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What You Want To Know About Dandruff

Dandruff – a nuisance and a potential cause for severe embarrassment, especially when you’re wearing something dark on a big night out. But, aside from that, dandruff is seen as a trivial medical condition that affects most people between the ages of 12 and 80 and reaches its peak during adolescence. This potentially embarrassing condition is the result of an excessive shedding of the top layer of the skin and is most commonly found on the scalp and that is how the dandruff starts.

Where normal skin recycles itself every 20-30 days, the affected area completes this process in 2-7 days, thus resulting in dandruff that accumulates on the scalp and drops onto the clothes. The cause for this is widely believed to be Malassezia Globasa, a skin fungus that results in a natural inflammatory response of the body. But, like in all cases of dandruff where the cause remains something of a mystery, there might be other contributing factors too.

Some say a poor diet, stress, the excessive use of hair care products, dry weather and genes play a roll in the formation of dandruff. While this might be true, there are a couple of serious skin conditions which may result in what appears to be excessive dandruff.

  1. Psoriasis is believed to be a hereditary disorder that results in the excessive production of skin cells. The effect of this is that dead skin cells are visible as silvery, flaky, patches on the skin which might be located on the scalp and could resemble dandruff. Although there are no permanent cures for this condition, there are some temporary measures of relief.
  2. Seborrhoeic dermatitis is another skin condition of which the causes remain unknown that could resemble dandruff. Malassezia furfur, a type of skin fungus, has been implicated in the occurrence of this disorder. Seborrhoeic dermatitis occurs most commonly on the scalp, the eyebrows and the side of the nose and can result either in temporary or permanent hair loss.

The above may result in an excessive formation of dead skin cells on the head and the dandruff may be visible on clothing. If you are experiencing any form of discomfort which might include itchiness, swelling or a burning sensation, then it would be advisable to consult your dermatologist as soon as possible. For all other cases, a few simple hair care tips will prove beneficial:

  1. When dandruff occurs, do not wash the hair less frequently or assume that it is the product of a dry skin. Using oily substances might just aggravate the condition and could result in the hair growing slower due to a lack of ventilation of the hair follicles.
  2. Use a normal shampoo to keep the head clean. This will remove the excess amounts of dead skin and even remove smaller bits that are not visible to the naked eye.
  3. Staying healthy and a reduction in anxiety and stress could also aid toward recovery from dandruff.

In some cases dandruff might still be persistent even after the above methods have been applied. Although this could be mistaken for seborrhoeic dermatitis or psoriasis, the cure might in fact just be a more specific treatment for common dandruff. The treatments for dandruff exist in the form of lotions that can be obtained from your local pharmacy.