What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a scalp disorder in which dead flakes of skin fall off of the scalp. One of the main symptoms of dandruff, besides flaking skin, is an itchy scalp. Although a person's body is always shedding skin, dandruff flakes are usually more visible. They can often be seen on a person's scalp and clothes, as well as in his hair.

Contrary to popular belief, most types of dandruff are not caused by a dry scalp. In fact, they are caused by the opposite problem, an oily scalp. When oil builds up on the scalp, it combines with the dead skin cells and falls off of the scalp. An oil build up on the scalp may be caused by an overproduction of oil or poor personal hygiene.

Oil-Related Dandruff : This type of dandruff typically occurs from bad hygiene practices. Oil-related dandruff comes from not shampooing your hair often enough.

Yeast-Related Dandruff : if the scalp is extremely greasy, and feels waxy like. This condition almost always needs medical attention, so medicated shampoos that contain zinc as an ingredient. This type of dandruff is formed due to the presence of a fungus called malassezia, which is present on the surface of every scalp without causing problems of dandruff.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very severe type of dandruff, and like other types of dandruff it also causes the scalp to itch. A person with this type of dandruff will usually have a very red and irritated scalp, and sores will often form. Although seborrheic dermatitis can affect the entire scalp, it is usually more common on the area at the back of the head and neck. In some cases, it may also affect other parts of the body, including the face and ears.

Dandruff in babies

Dandruff that affects infants, typically in the first six months is also cause of skin irritation in babies. It causes greasy, yellowish scales or crusts to form on the scalp. It is a very common harmless condition and is not a sign of a more serious infection. It will usually clear up by the time the child is two years old.

Gentle washing of the baby's hair and scalp may prevent a build-up of the scaly crusts. To help soften the scales and loosen the crust, massage a small amount of baby oil or olive oil into the scalp at night. In the morning, a soft baby brush or cloth can be used gently to remove any loose particles and the baby's hair can then be washed with a baby shampoo.

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