Dandruff is primarily caused by a combination of factors, including:
Fungal Overgrowth: The most common cause is an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, which is naturally present on the scalp.
Sebum Production: Malassezia feeds on the natural oils (sebum) produced by the scalp. Excess sebum can lead to an overgrowth of the fungus.
Sensitivity to Hair Products: Some hair care products with harsh chemicals may irritate the scalp and contribute to dandruff.
Dry Skin: Dry skin can lead to flaking, affecting the scalp.
Not Shampooing Enough: Infrequent shampooing allows oil and dead skin cells to accumulate on the scalp, potentially leading to dandruff.
Medical Conditions: Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or seborrheic dermatitis can cause symptoms similar to dandruff.
Diet and Stress: While not direct causes, poor diet and high-stress levels can contribute to skin and scalp issues, potentially exacerbating dandruff.
The main symptom of dandruff is the appearance of white, oily flakes of dead skin on the scalp and in the hair. It can be accompanied by itching and irritation of the scalp.
Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: Shampoos containing active ingredients like zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole can help control dandruff. Use them regularly as directed.
Scalp Exfoliation: Gently massaging the scalp with a soft brush or using a scalp scrub can help remove dead skin cells and reduce flaking.
Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients and staying hydrated can support overall skin health.
Manage Stress: Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
Avoid Harsh Hair Products: Use mild, gentle hair care products that are suitable for your scalp type.
Consult a Dermatologist: If dandruff persists or worsens despite using over-the-counter treatments, consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.