Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned.
Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31.
The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
The best way to wash your hair is to pour shampoo about the size of a NT$10 coin on the palm of the hand, rub it with a little warm water to create foam, and gently rub it on the scalp with your fingertips, and rinse with warm water, she said.
When using conditioners or other products, it is important to avoid direct scalp contact by applying them more than 3cm away from the roots of your hair, otherwise they can cause extra oil production, she said.
Many people put their helmets on wet hair, causing the scalp to get stuffy and become a hotbed of bacteria and mold, she said, adding that a helmet should only be put on fully dry hair.
People with scalp inflammation should refrain from using hair spray or other styling products, and those with overly active sebaceous glands can wash their hair more than once a day, she said.
Some oral medications, such as isotretinoin, can treat excessive oil production, but the fundamental treatment is keeping a healthy lifestyle, because such problems are likely to reoccur once patients discontinue their medication, she said.
Riders should choose a helmet that has a removable and washable inner lining, and clean it with laundry detergent at least once a week, she said.
Putting tissue or a piece cloth on the inner edge of a helmet can also improve scalp health, she said.
People with scalp disorders should have sufficient sleep and a regular lifestyle, and avoid greasy food, spices and alcoholic beverages, she said.
People with serious scalp conditions can use medicinal shampoo about two or three times a week, based on their doctor’s instructions, she said, adding that if the conditions are mild, normal or anti-dandruff shampoo will do.
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