The Truth about Dandruff: Causes, Risks, Treatments


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You may have encountered several facts about what causes dandruff, how to get rid of it in general. However, it’s not surprising to find out that there are also misconceptions about the irritating condition. Now, here are the experts advice, you might take home in dealing it.


According to mayo clinic (rights reserved), Dandruff is a condition that causes scalp to flake and partly driven by yeast or hormonal changes. Although it isn’t contagious, its uncomfortable itch might be so annoying that you may find it embarrassing and difficult to treat.

There are dandruff that is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, it commonly appears on babies in what we call “cradle cap”. Mild dandruff is often treated with anti-dandruff shampoo – insert those commercials you have in mind – and if it’s not effective, hair shampoo with medical substance may become your option.

What is the cause of Dandruff, exactly?

The exact dandruff cause is unknown , but tons of risk factors and complications may trigger this skin condition. As its focus more in flaking, it doesn’t have any relation to poor hygiene. However, itchy scalp to grayish white flakes may be more responsive because of the following:

Sensitivity to skin care products (contact dermatitis) or Improper wash

Not shampooing enough may leave residual dirt or cause oil buildup and dead skin cells, leading to dandruff (though it remains unproven). There are also hair care products that triggers flakes or scaling itchy scalp, make sure to use the right shampoo for you and shed your skin on the scalp by combing hair as much as possible.

Dry Skin

We all know that our skin needs moisture, and when it comes to causes of dandruff – it applies too. Dry scalp tends to flake and itch, and when the winter comes in, you’ll experience smaller and less oily scratch. Restore healthy skin moisture by searching natural antibacterial properties, perhaps in your kitchen shelves.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis, skin conditions that are linked to Malassezia: a yeast-like fungus that feeds oils on the scalp. It may affect areas including breastbone, eyebrows, sides of the nose, and back of the ears. It will appear in greasy red covered with flaky yellow or white scales. If you are diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, you’ll likely have irritated, oily, and grayish flakes.

Recurring Skin Conditions

People with psoriasis and eczema ( frequently experience dandruff than others. A fungal infection also, called Tinea Capitis or “scalp ringworm”, can cause dandruff.

Certain Medical Conditions

Neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and other diseases that affect nervous system (e.g. patients recovering from a heart attack or a stroke) are prone risk to dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.

According to one research sourced by PubMed and under Research Gate Publication (rights reserved), 30 to 83 percent of people with HIV, have seborrheic (dermatitis). Patients with HIV have weakened immune system which seems to increase risk of Dandruff.

Stress and unhealthy Diet

Many skin problems are linked into stress, and it’s one cause dandruff to your scalp. Lack of food intake that contains zinc, B vitamins, and some type of fats may lead to what is cause of dandruff.

Age and Gender

There’s a theory that tackles dandruff as hormone production, as it affects men more than women. No, this isn’t a misogynistic act of dandruff, men just likely sheds more protein than of women in terms of scalp health. It often begins around the time of puberty to middle age adults, and unfortunately, it can also be lifelong.

What are the common symptoms of Dandruff?

Dandruff can develop at any age, although you can usually notice symptoms around puberty or young adulthood period in flaky, itchy, and scaly scalp appearance.

Your scratchy crusty scalp may give you signs of white, oily flakes gathered on your hair, eyebrows, beard or your shoulders. During winter or fall, you’ll likely to experience more scratching as it gets worse flare when the air is dry.

How to get rid of Dandruff?

Anyone can relate on nuisances grayish flakes can bring. Fortunately, help, treatments to get your scalp healthy again are available over the counter or even the comforts of your home – though more severe cases should be seen by a doctor professional. Read up solutions on how to get rid from dandruff yourself:

Natural Remedies

  • Tea tree oil has a powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate grayish flakes and reduce its severity.
  • Coconut oil is well-known for its medical health benefits. Aside from improving skin hydration, like tea tree, it also has an antimicrobial compound that prevents dryness and reduce eczema or grayish flakes symptoms.
  • Aloe Vera is prominent for its antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help to treat dandruff. It is common added content to cosmetics, lotions or ointments. Conditions like psoriasis, cold sores, and burns can be treated by aloe vera too.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar has its acidity to help stimulate and remove dead skin cells. It also perfectly balances the pH of the scalp and prevent certain types of fungus growths.
  • Baking Soda, as one the quickest and most convenient remedies available straight from your home kitchen, is believed to act as exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, reduce scaling and relieve irritation on the scalp. It has its impressive antifungal effects that strains fungus causing infections, which effectively treat dandruff. Simply massage it directly to wet hair and let it sit for a minute or two before continuing to shampoo.
  • Aspirin contains salicylic acid, an ingredient found in many anti-dandruff shampoos. It has been a proven effective remedy for dandruff. Just crush two tablets of aspirin and add the powdered to shampoo.

