What is Dandruff?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 06, 2013

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What is Dandruff

Dandruff is an inflammatory skin condition in which dead skin cells are shed from the scalp in large enough amounts to be noticeable as flakes in the scalp and on clothing. These are apparent only when they are stuck together, owing to the surface debris and oil on the hair. Medically, it is a form of seborrheic dermatitis. The condition doesn’t have any complications besides a reddening scalp.  

The dry white flakes of skin cells that drop off from your scalp on to your collar or shoulders are harmless, but could cause itchiness of the scalp. The condition has nothing to do with your hair or how often you wash it, but occurs because of the skin on your scalp.


[Read: How to Get Rid of Dandruff]

When the skin cells of the scalp grow and die quickly, you will have dandruff. Health research hasn’t been conclusive of why it happens. Many argue that a fungus called malassezia, which lives on the scalp, may contribute to dandruff. Another theory associated with the fungus suggests that the immune system may overreact to that fungus.


[Read: Home Remedies for Dandruff]

One of the leading causes of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea. It is not only confined to scalp, but people may also have seborrheic dermatitis in other parts of the body such as the ears and face. High stress levels have been found to have a direct impact on how much and how often one suffers from dandruff; dandruff may get worse when you're stressed. Moreover, cold/dry winter weather is another contributor to dandruff.

Dandruff can be managed or controlled. Mild cases of dandruff need nothing more than daily shampooing with a mild cleanser while severe cases of dandruff respond well to medicated shampoos.



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