- What is dandruff?
- Signs of scalp dandruff
- What causes dandruff on the head: the main reasons
- Methods for dealing with dandruff on the scalp
- Proper preventive scalp and hair care
According to medical statistics, almost half of the adult population of the planet suffers from such a disease of the scalp as dandruff. This disease is not dangerous, but it causes a lot of trouble and social discomfort.
With insufficient or untimely treatment, the problem can lead to negative consequences, up to hair loss. What causes dandruff on the head? We’ll take a look at the main causes of white hair flakes and the best ways to combat them.
What is dandruff?
Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, is a common scalp disorder that affects 40-60% of adults worldwide. Yeast fungi of the genus Malassezia provoke the occurrence of seborrhea: under favorable conditions, the active reproduction of the fungus begins, irritation of the scalp appears and its metabolic processes are disrupted.
Excessive scaling (desquamation) of the scalp is a consequence of the accelerated division of keratinized skin cells (mature corneocytes). Normally, the life cycle of cells is approximately 28 days, and when dandruff develops, it shortens to 7-20 days. Without having time to renew themselves naturally, the cells mix with sebum, stick to each other and create the very pieces – dandruff flakes.
There are two types of dandruff: dry and oily.
- Oily seborrhea occurs in the form of dense large yellowish scales, sticking to each other in layers and accumulating on the surface of the scalp. Oily dandruff is caused by excessive sebum production, which creates an ideal breeding ground for the Malassezia fungus. Treatment should be aimed primarily at reducing sebum production and deep cleansing the scalp.
- Dry seborrhea looks like small dusty scales of white or gray color, freely distributed over the entire surface of the head and hair. With the dry form of the disease, the skin needs moisturizing and nourishing ingredients, vitamins and antioxidants.
Both types of seborrhea can cause itchy skin, but not in all cases. In any form of the disease, the skin needs to exfoliate dead particles and reduce the activity of the Malassezia fungus.
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Signs of scalp dandruff
Dandruff on the head is often confused with such a common skin disease as psoriasis or dermatitis, the active form of which is also accompanied by intense flaking, redness and irritation of the skin.
The main symptoms of dandruff are:
- Numerous scales of keratinized cells, scattered over the entire surface of the scalp and hair, pillowcase, clothing.
- There is irritation of the scalp, itching, a feeling of tightness, microcracks.
- The scalp epidermis becomes excessively oily or, conversely, too dry.
- Hair grows dull, weakened, thinner, electrified, losing volume and healthy appearance.
What causes dandruff on the head: the main reasons
Doctors-trichologists identify 11 causes of dandruff:
- imbalance of microflora (increase in pathogenic bacteria);
- violations of the acid-base balance (pH) of the skin and the hydrolipid mantle of the skin;
- hormonal imbalance;
- active phase of reproduction of the fungus Malassezia Restricta and Malassezia Globoza;
- genetic predisposition;
- violation of the metabolism of skin cells;
- decreased skin immunity;
- the influence of negative environmental factors;
- nervous strain, stress, lack of sleep;
- improper care;
Note that the hair and scalp in men are more prone to increased oiliness and dandruff: the male epidermis is denser, has a different pH from the female, and is more prone to hair loss.
Methods for dealing with dandruff on the scalp
A comprehensive approach to the treatment of focal dandruff will help to effectively get rid of unpleasant symptoms and white flakes, preventing a new outbreak of the disease.
If a lot of scales appear on the head, the skin is irritated and itchy, it is recommended:
- Enrich the diet with vitamins A, C, group B and balance the usual menu – maintain the condition of the skin and hair from the inside.
- Make an appointment with a trichologist or dermatologist.
- Provide adequate home care for your hair and scalp. Purchase specialized products for cleansing the scalp from excess sebum and stratum corneum of the epidermis: shampoos, conditioners, peels, dandruff-type lotions and hair.
- Consult a beautician for anti-dandruff salon treatments.
Having decided on the main reasons from which dandruff appears, you can start choosing a shampoo. Most often, the problem can be solved independently with the help of appropriate care. Pay attention to the composition of the product: Anti-dandruff product formulas contain ingredients known for their fungistatic properties.
It should include the following ingredients:
- substances with antifungal, antibacterial activity (selenium disulfide, zinc pyrithione, piroctone olamine);
- keratolytics (exfoliating ingredients) that help remove dead skin cells from the skin surface (salicylic, lipohydroxy, lactic acid and mechanical abrasives);
- regulators of sebum production (salicylic acid, black clay, charcoal);
- soothing ingredients to soothe itching and relieve inflammation (glycerin, thermal water);
- nutrients and antioxidants to restore and normalize skin cells (vitamin E), protecting against free radicals and strengthening the skin’s barrier functions.
Additionally, cooling and refreshing ingredients (menthol, tea tree oil) can be included in the basis of anti-dandruff formulas.
- Intensive anti-dandruff shampoo Kerium DS with a micro-exfoliating effect for hair effectively eliminates persistent dandruff and flaking, soothes the scalp skin. The lasting effect in the fight against dandruff is due to the patented LHA micro-exfoliation technology (lipo-hydroxy-acid together with salicylic acid). After the first application, peeling and itching are noticeably reduced, and the feeling of discomfort disappears. Dandruff completely disappears 3 weeks after the start of use.
One of the most effective cosmetic procedures for getting rid of dandruff on the head is a gentle skin peeling. It is a deep gentle cleaning that helps to get rid of the stratum corneum of cells and improve metabolic processes of cells.
In addition to peeling, experts distinguish the following effective salon services:
- ultrasonic cleaning of the scalp;
- deep action therapeutic masks aimed at tissue regeneration, softening, moisturizing and nutrition;
- cryomassage – a massage procedure using liquid nitrogen;
- mesotherapy – microinjections of a complex of various components necessary to improve the condition of the scalp and hair.
Proper preventive scalp and hair care
- The first and foremost rule is to choose hair and scalp care products according to their type and needs.
- Wash your hair as it gets dirty. Use cleansers with mild hypoallergenic formulas based on natural soothing and restorative ingredients.
- If you have a hypersensitive scalp, choose sulfate-free formulas labeled “SLS free” on the packaging. Such products are softer and more delicate.
- Apply masks and conditioners to the hair, retreating 2-5 cm from the roots (unless otherwise provided by the manufacturer) – care residues can provoke dehydration and an allergic scalp reaction.