welcome to disease section for dandruff 

Healthy skin vs skin with dandruff
Healthy skin vs skin with dandruff

Skin separates the inside of the body from the outside world and acts as a protective covering from bacteria and viruses, and regulates your body temperature. Healthy skin appears moist, clear and glowing which is a sign of good diet and healthy body. Dandruff is a common skin problem these days. It affects the scalp and other areas of the body with rich oil glands, such as nostrils, the backs of ears, the groin and armpits. Skin with dandruff appears to be white and flaky and is rich in oil. Causes of dandruff are seborrheic dermatitis, dry skin, streaa, etc. Natural remedies to treat skin with dandruff are use of tea tree oil, lemon, etc. Dandruff and cradle cap are common names for seborrheic dermatitis.

Dandruff causes
Dandruff causes

Dandruff is flaking of scalp (and othe areas on the skin) which is often accompanied by itching. Dandruff is not the direct cause of hair loss but itchiness leads to scratching which can injure the hair follicles and lead to some hair loss. One main cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatisis is the occurrence of red and greasy (oily) skin that is covered in flaky white or yellow scales. These white flakes are clusters of dead skin cells. Dandruff occurs due sensitivity due to some hair products (unsuitable), skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, etc, overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus, pollution, etc. Shampoo with pyrinthione zinc, salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, etc helps to reduce dandruff.

Dandruff and hair loss
Dandruff and hair loss

Dandruff is a common condition that causes flaky skin on the scalp. This skin often falls off, leaving white flakes on your hair and shoulders. Generally, dandruff doesn't directly cause any hair loss. However, dandruff is associated with itchiness in many cases. The itchiness causes a person to scratch the head which causes hair fall. But psoriasis, which is a skin condition with similar symptoms, can cause hair loss. Therefore, it is important to talk to a doctor to confirm whether it is dandruff or something else.

Signs and symptoms of dandruff
Signs and symptoms of dandruff

You can realize you have dandruff if it is dry with flaking scalp, though it may not always be dandruff. It could merely be a sign of dry scalp. The main symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp are same. But they both are different conditions and require different treatment. In most cases, dandruff symptoms include white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin that fall on your hair and shoulders, and may also be associated with an itchy and scaly scalp.

Dandruff VS psoriasis
Dandruff VS psoriasis

The image shows skin of head with psoriasis. If you notice dry, flaky skin on your scalp, it can be dandruff or psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic condition which can cause great discomfort. It cannot be cured. On the other hand, dandruff can be treated relatively easily and is usually not a serious problem. If your dandruff doesn’t go away or doesn’t get better after 2-3 weeks of using antidandruff shampoo, you should see a skin specialist called dermatologist. They may diagnose whether the condition is dandruff or somehing else such as psoriasis. They may also recommend a medicated ointment.

Skin dandruff viewed through a microscope
Skin dandruff viewed through a microscope

If there are flakes of dead skin in your hair and on your shoulders along with an itchy scalp, you are likely having dandruff. This photo represents a microscopic view of a human dandruff sample. Dandruff is though harmless, but it can be quite irritating and can cause itching. It can result in social or self-esteem issues. A severe form of the dandruff, which includes inflammation of the skin, is called seborrhoeic dermatitis. [Image used under Creative Commons License from Wikimedia]

Hair growth cycle
Hair growth cycle

Hair grows from the follicle, or root, underneath the skin. The hair growth involves a cyclic process which passes through four different stages: anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen.