Acupuncture, Nutraceutical Supplementation and Botanical Medicine for Dandruff ReliefWhether it’s a few flakes or a chronic problem, dandruff can be an embarrassing condition. It also may be a way your body is trying to alert you to anything from an subpar diet to a scalp condition that just might get serious unless you do something about it.

Acupuncture, nutraceutical supplementation and botanical medicine for dandruff relief may be a good three pronged approach to this condition. Rather than run for the first over-the-counter remedy you can find, using naturopathic medicine remedies may have lasting effects.

The Furfur

Malassezia furfur is the most popular form of dandruff which is a tongue twister of a name for yeast growth. When Malassezia occurs it is called seborrheic dermatitis which mostly presents on the scalp in the form of dandruff but can also show on the face, back of the neck, armpits, groin and bellybutton.

Seborrheic means excess discharge of sebum from the sebaceous glands which is another way of saying excessive oil coming out of your pores. Malassezia is believed to be linked to other skin disorders such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and neonatal cephalic pustulosis however studies are still in progress to determine this.

Why Dandruff?

It is estimated that 1 out of 5 people have some degree of dandruff and that it is most common in men. Causes are unknown but some believe dandruff may be the result of:

  • Lack of hair brushing – This helps shed old skin cells giving new cells a chance to thrive
  • Yeast growth – Such as Malassezia furfur
  • Weather – Many people suffer with dandruff during the winter months due to experiencing continued exposure to cold air and overheated rooms in some regions. This can easily dry the skin, particularly on the scalp
  • Not enough shampoo – Cleansing the scalp daily is essential for clearing old skin cells. Note: Too much shampooing can also dry the scalp. Know how your skin reacts and adjust accordingly. Also, choose your hair products carefully as some can contain ingredients that make your hair look nice but end up drying your scalp
  • Illness – Those suffering from specific diseases such as Parkinson’s or HIV could develop dandruff
  • Diet – Not enough vitamins and minerals such as B’s and zinc could result in dandruff
  • Stress – The ever ominous cause of so many ailments.

Enhance Qi and De-flake

Acupuncture that is performed with a Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) approach offers a way to see dandruff through a different lens. Rather than try to remedy this condition as something that should be fixed at the symptom site, CCM looks deeper. It sees dandruff as being an issue with the liver and the blood creating what’s known as a liver-blood deficiency.

Overall, not enough blood is reaching the scalp as a result of stuck Qi (chee), our life energy force. When this energy gets stuck, conditions and/or diseases are believed to develop.
Specific acupuncture points nourish the blood. By doing so, the stuck or stagnant qi that may be contributing to dandruff could be put back into healthy circulation.

Other diagnoses could be too much heat or dampness in the system. A trained acupuncturist will treat dandruff by determining which may be the more prominent cause and address it accordingly.

Head-off Points

Getting dandruff under control may require specific points to activate qi movement. There is the Magnificent Six which are a group of points on the back (bilaterally) known as Bladder (Bl) 17/18/20. Near the knee are six more points known as the Sea of Blood which is made up of Urinary Bladder (UB) 11, Stomach (ST) 37 and 39.

Nourish Your Pate

Your pate is your scalp and what better way to keep it healthy than to make sure you are feeding it the right nutrition. Basically, this applies to all skin health and many people do not realize the importance of essential nutraceutical supplements needed to maintain such. A naturopathic doctor could devise a supplemental protocol that may be able to address various types of dandruff.

Some nutraceutical supplements for dandruff may include:

  • Vitamin A – Helps create sebum or skin oil
  • B-complex – Helps encourage new cell growth and enhances circulation
  • Vitamin C – Boosts the immune system which can result in dandruff when weak
  • Vitamin E – Boosts circulation and encourages healing
  • Others – Omega 3 & 6, iron, copper, zinc and selenium can all be checked do determine if there may be a need to increase them for a healthier scalp

Go Botanical

Botanical medicine is the basis for many pharmaceutical formulas. When it comes to dandruff, killing bacteria and yeast growth can often be done through botanical applications. It is not recommended to try botanical medicine alone but rather under the guidance of a professional naturopathic doctor.

Botanical dandruff remedies that may be used are: Fenugreek seeds, honey, coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera gel, and apple cider vinegar.

Two Studies for a Botanical Approach

The Mayo Clinic sites tea tree oil as a potential dandruff reducer stating that,

“One alternative therapy that has been shown to reduce dandruff in small studies is daily shampooing with tea tree oil…Tea tree oil, which comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree, has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal agent. It’s now included in a number of shampoos…”

Published in the European Journal for Medical Research, a study of the “potential use of topical application of crude honey in the management of seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff ” by the Dubai Specialized Medical Centre and Medical Research Labs, Saudi Arabia, stated that,

“All the patients responded markedly with application of honey. Itching was relieved and scaling was disappeared within one week. Skin lesions were healed and disappeared completely within 2 weeks. Patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss. None of the patients treated with honey showed relapse. It might be concluded that crude honey could markedly improve seborrheic dermatitis and associated hair loss and prevent relapse when applied weekly.”

Acupuncture, nutraceutical supplementation and botanical medicine for dandruff relief could be helpful for that occasional dry scalp or a life-saver if you are a chronic sufferer. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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