A new survey by the British Skin Foundation has found that dandruff, which effects roughly fifty percent of the population at some point in their lives, can cause psychological distress, lower self-esteem and reduce quality of life.
Of the 400 people surveyed, one in five had been bullied about their dandruff and one in three had avoided social situations due to their dandruff.
So although dandruff is such as common and clearly upsetting problem for many people, not that much is known about it.
Many wrongly assume dandruff is caused by dirty hair or slack personal hygiene, but the medical causes for dandruff are actually quite varied.
This is the most common form of dandruff and is caused by yeast that lives naturally on everyone’s scalp. They feast on oils there and secrete waste products.
In those prone to dandruff, this speeds up the production of new skin cells and the shedding of old cells. The old cells clump together, producing the visible flecks of skin we know as dandruff.
Sensitive scalp dandruff
This is caused by mild allergic scalp reactions to shampoos or hair products. The scalp becomes itchy and then dries and flakes. This is very common and many people mistake this type of dandruff for fungal dandruff.
With sensitive scalp dandruff the scalp feels tender and sensitive and usually very itchy. Often the sufferer also gets a mild rash or itching around the hair line or behind the ears so that is a good way to check for this type of dandruff.
Normal anti-fungal dandruff shampoos do not work on this type of dandruff and can actually make the irritation worse.
In addition all hair care products containing high levels of chemicals (in particular SLS) and also many hair dyes can make this condition much worse.
Aim for mostly natural hair care products suitable for sensitive skin and avoid styling products and hair dyes as much as possible.
Dry scalp dandruff
This type of dandruff is caused by extreme dryness of the scalp, typically caused by eczema but also caused by dehydration, chlorine from pools, sun burn to the scalp or stress.
This type of dandruff causes extreme flaking and the scalp feels itchy and tight.
Anti-fungal dandruff shampoos and treatments can make this condition considerably worse and can cause scalp inflammation and sensitivity.
Specialist shampoos for very dry scalp are the most helpful way of treating this type of dandruff.
Try Hydrosil Dry Scalp Shampoo by Skin Shop, which is free from chemicals and contains natural ingredient to help restore moisture to the scalp and reduce itching and scalp inflammation.
Also try to avoid drying the hair with a hairdryer as much as possible as this further dries out the scalp and can make the healing process longer.
Scalp psoriasis dandruff
This is dandruff caused by the skin condition psoriasis which may or may not be present elsewhere on the body.
Scalp psoriasis causes raised red and silvery skin plaques, usually oval in shape, on the scalp which then crust, dry and flake off. The condition is often very itchy.
Try Oregon Hair Care by Skin Shop which is specifically for treating scalp psoriasis without using harsh chemicals.