Dandruff is a skin condition that mainly affects the scalp. Symptoms include flaking and sometimes mild itchiness. It can result in social or self-esteem problems. A more severe form of the condition, which includes inflammation of the skin, is known as seborrheic dermatitis.
Dandruff affects about half of adults. Onset is usually at puberty. Males are more often affected than females.
Dandruff is often worse during the winter months and better when the weather is warmer. Certain hair care products can trigger a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Frequent shampooing may cause dandruff, as it can irritate the scalp.
Causes include dry skin, seborrhoeic dermatitis, not cleaning/scrubbing often, shampooing too often, scalp psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity to hair care products, or a yeast-like fungus. Dry skin is the most common cause of flaking dandruff.
According to one study, dandruff has been shown to be possibly the result of three factors:
1. Skin oil commonly referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions.
2. The metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms (most specifically Malassezia yeasts).
3. Individual susceptibility and allergy sensitivity.
4. Ringworm, or tinea, refers to several types of contagious fungal infections of the top layer of the skin, scalp, and nails. (Ringworm is caused by a fungus that eats keratin, a protein found in skin, hair, and nails).
1. Dandruff occurs in 50% of adults.
2. It is not just skin flakes. It is a fungal infection.
3. Commonly causing fungi is Malassezia furfur (previously known as Pityrosporum ovale)
4. Dandruff does not cause baldness.
5. The common way of transmission of dandruff is through using shared things. Just as you do not share your toothbrush, similarly you should not share your comb/brush.
6. So stay cool and if required use these medicines:
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) shampoo: shampoos use a combination of special ingredients to control dandruff.
Ciclopirox: It is widely used as an anti-dandruff agent in most cases.
Coal tar: It causes the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and slows skin cell growth.
Shaving a child’s head: There is no evidence that this reduces ringworm infection or accelerates recovery time.
7. And let no one no matter how big a post, don’t ever let a celebrity shrug off dandruff from your shoulder!