting their piercings from reputable piercing professionals by getting recommendations and investigating complaints, if any.

Bacteria is the enemy

Bacteria can be introduced into the piercing location and infect it. As a result, it’s important to avoid getting a piercing if there is a skin infection on the body, especially if it is in the area where the piercing will occur. Similarly, one should avoid touching piercing repeatedly after the hole has been created. Bacteria and other germs on hands can infect the fresh wound.

Ask for a needle

According to professional piercing artist J. Colby Smith, who has worked on many models and celebrities, piercing guns may not be the best piercing tools. It is hard to manage the sterilization of a tool with plastic parts, and guns also force earrings through with pressure that can cause unnecessary damage to tissue. Needles make very small incisions and afford the piercer greater control.

Clean daily

Many piercings need to be cleaned once daily during the healing period. This can be anywhere from two to 10 months, depending on the piercing location. Ear cartilage takes longer to heal than ear lobes.

Professionals vary in their advice on which materials to use for cleaning. The company Piercology recommends a product called PurSan. Some say soap and water is effective, while others recommend diluted saline solutions. Do not “overclean,” or it can compromise healing.

Dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Howe says to avoid harsh cleaning solutions, such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, because they can kill new epithelial cells moving into the wound and slow healing. Such solutions also may dry out surrounding skin.

To turn or not to turn

Again, advice varies on turning the piercing. Some professionals say to leave it alone, while others advise turning the earring when cleaning it – and only when it is wet. The idea is not to disturb the scabbing and avoid irritating the wound as much as possible.

Let it be

With the excitement of a new piercing, one may be tempted to switch jewelry prematurely. Leave well enough alone and do not change the stud or loop until advised by the piercing professional. Try to use high-quality jewelry for as long as possible afterward to reduce irritation.

Piercings require considerable aftercare to avoid infection or other problems.