Understanding Dandruff

Dandruff is a common skin condition characterized by the excessive shedding of dead skin cells in the scalp. Shedding of dead skin cells in the scalp is considered normal. But in the case of dandruff, the shedding of the skin is more frequent than normal and is usually accompanied by redness and irritation.

Causes of dandruff

There are several things that can cause dandruff. Having dry skin can cause the scalp to flake and become itchy. Allergic reactions to certain hair products can also cause dandruff to develop.

A type of fungus called malassezia that lives on the scalp may irritate the surrounding skin as they feed on the oils secreted by the hair follicles. The irritation causes more skin cells to grow and making the extra skin cells die and become flakes that become dandruff.

Symptoms of dandruff

Dandruff can be seen in the scalp as white and oily looking skin flakes of dead skin in the scalp. Common symptoms associated with the condition include scaling and itchiness of the scalp area which is also sometimes followed by irritation.

Other skin conditions such as an irritated oily skin, psoriasis and eczema may also help develop dandruff in some people.

How to prevent dandruff?

There are ways that dandruff can be prevented. Shampooing regularly can help avoid dead skin cells from accumulating in the scalp. Avoid using hair care products known to cause an allergic reaction. Even keeping the skin well moisturized can help prevent dandruff.

How to treat dandruff?

Dandruff can easily be controlled with a little patience and persistence. Common treatments come in the form of special shampoos that contain various ingredients that help fight off dandruff. Shampoos containing zinc pyrithione aims to treat dandruff caused by fungus.

Selenium sulfide shampoos help prolong the life of skin cells as well as reduce fungal growth in the scalp. There is also ketoconazole shampoos that also is an anti-fungal agent used to treat dandruff. Other treatments include using tar-based shampoos and those containing salicylic acid.