Learn the causes and effects of dandruff and break the myths involved

By Skin & Hair Academy  |   December 09, 2015

Dandruff is a common scalp condition identified by skin flaking on a person’s scalp. Although dandruff is not serious, and is not contagious as well, it can lead to embarrassment at times, and can be very difficult to get rid of.

Dandruff is characterized by

Oily, white flakes visible on the hair, and also the shoulders sometimes

Scalp scaling and itching

Worsened condition during winter and fall seasons

Dandruff is characterized by

  • 1. Skin dryness – A dry scalp and dandruff are closely related
  • 2. Oily or irritated skin, which may indicate seborrheic dermatitis
  • 3. Infrequent shampooing, which may lead to build up of skin cells and oils on the scalp, thus causing dandruff
  • 4. A skin condition, like psoriasis or eczema
  • 5. Malassezia, a yeast like fungus that lives on your scalp, and irritates it
  • 6. Contact dermatitis, where scalp is allergic to certain chemical ingredients in your hair products

How to deal with dandruff

Wash hair with a gentle shampoo daily to reduce oiliness and skin cell build-up. [1]

Shampoos with antifungal agent zinc pyrithione can help get rid of dandruff. [2]

Shampoos containing salicylic acid and selenium sulfide also help keep flakes off.[3]

Brush hair and scalp to stimulate blood flow to reduce dry flakes. [4]

Maintain a diet high in zinc and B vitamins. [3]

De-stress; stress is linked to dandruff flare-ups. [4]


When to worry?

Although dandruff is not a serious condition, you should start worrying if your scaling is yellow and greasy, and if it does not respond to OTC dandruff lotions and shampoos. This may be an indication of seborrheic dermatitis.


[1]. http://www.aocd.org/?page=SeborrheicDermatiti

[2]. http://www.aocd.org/?page=Dandruff&hhSearchTerms=Dandruff

[3]. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002416.htm

[3]. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dandruff/basics/definition/CON-20023690

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