Dandruff Symptoms and Causes

Dandruff is a chronic condition of scalp, where there is formation of flakes of skin on the scalp. Dandruff is not a serious medical problem, however, it can be troublesome as well as embarrassing at times and it may be very difficult to manage. Cure of dandruff is a rare thing. Hence, the aim of management of dandruff is its control, so that it does not trouble you and embarrass you. Dandruff can be controlled, if done properly.ID-10091506

What are the symptoms of dandruff?

Symptoms of dandruff are not difficult to understand. The most important symptom of dandruff is presence of white flakes of dead skin, which may be seen over your hairs, shoulders and over your clothing. Many times it may be itchy and in some people the itching may be troublesome. Many people experience worsening of dandruff in some seasons such as during fall and winter (indoor heating may contribute to worsening of dandruff during winter) as well as during summer season.

Dandruff can occur even in newborn babies and infants. In newborns and infants it is called cradle cap. It leads to scaly and crusty scalp and may cause worry to parents. However, it is not serious and in most cases this type of dandruff disappear on its own by the age of three years.

Should you see a doctor for your dandruff problem?

It is entirely up to you to see a doctor (dermatologist) for your dandruff problem, because it is not a serious problem. However, if you have tried a few OTC (over-the-counter) shampoos available for dandruff control and still no satisfactory result, you may consider visiting your doctor. You may also visit a doctor if you have severe itching and if your scalp becomes red and swollen due to dandruff.

What are the causes of dandruff?

Dandruff may occur due to various causes such as dry skin, seborrheic dermatitis, yeast like fungus malasazzia, not shampooing enough, sensitivity to hair care products and some other skin conditions.

Dry skin:

This is the commonest cause of dandruff. The flakes of skin are usually smaller in size and of less oily type. You will also have dry in in other parts of your body along with scalp. Itching is common in dry skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis:

A common cause of dandruff. This type of dandruff causes red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales in scalp as well as in other areas that contain rich oil glands (e.g. eye brows, back of ears, groin etc.).

Yeast like fungus malasazzia:

This fungus is present in most adult scalps, however, it produce symptoms of dandruff only among some people, by causing irritation. Due to irritation of scalp more skin cells grow and the dead cells appear as flakes or dandruff. The reason of malasazzia irritating some individuals and not all is not known.

Not shampooing/washing/cleaning scalp enough:

If you do not shampoo/wash/clean your scalp regularly it may cause buildup of dead cells and produce dandruff.

Sensitivity to hair care products:

If you have sensitivity or allergy to some hair care product it may cause dandruff. Any of the chemical used for making hair care product may be responsible. If you are sensitive, avoid such products.

Other skin diseases/conditions:

Many dermatological conditions may manifest as dandruff, such as eczema (a chronic, inflammatory skin condition), psoriasis etc. Both of these skin conditions cause rapid buildup of dry and rough dead cells, which produce flakes and dandruff.

 

 

Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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