As the old skin cells die, new cells are formed to replace them. This is a normal process. When scalp cells are dying and replenishing at a faster rate, your head may feel itchy, and you may see white flakes on your shoulders or in your hair. You see the light yellow or white flakes on your shoulders or in your hair. Those are the telltale signs of dandruff.
Flakes on your head or shoulders describe dandruff, which is a buildup of dead skin cells. Similar to how the rest of your skin replaces itself, dead skin cells are shed off the scalp constantly. But as you age, new cells may not replace them as quickly. That leads to visible flaking.
The same occurs when ingredients in hair products or issues like eczema irritate your scalp and lead to dandruff. You might see greasy-looking white scales on your scalp or dark reddish scales around hair follicles.
What is Dandruff ?
Dandruff is a scalp disorder that causes flakes of skin to appear. It’s a common problem that affects almost half of young adults, and is less common as people get older. It can be embarrassing and difficult to treat, but you can relieve the symptoms with a range of effective treatments.
Dandruff is a chronic scalp condition that can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat. Dandruff usually presents as dry skin on the scalp, with white or yellowish flakes of skin appearing on the shoulders, hair and scalp.
Although many people can manage mild dandruff with shampoo, more severe cases may require treatment with antifungal creams or medicated shampoos. Consult your doctor if you have symptoms of dandruff to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Seborrheic dermatitis is the name of a condition in which the skin on your scalp becomes inflamed because of an excessive growth of yeast. There are many other potential causes of dandruff, including irritation from shampoo, certain medical conditions and infrequent shampooing.
Though dandruff isn’t curable, you can manage signs and symptoms with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos and by reducing hair oils. If those methods don’t help, your doctor may prescribe medicated shampoo or another treatment to reduce inflammation.
Dandruff does not cause hair loss by itself, but scratching a lot can result in stress to the hair and might promote hair loss.
Causes of Dandruff in Men and Women
Seborrheic Dermatitis – Dandruff can have a number of causes, but a yeast called malassezia is the most common culprit. When this yeast grows on your scalp, it triggers an inflammatory response in some people — a response that leads to skin cells to grow and die more quickly than normal.
There are a number of conditions that can cause skin cells to grow and shed more quickly than usual. Dandruff is marked by flaky skin on the scalp caused by skin cells growing and shedding more quickly than usual.
A condition known as dandruff is common among all age groups. This condition is associated with the formation of small pieces of dead skin cells, which get collected in the scalp. The accumulation of such cells leads to itching. This condition can be treated using special care and treatment like anti-dandruff shampoos, good diet and a lot of rest. In severe cases it can be cured using medicines.
If you experience dandruff because of seborrheic dermatitis (SD), it could be a sign that your body is battling an overgrowth of Malassezia globosa, a type of fungus found on most healthy scalps. This particular type of yeast feeds on sebum, the oily substance produced by your skin in order to prevent dryness, and then breaks the oils down into irritating substances. SD tends to affect areas of the skin where there are a lot of oil-secreting glands, such as the scalp and eyebrows.
Contact Dermatitis – Contact dermatitis, which is just a fancy way of saying your skin reacts to something, can also cause flaking on the scalp. This could be due to products in your hair, or even hair dyes.
If redness and flaking appear suddenly, you might be experiencing contact dermatitis. This is a reaction to an allergen or an irritant, such as hair-care products or dyes.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, contact dermatitis is often due to hair-care products or dyes applied to the first few inches of hair.
When the body experiences a reaction to a substance that comes into contact with the skin (such as hair dye or shampoo), contact dermatitis can develop. Some common substances that could trigger dandruff include fragrances, preservatives, formaldehyde and other moisturisers.
Dryness of Skin – Dandruff–more formally known as seborrheic dermatitis (SD)–is caused by excessive cell turnover on the scalp. dry skin can make this problem worse, since when skin is dry it can encourage dead skin cells to build up faster and to flake off more quickly. However, SD itself can not be caused by dry scalp alone; there must be a functional component that impairs cell turnover.
Shampoo habits – If you already have dandruff, not shampooing often enough can make it harder to treat. When dandruff is more severe, Dr. McMichael recommends using a daily shampoo treatment to get the flakes under control.
Neurologic and Psychiatric Condition – There are a number of neurologic and psychiatric conditions that can raise one’s risk of developing seborrheic dermatitis, including dandruff. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are among the conditions that can elevate one’s risk of SD. Those with Parkinson’s disease have an impaired autonomic nervous system that helps to control things like oil gland secretions, which may lead to overproduction and SD.
