What is Dandruff?
Dandruff is the full term for a condition called seborrhea. Seborrhea is an increase of skin cells on the scalp and leads to inflammation and scaling which leads to the formation of white or yellow flakes on hair and skin.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about dandruff which this article will answer it for you:
- Is dandruff an eczema?
- What dandruff looks like?
- What are dandruff causes, types, treatment and home remedy?
- Is dandruff contagious?
- Can dandruff cause hair loss?
- Will dandruff go away?
- Where dandruff come from?
- How to treat Cat Dandruff and Dandruff in Dogs?
Plus much more… Let’s start learning all about dandruff causes!
Is Dandruff an Eczema?
Yes, Dandruff is a type of eczema that occurs when skin cells in the scalp peel and die more rapidly than normal.
Dandruff vs Dry Scalp
Dandruff usually gets worse when the scalp is dry and cold. It can also be triggered by excessive oil production and certain types of shampoo.
The white dandruff patches are often itchy and embarrassing. People with dandruff don’t always have an itchy scalp, just a flaky one. Dandruff is not life-threatening, but a doctor should be consulted if a person has more severe symptoms like a fungal or bacterial infection.
So what are the dandruff causes?
There are many causes of dandruff, such as:
1. Dry Scalp: The most common dandruff causes for dry scalp are lifestyle habits like wearing tight hairstyles, mineral deficiency or hormonal changes.
2. Climate Changes: When the weather gets colder, the skin gets drier and more prone to flaking.
3. Scalp Trauma: When the head is injured affecting the scalp’s health.
4. Scalp Fungal Infections: Fungal infection is one of the common dandruff causes because they require warmth and moisture to thrive, so they invade the scalp.
5. Scalp Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infection causes dandruff because it causes an immune response to fight off the bacteria.
6. Overgrowth of Natural Yeast: Malassezia (natural yeast) releases toxins that irritate the skin and create a buildup of flakes.
7. Irritants Like Shampoo or Hair Products: Sulfates are a chemical compound that is a drying agent, which strips the scalp of natural oils. This leaves the hair dry and itchy, leading to dandruff. There are plenty of shampoos without sulfates, so see if any of those work for you before using a rinse or scrub with either acetone or peroxide as they can really damage your hair!
8. Underlying Medical Condition: If the condition is not treated, it will result in severe dandruff. The most common underlying scalp conditions are eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.
It is important to identify the type of dandruff you have before you start treatment because it helps determine the kind of treatment to use.
There are three types of dandruff: Oily Dandruff, Inflammatory Dandruff and Seborrheic Dandruff.
1. Oily Dandruff: When the skin cells that are supposed to produce oil secrete too much of it.
2. Inflammatory Dandruff: When the scalp becomes irritated, leading to inflammation of the skin cells and more shedding.
3. Seborrheic Dandruff: When hair follicles become clogged with natural oil or soap residues, which produces build up on the scalp.
Dandruff is caused by a fungus which eats away the skin cells. It’s transferred through direct contact with someone who already has dandruff, or when you touch your hair and then touch another part of your body (like your scalp). There are different types of dandruff, but they’re all caused by this fungus.
What are the available dandruff treatments?
There are several dandruff treatments available: Zinc Pyrithione, Selenium Sulfide and Sulfur / Coal Tar applications.
1. Zinc Pyrithione: One of the most popular of these is Zinc Pyrithione topical solution, which helps reduce the skin’s production of natural oils on the scalp.
2. Selenium Sulfide: Another treatment option for dandruff is Selenium Sulfide. This product will eliminate fungus that causes dandruff on the scalp.
3. Sulfur or Coal Tar Applications: Other treatments include sulfur or coal tar applications on the scalp to help alleviate symptoms of dry scalp and itching.
Dandruff Home Remedy
One of the best dandruff home remedy is to soak your head with a mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and Water. The mixture can also be used as a shampoo. Another popular option is to rub Fresh Lemon Juice on the affected area and leave it for about ten minutes before washing it off.
You might want to try rubbing your scalp with one of the following solutions:
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Baking Soda
Following a few simple dandruff home remedies from the comfort of your home is a good way to treat it when you’re not sure what’s causing it. There are kits available to make your own anti-dandruff shampoo with some vinegar and water.
The most common dandruff home remedy is probably the use of an anti-dandruff shampoo. You can find a wide array of these shampoos in drugstores and supermarkets. Nevertheless, there are other products that you could use at home which will provide similar results.
Dandruff vs Seborrheic Dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff are two different conditions that produce similar symptoms, including flaking of the skin.
What’s the difference between dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis?
Dandruff is an inflammatory condition, caused by excessive shedding of dead skin cells. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic infection caused by a yeast named Malassezia.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a term used to describe a chronic skin condition characterized by scaly red patches of skin, usually on the face, eyebrows and scalp. However, seborrheic dermatitis can occur anywhere on the body. The disorder is not contagious, but if left untreated it may cause permanent hair loss.
