Aesthetics Daily – One of the most common hair problems is dandruff. In the form of fine granules or flakes in the hair and scalp, dandruff is generally caused by an oily or dry scalp. The Malassezia globosa microbe on the scalp is also said to contribute to dandruff.
Although not contagious, dandruff is very annoying and embarrassing for most people. Some people may not even care much about dandruff as long as their hair looks neat. But for those of you who are very concerned about appearance, however, dandruff must be removed immediately.
What is Dandruff?
Basically, dandruff will occur when a bit of dry skin is removed from the scalp. You may see flakes in your hair or shoulders. Dandruff can also make the scalp itchy. Although this is a normal problem that can happen to anyone but it is not as simple as it seems.
One thing you should know, the definition of dandruff often overlaps with seborrheic dermatitis or other skin conditions that cause scaly scalp. There is also an opinion that dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.
Mild dandruff can be treated with a gentle daily shampoo. If that doesn’t work, medication might help. However, no matter how persistent you are with dandruff, it often reappears the next day.
Symptoms of Dandruff
The most common sign that someone has dandruff are white patches on the scalp. These patches are made of dead skin that has fallen from your hair.
Apart from that, other signs of dandruff include an itchy scalp, oily or dry scales on the scalp, and yellow to red scaly bumps along the hairline in severe cases.
Causes of Dandruff
1. Dry skin
If the winter air dries out your entire skin including your scalp, then dry skin may be the cause of dandruff. The dry skin that causes dandruff produces smaller, less oily flakes than the flakes caused by seborrheic dermatitis.
2. Oily skin
People with oily skin are often more prone to dandruff. The reason is, Melassezia globosa eats the oil on the scalp. Some people’s bodies perceive the breakdown of these oils as irritants, so the scalp reacts by increasing the renewal rate of skin cells, causing dandruff.
3. Seborrheic dermatitis
If you have a really bad case of dandruff, it’s likely a mild case of seborrheic dermatitis. This is a chronic extreme form that affects any area of the body.
4. Rinsing is not clean
The use of various hair care products requires complete rinsing. But in reality, this is not always fulfilled. Rinsing is done so that there are no product residues mixed with dust and dirt.
5. Malassezia globosa fungal infection
The oleic acid produced by Malassezia globosa causes irritation and increases dandruff. You have to be careful because even though it is not contagious, this microbe is easily spread through combs, hats, helmets or towels. You may see white or yellow flakes in your hair or shoulders.
Almost anyone can have dandruff, but certain factors make a person more susceptible.
- Age. Usually, dandruff starts in adulthood and continues into middle age. However, that doesn’t mean that older adults aren’t affected at all;
- Certain diseases. Some serious diseases like Parkinson’s affect the nervous system which can increase the risk of dandruff;
- Sex. According to experts, men are more prone to dandruff than women. Androgen hormones such as testosterone stimulate activity in the sebaceous glands. More oil means an increased likelihood of inflammatory reactions and dandruff.
How To Treat Dandruff?
1. Use an anti-dandruff shampoo
Mild dandruff without a specific cause can be treated with a variety of over-the-counter hair care products on the market. Before using an anti-dandruff shampoo, you should carefully try to remove as much of the flaky patches on your scalp as possible. You do this so that the shampoo can work more effectively.
Use a comb or brush gently to remove loose scales. Next, rinse with medicated shampoo. Try not to aggressively remove patches or plaques as this can irritate the condition.
Anti-dandruff shampoo ingredients
For mild to moderate cases of dandruff, look for an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains the following active ingredients:
- Pyrithione zinc. Acting as an antifungal and antibacterial, it kills the fungus on the scalp that causes flaking. This shampoo is gentle enough for daily use;
- Ketoconazole. This can kill the fungus that causes dandruff;
- Salicylic acid. It removes extra flakes from the scalp before exfoliating. In some people, salicylic acid can dry out the skin and cause more peeling;
- Coal tar. It acts as an antibiotic and antifungal. However, this ingredient can cause discoloration in blonde, gray or white hair;
- Selenium sulfide. This anti-fungal is able to slow down the death of skin cells.
Until now, there is no cure for dandruff completely. All you can do is control it so that dandruff doesn’t get worse. Dandruff can reappear even after using shampoo. Therefore, you are advised to use anti-dandruff shampoo regularly.
2. Consult with your doctor
If the dandruff and severe itching persists or if the symptoms get worse, you should see your doctor immediately. They will identify the problem and recommend the right course of treatment or prescribe certain medications.
Dermatologists can usually diagnose dandruff just by looking at your scalp. They can rule out extreme conditions like eczema and psoriasis which can also cause flaky skin on the scalp.
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