Dandruff is more common than you may think, as most of us have had it at some point in our life. Dandruff is the result of the overproduction of dead skin. But it can also be caused by numerous other factors. If the skin on your body or face becomes scaly or itchy, your first instinct is probably to reach for a moisturizer. When your scalp is flaky, though, it’s usually the result of too much oil rather than too little. So what are the more common dandruff causes? And what are the available dandruff treatments out there?
No one wants to be embarrassed by those white flakes of dandruff that land on their beautiful black clothes. But it happens because it almost seems like an unsolvable mystery about how to find dandruff treatments. Dandruff is a skin disorder affecting 50 percent of the world population. Experts say that dandruff is the shedding of excessive amounts of dead skin flakes from the scalp. There also may be a bit of itching, but typically no redness or scabbing. Luckily, dandruff isn’t contagious or serious. But it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat.
This skin disorder usually gets worse during the fall and winter because of the dry air. While improving in the summer. It is caused by build-up of dead skin and in many more severe cases, a yeast-like organism aggravates it. While this germ is normally present on everyone’s scalp, it can produce some irritation if it grows heavily. The real cause for dandruff formation from the normal physiological spectrum of scaling is yet to be understood. But it is a common scalp disorder affecting almost half of the world.
Though it may seem contrary to popular belief, dandruff is improved when shampooing more often. It also gets worse when stressed or anxious and since dandruff is a natural process, it cannot be eliminated, but most often it can be controlled. Mild cases of dandruff may need nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser. But more-stubborn cases of dandruff often respond to medicated shampoos.
Dandruff can have several causes, including:
Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis)
This condition is one of the most frequent causes of dandruff in most people. Seborrheic dermatitis may
affect your scalp and other areas rich in oil glands, such as the eyebrows, the sides of the nose and the backs of the ears.
Not enough hair brushing
People who do not comb or brush their hair regularly have a slightly higher risk of having dandruff. This is because they are not aiding the shedding of skin that combing or brushing provides.
Not shampooing often enough
Some people say that if you don’t shampoo enough there can be a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, causing dandruff. However, many experts doubt this is true.
One of the common dandruff causes is Malassezia which lives on the scalps of most adults. But, for some, it irritates the scalp and can cause more skin cells to grow. In this case a person should seek dandruff treatments after treating the yeast condition.
People with dry skin tend to get dandruff more often. Winter cold air, combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin. Furthermore, flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff. However, redness or inflammation is unlikely to appear.
Certain skin conditions
People with psoriasis, eczema and some other skin disorders tend to get dandruff much more frequently than other people.
Sensitivity to hair care products
Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp.
Dandruff can almost always be controlled, but dandruff treatment may take some trial and error. In general, daily cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oiliness and skin cell buildup can often help mild dandruff. When regular shampoos fail, dandruff shampoos you can buy at a drugstore may succeed. But dandruff shampoos aren’t all alike, and you may need to experiment until you find one that works for you. Dandruff treatments usually contain the following shampoos:
- Pyrithione zinc shampoos such as Head & Shoulders
- Tar-based shampoos such as Neutrogena T/Gel
- Shampoos containing salicylic acid such as Neutrogena T/Sal
- Selenium sulfide shampoos such as Selsun Blue
- Ketoconazole shampoos such as Nizoral
Try using one of these shampoos every other day until you control your dandruff. If one type of shampoo works for a time and then seems to lose its effectiveness, try alternating between two types of dandruff shampoos.