Dandruff in Eyebrows and Dandruff in Beard
To cure dandruff in eyebrows or dandruff in beard, you can use tea tree oil. Massage a few drops of tea tree oil on the eyebrow / beard and leave it overnight. Wash your eyebrows in the morning with cold water. Repeat for 2-3 days.
Dandruff in Ears
To cure dandruff in ears, you need to buy skin cream and apply it on your ear. The cream will nourish your ear skin and keep it healthy.
Alternatively, you may also want to apply some antibiotic ointment on the ear skin to get rid of dandruff or massaging your ears with little drops of olive oil.
Dandruff in Babies
The best way to cure is not to let the baby develop dandruff! Here’s how:
- Keep the baby away from head scratching (don’t touch a baby when you are sick, or when your hands are itching with scalp itch, don’t let the baby touch your itchy scalp)
- Use oil/olive oil for scalp massage and avoid shampoo as much as possible; shampoo dries out scalp and causes it to itch more and dandruff develops in dry skin. Oil/olive moisturize the skin and help prevent dandruff
- Avoid tight fitting clothes that cause friction against the skin and lead to itching, scratching and dandruff
- Avoid tight braids which can lead to irritation that aggravated
Is dandruff contagious?
Yes, dandruff can be contagious. It is typically caused by yeasts that are in the environment around us and on our clothes, so when we share these items with others, they can get it too. Dandruff is also associated with immune system issues, so it’s possible that if someone has an immune deficiency, they could be more susceptible to catching dandruff.
Can dandruff cause hair loss?
No, dandruff doesn’t necessarily cause hair loss, but can aggravate it. Dandruff is not a skin condition that can cause hair loss. In fact, it’s more often the other way around. Hair loss or baldness is caused by a changing hormone balance / other medical condition that ultimately affects hair follicles on the scalp. So, if you’re noticing hair loss, then get your scalp checked by a dermatologist for any underlying problems. If you have dandruff and haven’t seen a doctor yet, make an appointment to do so soon.
Dandruff worms are skin mites that live on the scalp. The scientific name for these little critters is “Pityrosporum ovale”. They are related to some types of fungus, but they are not actually a form of fungus themselves. You can’t see them without a microscope, but you can certainly feel their effects.
Dandruff worms cause extreme itching and irritation on the scalp. You may want to see a doctor if you are suffering from dandruff worms to offer you the right treatment, due to the seriousness of the condition.
Dandruff vs Lice
Dandruff is dead skin cells of the scalp. Lice are tiny bugs that live in the hair and eat blood from people’s heads.
Lice only live on human heads. They can’t crawl or fly, so they’ll die shortly if left behind. Lice cause itching by biting you and injecting an anti-coagulant venom into your skin. Itching is the first sign of a lice infestation. If it’s been a week since you’ve noticed this, you probably don’t have lice anymore; They’re disgusting little creatures that are clearly identifiable from their peers. You’ll know when you see them (they look like tiny moving dots).
Will dandruff go away?
Yes, with the right diagnosis of dandruff causes and treatment of all dandruff types… dandruff will go away in a matter of days!
What causes cat dandruff and how is treated?
Cats can suffer from a condition called Malassezia dermatitis, also known as “cat dandruff,” which is caused by a fungus that’s common in their environment. This fungus can grow on the cat’s skin, especially in areas that have a lot of oil and moisture. The fungus can show up in places such as ears, armpits, and feet.
The cat dandruff treatment is to use a flea comb. The cat’s fur should be parted in sections and the comb should be used on the skin around the head, around the neck, and down the back. There should not be any pressure put on the skin or pulled against it. Do this for 10 minutes at a time with breaks in between each session.
Dandruff in Dogs
What causes dandruff in dogs and how is treated?
Dandruff in dogs is often caused by stress or allergies. Stress can be due to illness or just the anxiety of being groomed. It’s also easy for stress to come from the owner, who may be new to dog ownership and not know how to handle certain situations with their pet. Other causes may be an allergy, infection, mites, some type of skin disease or parasite infestation.
If your dog is suffering from an itchy dry coat, this is most likely caused by canine dandruff. One of the most common dogs dandruff causes is yeast overgrowth on his skin, which can lead to dry patches and flakiness. It can be hard to determine what has caused the problem if it is only occurring in localized areas. Dandruff in dogs treatment varies depending on the cause of the condition. A dog’s dandruff treatment is relatively simple – just brush your canine friend every day with a flea comb or a metal comb.
Dandruff is a skin condition that causes an itchy scalp and white or yellow flakes on hair. Dandruff causes can happen by a number of factors including dryness, poor blood circulation, an imbalance in hormones, and certain medications. Treatments include medicated shampoos and lotions, and in severe cases steroid treatments may be used.
Steps to prevent dandruff causes are washing the hair with mild shampoo, use conditioner after every wash, try not to touch your hair too much and avoid using too many styling products so the hair won’t be weighed down and greasy. Brushing and combing your hair regularly will help remove excessive oil that can lead to dandruff.
If you enjoyed this story, you may want to checkout Hair Loss in Women: Reasons and Solutions.