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About Dandruff

Dandruff

Dandruff

Dandruff is a harmless, chronic condition that happens when the scalp becomes dry or greasy and produces white flakes of dead skin that appear in the hair or on the shoulders.

Dandruff is a situation of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear. It is often accompanied by itching. The accurate cause is unknown, but various factors increase the risk

Dandruff is a situation of the scalp that causes flakes of skin to appear. It is often accompanied by itching. The accurate cause is unknown, but various factors increase the risk. It is not connected to poor hygiene, but it may be more visible if a person does not wash or brush their hair often.

Causes

Skin cells are formed continuously on the scalp, so the shedding of dead skin cells is a usual process. Sometimes with dandruff, however, skin cells are shed at a faster rate than usual. Oil from the scalp causes the skin cells to clump together and appear as white flakes.

Dandruff can be caused by a number of things, including dry skin; sensitivity to hair products; and skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.

The overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus can also cause dandruff. This overgrowth can be caused by stress, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, or problems with the immune system.

Symptoms and Complications

The symptoms of dandruff contain white flakes of dead skin in the hair and on the shoulders, as well as an itchy, red, or scaly scalp. Dandruff flakes are generally scattered throughout the scalp.

If seborrheic dermatitis is the reason of dandruff, the symptoms generally appear gradually. The scalp becomes dry or greasy, is red, and feels itchy. As skin cells die, they turn to yellowish scales. A bad case of seborrheic dermatitis can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body. Yellowish or reddish scaling can appear on the hairline, in and around the ears, or on the nose and chest. Affected newborn babies may get a thick, yellowish, crusty rash on the scalp, called cradle cap.

Treatment and Prevention

Dandruff can often be a chronic situation, but it can be controlled with the proper treatment. First, try shampooing with a non-medicated shampoo, massaging the scalp firmly, and then rinsing well. Frequent shampooing removes flakes, decrease oiliness, and prevents dead skin cell buildup. If this fails to help, special antidandruff shampoos are generally helpful. Instructions for use depend on the specific shampoo used. Some are used on a daily basis, while other are used only once or twice weekly.