Over-the-counter Treatments

Dandruff shampoo and scalp-help hair products are available to purchase online or stores and pharmacies. In order to treat scaly scalps, make sure that the product you are to buy has the following active ingredients:

  • Selenium Sulfide – reduce production of natural oils by glands on scalps which is effective for scaly scalp treatment. Example: Selsun Blue
  • Coal Tar – its natural anti-fungal agent helps to reduce itches and flaky scalps. Example: Neutrogena T/Gel
  • Zinc pyrithione – decelerate yeast growth. Example: Head & Shoulders
  • Ketoconazole – has anti-fungal agent also which subside itch sensation on scalps. Example: Nizoral

Quick Tip: Before using anti-fungal shampoo, remove any crusty patches on the scalp for the shampoo to work more and be more effective.

When to see a doctor?

Although most cases of dandruff don’t necessarily require doctor’s attention, there are rare complications may need to provide medical advice diagnosis or treatment, especially if:

  • It is severe, or it stubbornly opposes after home treatment.
  • The are signs of skin cracking, bleeding, swelling, infections or unusual tenderness or redness.
  • Signs of psoriasis, eczema or other condition that is very itchy on scalp.
  • Nonstop itch sensation after you had one of your treatments or shampoo for scalps.
  • If you have your weakened immune system due to HIV or AIDS medical condition.


Most frequent questions and answers

Not entirely. When flaky scalps appear, it may be a result of too much oil or too little. According to Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California Medical School, “In reality, dandruff is usually due to an overgrowth of a harmless yeast”. In terms of diet intake, wine and champagne are also flakey culprits, as well as spicy and sugary foods.

No. Though it’s closely linked to Malassezia, a fungus living on the scalp. It’s not usually the cause of the dandruff problem, but some people – especially men – becomes overactive, leading the scalp to be irritated and secretes extra cells that combines hair and oil, forming dandruff. “Cells of the Skin that grow and die off too fast, are the problem”, says Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on her WebMD, July 2019 review.

Green tea shows potential cure to psoriasis and dandruff, according to a certain research. It has its formulation that penetrates deeply on skin’s layering barrier to fight the excessive growth of cells, inflammation, even oxidative stress. A study also, reviewed and carried out by European researchers suggest that adding llama antibodies to shampoo could fight dandruff effectively.

Change in Lifestyle

Dandruff treatment aims to slow down countering yeast production or overproduction of cells. To successfully treat and prevent flaky problems, there are several information topics to gathering a site newsletter or fitness news sources. However, always remember that your strategic way to success depends on how your lifestyle goes.

Keep in mind

  • Manage Stress – Minimize stress levels as it has a huge impact to your health or well-being. It may aggravate symptoms like dryness or itching. Stress weakens your body system and decrease the body’s ability to fight off infections including dandruff. Control stress levels through meditation, yoga, deep breathing or aromatherapy.
  • Up your intake of Omega-3s – Add on your diet fatty acids that vital to skin health. They manage oil production and hydration, promote wound healing and reduce inflammation. Deficiency on Omega-3s can cause dry skin, dry hair and scaly white or grayish flakes. Feast yourself with fatty fish like salmon, trout and mackerel or add to your snacks Omega-3 rich foods like flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts.
  • Sunlight – although ultraviolet-A (UVA) light from the sun counteracts yeast, a little exposure to sunlight can be helpful.
  • Shampoo Often – Not shampooing enough may get you grayish flakes. Make it a habit to wash your hair daily, especially if you have oily hair and scalp.
  • Probiotics – beneficial bacteria are good for your health, it protects you against lower cholesterol levels, allergies or increased weight loss. It enhances your overall body immune function and fight fungal causing-dandruff infection and eczema skin condition. It’s commonly found in supplement form or fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut and natto.

Bottom line

Overall, although what cause of dandruff may quite challenge experts, there are pretty lots of different remedy things in line for you to try if you have this annoying skin condition. Look for products or treatments that is used best and think of remedy options or something to add on your daily hair shampoo habit. Prevent having your grayish flakes move to severe and discipline yourself to a healthy skin lifestyle.

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