Weak Immune System – The disorder is common in individuals with a weakened immune system. It’s especially prevalent among people who have undergone an organ transplant, and in those with HIV or AIDS, hepatitis C, or alcoholic pancreatitis. For example, 30 percent to 83 percent of people with HIV report SD. People with SD also have cancer at higher rates than those without the condition.
Sex- Androgens are hormones such as testosterone, which stimulate activity in the sebaceous glands. These glands produce oil, which creates a favourable environment for yeast to grow. In healthy people, yeast causes no problems, but it feeds on the oils and dead skin cells in the follicles of those with dandruff. This leads to an inflammatory reaction. Men are more frequently affected by dandruff than women.
Age – Biological factors, including hormones and your immune system, play a role in the prevalence of dandruff — which is estimated to afflict between 50 and 80 percent of people worldwide — according to a review published in December 2015 in the Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology.
Diagnosis of Dandruff in Men and Women
A doctor can easily diagnose the issue of Dandruff just by looking at the scalp.
Itching of the scalp and flaking of the scalp is a common problem caused by a condition known as dandruff. Dandruff has two main causes: dry skin, and a buildup of oil and dead skin cells. Dandruff can be manageable, though there is no known cure. It typically comes and goes, worsens with stress or hormonal changes, and increases with age.
Dandruff shampoo can treat most cases of dandruff. A variety of shampoos are available, and they typically contain one of the following ingredients: pyrithione zinc, selenium sulphide, or ketoconazole. The shampoo may be used daily or two to three times a week, depending on how well it is tolerated and the product’s directions.
There are specific dandruff shampoos available , some contain strong formation of ingredients in shampoo, given below are some of them:-
- Tar- Based Shampoo – Coal Tar helps to remove your skin cells which are there on your scalp and they die. If your hair is light coloured it can cause discoloration.
- Salicylic Acid Shampoo -It helps to eliminate scalping .
- Pyrithione zinc Shampoo – It consists of antibacterial and antifungal zinc agent pyrithione.
- Ketoconazole Shampoo – It helps to kill the dandruffs which cause fungus on the scalp.
- Fluocinolone Shampoo – it helps to prevent itching, irritation and flaking.
You can usually manage dandruff with specially formulated shampoos, but if this is ineffective, you may require prescription-strength shampoo or steroid lotions. Read on for more information.
If you have dandruff, your first option is to try an over-the-counter shampoo. Look for one that contains coal tar, selenium sulphide, zinc pyrithione, or coal tar. Before you use the shampoo, test a small amount of it on your arm. If redness or irritation occurs within 24 hours, don’t use it.
Prescription treatments for dandruff include antifungal shampoos, such as Zeasorb (miconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole), PSO Shampoo (ciclopirox) or X-Seb T Plus (acetonide). You can also use Elocon (mometasone furoate), a topical corticosteroid. If the cause of your dandruff is diabetes or psoriasis, your doctor will determine the best course of action.
If you’re still suffering with dandruff even after trying over-the-counter products, it might be time to talk to your dermatologist about a prescription-strength treatment. Depending on the severity of your dandruff and the presence of other skin conditions like eczema, dermatologists may recommend the use of an antifungal shampoo, an anti-inflammatory lotion or topical corticosteroid cream to reduce itching and inflammation.
The another alternative of Dandruff treatment is of Tea Tree Oil – To treat the dandruff, you might try washing your hair with antifungal shampoos that contain ketoconazole (Nizoral), selenium sulphide (Selsun Blue), coal tar, or zinc pyrithione (Head and Shoulders). In one small trial, tea tree oil shampoo was shown to be as effective asNizoral. If your dandruff persists after trying OTC products, see your doctor to ensure that it isn’t something else such as seborrheic dermatitis.
Prescription treatments include ketoconazole, a cream applied to the scalp (this is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding); corticosteroid injections; and corticosteroid lotions. The aim of prescription treatments is to calm your immune system and help relieve inflammation. These treatments may be recommended if you have a severe case of dandruff that isn’t responding to over-the-counter treatments.
If dandruff is mild, over-the-counter medicated shampoos containing salicylic acid or tar are usually effective. Sometimes these shampoos can cause dryness. If dryness occurs, stop using the product and try an anti-dandruff shampoo that doesn’t contain salicylic acid or tar.
