THE INTERNET can often be a problem-solver when it comes to DIY beauty remedies, with tried and tested beauty hacks solving everything from irritated skin to patchy fake tan and even dry scalps.
However, one social media trend has seen women trying to treat dandruff with thrush cream and experts are now warning against the method – insisting it can cause headaches and irritation.
People are turning to social media for hacks to help tackle bad dandruffCredit: Getty
According to research carried out by Tangle Teezer, 47 per cent of Brits have said their hair health has taken a hit during lockdown, with a quarter of people now suffering from dandruff.
In a bid to find a way to treat their flaky scalps, people are turning to hair routines they’ve spotted on social media – and, naturally, many haven’t gone to plan.
One unusual method to treat dandruff is to use Canesten Duo, which is used to target thrush, on the affected area of the scalp.
People think it can help to reduce dandruff-causing fungus on the head, but hair specialist Stephanie Sey insists this is not the case.
Experts have advised against using thrush cream to treat dandruffCredit: Getty
Urging people to avoid smothering thrush treatments on their head, she said: “Canesten Duo wasn’t designed to treat fungus or yeast on the scalp, and could lead to headaches or irritate the skin on the scalp.
“It’s best to stick to using thrush creams for their intended purpose. And adopt a regular scalp care regime which focuses on removing dirt, sweat, excess product and environmental pollutants, without aggressively stripping your head of much-needed nutrients or harmless fungus.”
Sun Doctor Carol Cooper agrees and explained why using thrush cream won’t be effective, telling Fabulous: ‘Thrush cream like clotrimazole doesn’t have the cleansing effect that is so helpful for many cases of dandruff.
“Even if some people find thrush cream helps, it’s far too messy and sticky to use on the scalp, and it needs to be washed off. Why not just use a good anti-dandruff shampoo in the first place and save time into the bargain?”
Safe and natural remedies to treat dandruff
While over-the-counter shampoos and treatments are available to tackle dandruff, there are also natural remedies that are considered just as safe and effective to use, according to Healthline
- Tea Tree Oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is effective at treating specific strains of fungus causing dandruff
- Coconut Oil can help hydrate the skin and prevent dryness of the scalp
- Aloe Vera has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and can help to control fungal infections, like dandruff, on the scalp
- Omega-3 is vital to skin health and can manage oil production and hydration
- Probiotics help the body’s immune system and can help to tackle fungal infections that cause dandruff
- Baking Soda has anti-fungal properties and can act as an exfoliant and prevent itchiness – apply to wet hair and massage into scalp before shampooing hair as normal
Dr Cooper recommends shampoos with “specific anti-yeast activity”, adding: “There are well known products out there, and for more resistant dandruff there are also over-the-counter products like Nizoral shampoo.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patientaccess.com, meanwhile, stressed that medical treatments should never be used in any way other than they are supposed to be.
“I never recommend that people use medical treatments in any way than they were intended – and this includes thrush cream, which contains anti-fungal medication,” Dr Jarvis told Fabulous.
Experts stress that medications should only be used for their intended use and not otherwiseCredit: Getty
“Medications have only been tested for the problem they’re licensed for. They may not be effective, and could cause nasty side effects, if they’re not used in the recommended way.”
Instead, she too recommends Nizoral or Ketoconazole shampoos for targeting dandruff.
“There are several causes of dandruff but one of them, a condition called seborrhoeic dermatitis, can cause severe dandruff. Although the cause isn’t clear, it’s thought that a different kind of yeast germ to the one that causes vaginal thrush may play a role,” Dr Jarvis explained.
“That’s why treatment with a shampoo called Nizoral or ketoconazole is often effective. This is available without prescription from your pharmacist, so there’s no need to opt for unlicensed alternatives.”
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