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Those unpleasant white flakes on the collar of your dark shirt or blouse are dandruff. Dandruff is a sign that the skin of the scalp is peeling off (exfoliating). It is perfectly normal for the skin to exfoliate. The problem arises when the amount of dandruff becomes an eyesore. There are basically two reasons for this. Too much production or not effective removal. In the too much production category are inflammatory diseases of the scalp. In the ineffective removal category is inadequate scalp hygienic efforts.

Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition marked by flaking of the skin on your scalp. Dandruff isn’t contagious or serious. But it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat. The good news is that dandruff usually can be controlled. Mild cases of dandruff may need nothing more than daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser. More-stubborn cases of dandruff often respond to medicated shampoos.

Symptoms
For most teens and adults, dandruff symptoms are easy to spot: white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders, and a possibly itchy, scaly scalp. The condition may worsen during the fall and winter, when indoor heating can contribute to dry skin, and improve during the summer.
A type of dandruff called cradle cap can affect babies. This disorder, which causes a scaly, crusty scalp, is most common in newborns, but it can occur anytime during infancy. Although it can be alarming for parents, cradle cap isn’t dangerous and usually clears up on its own.

• Green tea has shown potential for the treatment of dandruff and psoriasis, according to research published in 2012. Researchers believe a special formulation that can penetrate the skin’s waterproof barrier will combat excessive cell growth, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

• llama antibodies to shampoo could be a new strategy for fighting dandruff.

• Using anti-dandruff shampoo can help you to get rid of dandruff. If you don’t want to use chemical laden hair products you can instead opt for home remedies. One of the most effective home remedies is to use lemon juice on your scalp. Simply massage 2 tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. You can also stir in a teaspoon lemon juice into a cup water and rinse your hair with it. The acidity of lemon juice helps balance the pH of your scalp. This helps to keep your scalp clean and also keeps dandruff at bay.

How does dandruff happen?

 Dandruff happens because of the unique environment of the scalp. First of all, you have your hair and your skin, which are both constantly growing and shedding. Now add to that your sebum (your skin’s natural oil). When you have dandruff, your skin’s top layer may shed more quickly. And when the skin sheds too quickly, it gets clumped up with sebum and creates those flakes you recognize as dandruff.

Is dandruff contagious?

No, you can’t spread or catch dandruff. Also, rest assured that dandruff doesn’t reflect poorly on your hygiene. You could be washing your hair every day and be totally well-groomed and still spot flakes from dandruff. Even then, severe cases of dandruff can often be easily cleared up by using an over-the-counter shampoo.

Why do guys tend to have dandruff more often than women?

There are a couple of reasons why more men seem to be featured in antidandruff shampoo ads. For one thing, it’s thought that male hormones, namely testosterone, play a big role in the production of sebum – and more sebum can mean more clumping of flakes. Also, the oil-producing glands on men’s scalps tend to be larger than women’s.

Why are my flakes yellow instead of white?

Yellow flakes can be a sign of oily skin affected by sebhorreic dermatitis, a common but more intense form of dandruff. Along with flakes, skin may also be red and irritated. Stress, fatigue, and sudden weather shifts can trigger flare-ups of sebhorreic dermatitis. Though it can be pretty persistent, sebhorreic dermatitis can usually be controlled through regular, thorough cleansing with antidandruff shampoo.

How do antidandruff shampoos work?

 It depends on which kind of shampoo you use. Some dandruff shampoos include active ingredients like pyrithione zinc (PTZ) to deal with dandruff and its symptoms. Other dandruff shampoos feature active ingredients like selenium sulfides or coal tar, which help to both reduce dandruff and its symptoms and slow down the shedding of dead skin cells that leads to flakes. Active ingredients like sulfur and salicylic acid can help to reduce clumping of dry, flaky skin on the scalp.

What if dandruff shampoo doesn’t get rid of my flakes?

 If you’ve been using antidandruff shampoo regularly for a few weeks and see no results, you might not have dandruff after all! There may be another skin condition that is causing the skin on your scalp to flake. The red, swollen skin caused by eczema can lead to flaking on the scalp. And scalp psoriasis has symptoms similar to dandruff, too. Psoriasis is much less common than dandruff, and the dry, flaky patches tend to be silvery or grey on the surface with red, inflamed skin beneath the surface. No matter what the cause, unresolved scalp itchiness and flaking should be examined by a doctor or dermatologist.

Is shampooing drying out my scalp and causing dandruff?

You may have a dry scalp that is being irritated by over-shampooing or by use of styling products. And this irritation may be the cause of flaking that looks like dandruff. A dry scalp is different from dandruff and may require different treatment. If you’ve tried using a dandruff shampoo and seen no visible change, consult a doctor or dermatologist. In the case of dandruff, you may not be shampooing enough! Using an antidandruff product on a regular basis and following product instructions, along with longer lather time, may help to reduce flakes and itchiness.

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