What is dandruff? Dandruff, which is also known as a scurf or Pityriasis simplex capillitii, is described as a scalp problem that causes the appearance of flakes on the skin. Nowadays, more and more people are experiencing this annoying scalp condition; however, there are only a few who are able to manage or treat this problem successfully. We all know that our skin renew itself in order to replace dead skin cells. Once our skin cells are renewed in our scalp, the old cells are being pushed to the surface causing them to peel off the skin. This is the reason why we see flakes of skin on our scalp or otherwise known as the dandruff. When we are suffering from dandruff problems, it may indicate that our skin renewal is abnormally fast causing more dead skin to shed off. This makes dandruff more noticeable which can also cause our head to become very itchy. For more information about dandruff, let us read on.
Learning More about Dandruff
The word dandruff comes from an E. Anglian dialect “huff” or “hurf”, which means scab. Dandruff usually occurs once the scalp is frequently exposed or subjected to extreme temperatures. Dandruff can also be considered a long term problem (chronic) or it can also be a result from certain triggering factors. People with dandruff can also experience irritation and as well as redness on the scalp due to constant scratching. The excessive flaking of the scalp can be caused by an underlying condition or disease. One of the most common skin problems associated to dandruff is psoriasis. Other health problems that can lead to dandruff formation include fungal infections such as malassezia, presence of head lice and as well as seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that is characterized by inflammation and the production of flakes. This is actually considered a severe form of dandruff. However, this does not only affect the scalp but as well as the different parts of the skin.
Other people may also experience severe dandruff problems due to social or self esteem issues. This is the reason why it is important to include both the physiological and as well as the psychological interventions in treating or managing skin problems such as dandruff.
Some individuals with severe dandruff may have social or self-esteem problems. Therefore, treatment may be important for both physiological and psychological reasons. It is also important for us to know that dandruff is very different from dry scalp. Most people think that regular washing or rinsing of hair can prevent or alleviate dandruff problems. However, the drying of the scalp is not similar to the production of flaky dead skin, which is dandruff. Washing alone will not be able to cure the said scalp problem since it requires shampoos that are specifically designed or made in order to treat dandruff.
These days, about half of the population of Western Europe and North America suffer from dandruff problems. Although both men and women can experience dandruff, this skin problem is commonly exhibited by the males. People with oil skin are also at high risk of developing dandruff. In other studies related to dandruff, diet or food is also recognized to be a triggering factor to the production of flakes in our scalp. A diet that is mostly composed of sugar, salt and spice can increase the chances of having dandruff. Excessive or regular consumption of alcoholic beverages is also linked to the occurrence and exacerbation of the said scalp condition. Nevertheless, dandruff is not a contributing factor to hair loss.
Identifying the Common Signs and Symptoms of Dandruff
The hallmark sign of dandruff is none other than the presence of white flakes on the scalp and in the strands of hair. Sometimes, these flakes can also be visible on our dark clothes, particularly in the shoulder area, once the condition is already considered severe. These flakes can be oily looking and the head can also become very itchy and tight. Our head can also experience a tingly feeling and soreness. Aside from these, red, flaky and greasy patches of the skin can also be exhibited along with the presence of crusting and scaling rash on scalp. Usually dandruff cases can be managed through home care. However, once the scratching becomes severe and the scalp is already inflamed and swollen, then it is already advisable for us to seek the attention of a dermatologist or skin doctor.
Dandruff can also affect children and even babies. Dandruff, however, is referred to as cradle cap among infants. The signs and symptoms of this condition usually appear between the ages of 3 to 8 weeks. Nevertheless, this problem is expected to disappear after only a few weeks without the need for advanced interventions. Cradle cap can be alarming for parents; however, this is actually not dangerous or life threatening for the baby.
Ways to Treat Dandruff
For adults, dandruff can be treated by using anti dandruff shampoos. These shampoos are concocted in order to contain antimicrobial properties and ingredients such as selenium sulphide and zinc pyrithione, which are very effective in combating mild cases of dandruff. These can be purchase in local grocery stores and can also be used against scalp fungal infections. Aside from anti dandruff shampoo, anti fungal shampoos can also be used such as ketoconazole, which can provide a mild yet effective relief from dandruff.
These are some of the important facts regarding dandruff, which includes the symptoms and the effective interventions against the skin problem.