Dandruff FAQ

How does dandruff happen?
Is dandruff contagious? 
Why do guys tend to have dandruff more often than women? 
Why are my flakes yellow instead of white? 
How do antidandruff shampoos work? 
What if dandruff shampoo doesn't get rid of my flakes?
Is shampooing drying out my scalp and causing dandruff?

How does dandruff happen? Dandruff happens because of the unique environment of the scalp. First of all, you have your hair and your skin, which are both constantly growing and shedding. Now add to that your sebum (your skin's natural oil). When you have dandruff, your skin's top layer may shed more quickly. And when the skin sheds too quickly, it gets clumped up with sebum and creates those flakes you recognize as dandruff. Scientists also believe that increased sebum may favour the growth of a species of fungus or yeast that naturally lives on skin, and that this type of yeast may further contribute to dandruff.

Is dandruff contagious? No, you can't spread or catch dandruff. Also, rest assured that dandruff doesn't reflect poorly on your hygiene. You could be washing your hair every day and be totally well-groomed and still spot flakes from dandruff. Even then, severe cases of dandruff can often be easily cleared up by using an over-the-counter shampoo.

Why do guys tend to have dandruff more often than women? There are a couple of reasons why more men seem to be featured in antidandruff shampoo ads. For one thing, it's thought that male hormones, namely testosterone, play a big role in the production of sebum – and more sebum can mean more clumping of flakes. Also, the oil-producing glands on men's scalps tend to be larger than women's.

Why are my flakes yellow instead of white? Yellow flakes can be a sign of oily skin affected by sebhorreic dermatitis, a common but more intense form of dandruff. Along with flakes, skin may also be red and irritated. Stress, fatigue, and sudden weather shifts can trigger flare-ups of sebhorreic dermatitis. Though it can be pretty persistent, sebhorreic dermatitis can usually be controlled through regular, thorough cleansing with antidandruff shampoo.

How do antidandruff shampoos work? It depends on which kind of shampoo you use. Some dandruff shampoos include active ingredients like pyrithione zinc (PTZ) or ketoconazole, ciclopirox olamine, selenium sulfides or coal tar. These products deal with dandruff and its symptoms by reducing the effect of fungal species found in the skin to deal with dandruff and slowing down the shedding of dead skin cells that leads to flakes. Active ingredients like sulfur and salicylic acid can help to reduce clumping of dry, flaky skin on the scalp.

What if dandruff shampoo doesn't get rid of my flakes? If you've been using antidandruff shampoo regularly for a few weeks and see no results, you might not have dandruff after all! There may be another skin condition that is causing the skin on your scalp to flake. Although less common than dandruff, scalp psoriasis has similar symptoms. The dry, flaky patches tend to be silvery or grey on the surface with red, inflamed skin beneath the surface. Certain fungal infections on the scalp can cause flaking skin along with hair loss. The red, swollen skin caused by eczema can also lead to flaking on the scalp. No matter what the cause, unresolved scalp itchiness and flaking should be examined by a doctor or dermatologist.

Is shampooing drying out my scalp and causing dandruff? You may have a dry scalp that is being irritated by over-shampooing or by use of styling products. And this irritation may be the cause of flaking that looks like dandruff. A dry scalp is different from dandruff and may require different treatment. If you've tried using a dandruff shampoo and seen no visible change, consult a doctor or dermatologist. In the case of dandruff, you may not be shampooing enough! Using an antidandruff product on a regular basis and following product instructions, along with longer lather time, may help to reduce flakes and itchiness.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Dandruff-FAQ