Dandruff is a very common condition of the scalp, reports medical contributor Dr. Emily Senay. It's estimated that it affects about one in three people. The skin on your head renews itself by shedding old skin. And that typically happens about every four weeks or so. But with dandruff, the process is sped up and there is an overgrowth of cells. These cells tend to clump together and absorb the oils produced in the hair follicle which can make the flakes even larger.
TRIGGERS FOR DANDRUFF
Many people wrongly assume that it's a dry scalp that promotes dandruff but in fact, it's an oily scalp that's actually is a major trigger for dandruff.
You may not want to hear this, but you have many microorganisms on your head. And your skin's secretions usually keep them in check. But if you have too many of them, it can lead to flaking.
This may surprise a lot of people but stress can actually contribute to dandruff. The reason is, is that when you are feeling anxious
your skin's secretions increase which impairs resistance to the microorganisms that we just spoke about.
Cold, dry weather can often make dandruff worse.
TIPS ON FIGHTING DANDRUFF
For many people, just washing your hair more often with regular shampoo can decrease flakes. And be sure to rinse well.
There are several popular and very effective dandruff fighting shampoos on the market such as X-Seb -T , Selsun Blue, Head & Shoulders, Neutrogena T-Gel and Nizoral A-D. Now each of these shampoos contain a different active ingredient. For instance T-Gel contains Tar. Many people find relief from Tar based products but others don't. So if after using one brand of shampoo you find that the flakes aren't going away, try another brand.
An overuse of products such as mousses, gels and hairsprays can lead to the accumulation of oils on the hair and scalp.
We are only talking about moderate exposure here, because as we all know, too much sun can lead to skin cancer. But what happens is that exposure to the sunlight may produce an anti-inflammatory effect, making your scalp less sensitive.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR
If all of the above methods have failed, you'll want to contact your physician. He or she can prescribe shampoos that contain higher doses of dandruff fighting ingredients as well as topical solutions that contain cortisone.