What Is Dandruff?

Learn what dandruff is, some of the causes, and how to control it.

One of the most frustrating things to have when you are trying to look your best is dandruff. Not only do many people suffer from dandruff, but most of those people do not even know what dandruff really is, and may be carrying around certain myths about what dandruff is and what problems it may cause.

Dandruff is loose dead skin cells from the scalp that are raised on the scalp or that can get stuck in hair. Most people think that dandruff is a disease that has a cure. The truth is that dandruff is simply a natural process of getting rid of the dead skin cells on your scalp. Just like any other skin on your body, the skin on your scalp can get dry and shed the dead skin cells just as the skin on your arms or legs can. Since dandruff occurs naturally, it is unable to be cured. It can only be treated and controlled.

Dandruff is not dangerous, and despite all the hype about it, dandruff does not cause baldness. Dandruff is also not contagious though it may seem that way when you have dead skin cells falling out of your hair. Other people may not want to be too close to you, but the truth is that they will not get dandruff by just being close to someone who has dandruff.



Dandruff does not have an exact cause, but there are a few different ideas that are thought to cause dandruff. One is sensitivity to a fungus that is present on the scalp. If it is not the sensitivity to this fungus, it could possibly be an overgrowth of the fungus. Also, overactive oil glands in the scalp are thought to be another cause of dandruff. The overactive oil glands would increase the process of shedding the dead skin, which would in turn cause dandruff. The opposite can also cause dandruff. If there are clogged oil glands on the scalp then the scalp can get overly dry and produce dry flakes. There are also some external things that can add to dandruff or cause it. Shampooing infrequently may cause dandruff and not rinsing hair completely can add to the problem. Cold weather, dry environments, or tight hats can also give rise to dandruff. Dandruff can also become worse with a lot of stress or when someone is run down.

Since dandruff is a naturally occurring thing and cannot be cured, the best thing to do to get rid of it is to treat it. Treating dandruff can be as simple as shampooing more often with a mild shampoo and massaging the scalp to loosen the dead skin cells. If that does not work, then you can buy anti-dandruff shampoo over the counter and follow the directions. Usually you can begin noticing a difference right away when you use these shampoos. If you cannot notice a difference, you should see your doctor for a prescription for stronger anti-dandruff shampoos that might be able to help you. The best thing to start with is by shampooing more regularly and making sure to rinse your hair thoroughly. Also make sure that you are eating well and have good hygiene. This should help with the dandruff.

Dandruff can be very embarrassing and frustrating for people who have it. However, by knowing what dandruff really is and what some of the causes could be, you are able to start treating and controlling dandruff to make sure that you do not have to think about it or be embarrassed.

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