When we say the word ‘dandruff’, it will sound familiar to everyone, because most of us had experienced this at some time. This is a common skin issue, which comes in the form of white or yellow flaking on the scalp, ears, beard and eyebrows. You may find the effect of dandruff on different parts of the body, but your scalp will be the most troubling part.
No matter the age, dandruff may strike babies, and we call it cradle cap. Seborrhea dermatitis or dandruff may be periodic or chronic according to the condition of the skin and nature of the person. Most noteworthy, dry skin and oily scalp may lead to seborrhea dermatitis; in spite of they are two opposite skin conditions.
Most people complain white flaking on their shoulders and collars without seeking the real cause and treatment. In this article, I am going to discuss these symptoms, causes and available treatments of dandruff or seborrhea dermatitis for both men and women.
Common causes of dandruff ‘seborrhea dermatitis’
In general, there is no clear or known cause of this skin condition. However, we can define the common causes and symptoms of dandruff by many ways. Symptoms of dandruff are not similar in all cases, but they differ according to the cause of the condition and nature of skin.
First, skin produces cells on a regular basis to replace dead skin cells. These cells will replace other cells on an accurate mechanism. In addition, the process of producing skin cells may experience disorder due to unknown reasons. Consequently, skin may produce huge numbers of cells, which accumulate on the surface of the skin formatting white or yellow flaking.
Second, dandruff is not a result of fungal infection, as most people consider. Fungal infection cause another skin condition, which is called tinea capitis. On the other hand, seborrhea dermatitis is not contagious, because the real cause of it is bacteria, and not fungi.
Third, scalp needs grooming and continuous hygiene with some suitable scalp products such as shampoos, washes and conditioners. If a person does not clean scalp well, dead skin cells will accumulate on the surface of the skin. Dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities will block skin pores and form white and yellow flaking on the scalp. Using inappropriate shampoos or washes may lead to increase flaking and worsen scalp condition.
Forth, our skin always react to any weather changes that may affect its nature. As a result, cold, hot or humid weather changes will lead to different skin conditions and issues. Dandruff is one of these skin conditions, which result in changing skin nature. All these weather changes cause dryness of the scalp and increase the production of skin cells.
Fifth, immune system may experience some disorder or poor condition in many persons. This poor reacting may lead to many health conditions especially that are related to skin and scalp. Poor immune system will not defend our skin against these inhabited microbes and fungi on its surface. As a result, these microbes will regenerate and cause seborrhea dermatitis and other skin conditions.
Finally, seborrhea dermatitis can be a chronic skin condition. This case needs continuous care and treatment to reduce the symptoms. Furthermore, the psychological state may also affect the increase of these symptoms. Stress and emotional effects will lead to exacerbate the amount of flaking on the scalp.
Symptoms of dandruff ‘seborrhea dermatitis’
Dandruff may affect different parts of the body, but the common part that most people complain of is the scalp. Most noteworthy, the common symptoms of dandruff will appear on different parts of the body, such as scalp, ears, nose, eyebrows, beard and chest.
The most common symptom of dandruff is white or yellow flaking that appear on the shoulders or collar. In addition, these flakes are not the only symptom of dandruff, because tinea capitis may carry the same symptom. Itching is perhaps the most common symptom of dandruff. If you feel that your scalp becomes itchy with some flakes on, then you need to check dandruff.
Moreover, your ears may carry the same symptom of eczema. When it comes to the eyebrows, dandruff will be a clear sign that strike facial skin in many parts. On the other hand, your beard may suffer the effects of dandruff. You can call it ‘beardruff ‘ as another term of beard dandruff. During the first stages of beard growth, you may experience flaking due to dandruff. This is a result of weather changes and dry facial skin. The same happens with your beard.
You will feel that your beard becomes itchy and the underneath skin becomes dry. In addition, scalp, beard and eyebrow rash is a common symptom of seborrhea dermatitis. You will notice that your facial skin and scalp becomes oilier than before. It is because the excessive skin oils and cells production. Finally, dandruff may strike any part of the body that contains hair follicles.
Different methods of treating dandruff
After you become sure that you experience seborrhea dermatitis or dandruff, you will need to choose the right treatment of this skin condition. It is different from other skin conditions that have the same symptoms, such as tinea capitis, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, lupus and periodical dermatitis.
Sometimes, home remedies may be a perfect solution for normal dandruff types. However, these remedies may not be suitable for severe types of dandruff. If you experience normal dandruff, coal tar shampoos will be a good treatment. You can find these ingredients in most dandruff shampoos, such as Neutrogena T/Gel and ArtNaturals dandruff shampoo.
The second vital ingredient that treats normal dandruff is selenium sulfide, which can control flaking and cleans all the dead skin cells. Selsun blue and Head & Shoulders contain selenium sulfate 1%. These ingredients are safe to use on all types of skin and they achieve wonderful results.
Finally, one of the most important active ingredients in dandruff shampoos is zinc pyrithione. It has strong cleaning effect on scalp and beard dandruff. All the previous ingredients are suitable to treat beard dandruff by many ways. Nevertheless, beard dandruff shampoos contains light formulas of these ingredients, because any strong effect may lead to skin rash and irritation. To obtain wonderful results, you will need to use this shampoo twice a week on a regular basis for more than a month.
Other therapeutic treatments of dandruff
Any person experience irritated skin or oily scalp may be subject to severe dandruff types on different parts of the body. If you find that your scalp is red and you cannot prevent yourself from itching, then the main reason is perhaps dandruff. Irritated scalp will be red due to its inability to resist weather changes or some kinds of hair styling products.
This type of dandruff will be in the shape of rash or eczema because it has the same scalp condition of seborrhea. This kind of dandruff needs a special dandruff shampoo to inhibit flakes and skin irritation.
If you do not wash your hair on a regular basis, skin cells and natural oils of the scalp will accumulate on the surface. In addition, these skin cells and oils will cause some kind of flakes and crusts on the scalp, but without redness or irritation. The suitable cure for this type is to use a cleansing shampoo or a normal shampoo that contains a cleansing agent to remove all dead skin cells and excessive natural oils.
Third, some fungi such as Malassezia may be a popular cause of dandruff. This type of fungi lives naturally on the scalp surface due to infection or environmental factors. The fungus grows on the scalp and it causes the skin to produce much cells. Furthermore, the increase in skin cells production will result in excessive fakes and scabs.
Using the suitable dandruff shampoo will treat this type of fungi. Nevertheless, using the same shampoo every time dandruff appears may be ineffective due to the ability of the fungus to resist the vital ingredients after repeated use.
Moreover, weather may cause another type of dandruff, especially in cool winter and hot weather. This type of dandruff result in dry skin that causes flakes on the surface of the scalp. The skin now needs some conditioning formula or a shampoo that contains oily substance that reduces dryness.
Finally, when you use a specific shampoo or any other hair product and you change the product repeatedly, you may notice dandruff. This type of dandruff results in flakes on the scalp due to using different hair products.