Dandruff can be caused or worsened by stress, hormones, and illness. Your scalp’s PH levels may fluctuate under the presence of certain bacteria, which may lead to dandruff. To help keep dandruff under control, shampoo frequently, reduce your stress levels, try reducing or stopping your use of hair products (e.g., gels and sprays), and eat a healthy diet.
You should call the doctor if you have a scaly scalp that doesn’t go away with washing and over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. If seborrheic dermatitis is affecting your skin, the doctor can prescribe a stronger dandruff shampoo or other medicine. If you don’t treat seborrheic dermatitis, it could get worse.
Seborrheic dermatologic dermatitis is a typical, easily treated, non-contagious skin problem that is easy to treat. This kind of dermatitis can cause itchy red patches, as well as greasy scaling on the skin. It can also be associated with yellow or white crusts or hair-colored flakes.
“Seborrheic” is a reference to “sebaceous” glands, while “derm” refers to “skin.” This is known as “dandruff” when it’s located on the scalp of an adult or teenager or on the scalp of a baby’s “cradle caps” in the case of the baby.
Seborrheic skin rashes can be found in different areas within your body.
These are the places with the highest sebaceous (oil) gland activity: your back and chest, your face/forehead wrinkles at the bottom of your nose behind your ears, the navel (belly button) eyebrows, beneath your breasts, and inside the creases/bends on your legs, arms and the groyne.
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a long-lasting condition that can be seen, fades when treated, and flares up from the time the.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Dandruff, it’s important to treat and alleviate the discomfort as soon as you notice. Your doctor may first suggest you try some over-the-counter shampoos to treat Dandruff, such as Head & Shoulders, which include ingredients such as zinc pyrithione, selenium, or ketoconazole.
There are lots of options available to choose from. Your pharmacist can guide you in the correct direction if you’re in need of assistance in determining the right product to treat your problem.
The doctor might also recommend regular washing of your hair and exfoliating your hair with a gentle scrub to get rid of accumulation. Try some home remedies that are natural and at-home.
This could include applying apple cider vinegar diluted as well as diluted tea tree oils coconut oil, lemon juice to your scalp and massaging for a couple of minutes before washing. There are many doctors who disagree on the efficacy of these natural methods, and you should consult your health care practitioner before you try these methods.
If the Dandruff you are experiencing is serious and the treatments you have tried do not perform, your doctor might recommend a corticosteroid, such as fluocinolone or calcineurin inhibitors, to reduce the immune response. The prescriptions for Dandruff typically appear in the form of shampoos, gels, or creams for the skin.
There is no solution for Dandruff. However, it is possible to treat the signs. Once you have found what works for you and follow your treatment plan, you will be able to look toward a smooth scalp that is free of irritation.
Dandruff Treatment Alternatives
When you’ve been diagnosed as having the dandruff issue, you’ll need to treat and alleviate the unpleasant symptoms as soon as possible. Most likely, your doctor will first suggest you try some over-the-counter shampoos to treat Dandruff, such as Head & Shoulders, which are made up of ingredients like selenium, zinc pyrithione, or ketoconazole.
There are numerous options to choose from. Your pharmacist can guide you in the correct direction if you require assistance in determining the right product to treat your problem.
The doctor might also recommend regular washing of your hair and exfoliating your hair with a gentle scrub to get rid of the buildup. It is also possible to try home remedies that are natural and at home. This could include applying apple cider vinegar dilute or diluted tea tree oil coconut oil, lemon juice on your scalp, and massage for a couple of minutes, followed by washing. Some doctors are not convinced of the efficacy of these natural methods, so always consult with your medical practitioner before you try these methods.
What is the best treatment for the dandruff problem?
What is effective for one person could not be the most effective solution for someone else. The only method to figure out which dandruff treatment is the best one for your needs is to discuss it with your doctor.
Your physician will give you advice depending on your medical condition, your medical history and any medication you might currently be taking, and any medications that may interfere with treatment for Dandruff. Then, your doctor will monitor your response to treatment and modify it according to your needs.
Most people who suffer from it are not an issue that requires medical treatment. But, in some cases, the itching and flaking that resembles Dandruff is actually a medical issue like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis or fungal scalp infections, or eczema.
If you are still experiencing symptoms following using shampoos for Dandruff, see a dermatologist certified by the board. A dermatologist is able to diagnose the condition and consult an expert and get an appropriate treatment plan that matches your requirements.