Top 5 Reasons for Having Dandruff
Dandruff is a common condition that affects the skin on the scalp. It is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis that causes scaly patches and red skin.
This embarrassing condition can happen to anyone and is particularly frustrating to avoid in the colder months, when it typically tends to flare up.
Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene, although certain grooming habits may increase the visibility of the white flakes.
So, what causes dandruff?
There is no single root cause of dandruff. Instead, it has been linked to various skin reactions to different types of products.
In this article, we discuss the five most common reasons for dandruff. Becoming familiar with the qse common causes can help you treat your itchy scalp and the annoying white flakes it brings in its wake.
Allergy and Sensitivity to Hair Care Products
Certain skin conditions such as dandruff can flare up because you have allergies or sensitivity to certain ingredients in hair care products.
If you notice scalp irritation, inflammation, or soreness after you wash your hair, it would be wise to err on the side of caution and stop using that product immediately, even if it seems to work on eradicating your dandruff. Try using gentler, organic products instead.
The world of hair care products is vast and growing, so you’ll have plenty of shampoos and conditioners to choose from. Carefully observe how your scalp reacts to new products and settle on the best one.
Dry skin is one of the most common causes of dandruff and itching. The scalp dries out when it does not get enough moisture. It can be triggered by cold, dry air, products that strip your hair of essential oils, old age, and contact dermatitis.
If the skin on your scalp is dry, the skin on other parts of the body will likely be dry as well. Hence, you will notice white flakes and patchy skin all over your body.
Fortunately, dry skin is easy to resolve—just use moisturizing products. Use a gentle shampoo and a hydrating conditioner to replenish moisture on your scalp, which may help eliminate the white flakes.
You can also schedule a salon service for a more targeted steaming treatment to deliver moisture into your scalp and remove buildup.
Some medical conditions can cause flaky skin on your scalp. The most common is seborrheic dermatitis, which leads to redness of the scalp, irritated, oily skin, and flaky white or yellow scales (dandruff). It can affect oil glands on the scalp, as well as other areas of the body, including the back of the ears, chest, and eyebrows.
Good skincare, fish oil supplements, aloe vera supplements, probiotics, and tea tree oil can keep the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis at bay. You can also try tar-based shampoos with anti-dandruff ingredients.
Talk to a dermatologist before using tar-based shampoos, as they don’t work for all hair types and colors.
Oil, Debris, and Other Buildup
Using hair products and heat-based tools can give you the hairdo of your dreams, but it can cause oil, debris, product, and other buildup on your scalp.
If you don’t cleanse properly, the buildup can pave the way to dandruff. The products you use will leave behind traces on your scalp and hair, and it will block the follicles and cause an adverse reaction.
You can shampoo more often to get rid of buildup but make sure to use very gentle products. Harsh shampoos can cause damage by stripping your scalp and hair of important oils. Try using a medicated shampoo to target the buildup without compromising the health and look of your hair.
Dandruff is often caused by Malassezia, a genus of fungi present in the normal skin microbiome. This fungus feeds on the oils on the scalp, which is secreted by hair follicles. This is an entirely natural bodily function.
Malassezia only becomes a problem when it turns into a yeast infection. The yeast population on your scalp grows exponentially, causing dandruff and scalp infections that can be quite troublesome. It could cause red or purple patches on the skin, white, flaky scales, and white, pus-filled pimples.
If you are diagnosed with a yeast infection, you can mitigate the symptoms with anti-fungal shampoo and conditioner. You may also be prescribed anti-fungal medication.
Meanwhile, maintain a good hair and skincare routine to avoid persistent dandruff from now on.
Anybody can get dandruff, but factors like age, sex, and chronic medical conditions that weaken your immune system can make you more susceptible.
Most causes of dandruff can be treated from the comfort of your home. If symptoms persist and your condition does not improve, we suggest consulting a dermatologist. They will examine your scalp to diagnose the root cause of the condition and recommend targeted treatments to get rid of the embarrassing white flakes once and for all.