A prevalent skin condition among all ages is dandruff. It leads the scalp to become excessively dry and flake. One widespread misconception about dandruff is that it’s communicable. Well, no dandruff is neither contagious nor as dangerous. But it is a condition that leads to additional problems and complications. Apart from that, dandruff is also very challenging to get rid of. Furthermore, the white patches on the head due to dandruff can be pretty embarrassing in public.
While you can avoid mild dandruff with regular shampoo but if it persists, medicated shampoos are needed. Dandruff is a form of seborrheic dermatitis, a very tender form (1). It can also be observed with babies, which is called cradle cap. Dandruff is a dry condition, so that directs you to guess its causes accordingly. In this article, we will explore some unseen and surprising causes of dandruff.
The following topics will guide us:
- Common symptoms of dandruff
- Common causes and risk factors of dandruff
- 5 unseen causes that also lead to dandruff
Let us begin!
Common symptoms of dandruff
The signs of dandruff are pretty clear and noticeable. Dermatologists place dandruff as a mild skin condition that can occur in a hair filled area and bare patches. The common signs include:
- Itchy scalp
- White flakes (noticeable on the shoulders of dark clothing)
- Periodical ear eczema
- Rashes over eyebrows, nose, and ears
- Oily scalp and skin covered with dry flakes
- Eyebrow rash or dryness
- Beard rash or dryness
- Chest rash with red spots
- Acne on the forehead, back, neck, and chest
- White patches on the head due to dandruff
Common causes and risk factors of dandruff
Some of the well-known causes of dandruff are quite evident. Like:
- Irritated scalp
- Not shampooing enough
- A fungus called Malassezia
- Dry skin, especially during winters
- Sensitivity and allergies to hair care product ingredients
- Other underlying skin diseases like eczema or psoriasis
These are some of the apparent causes that lead to the development of dandruff. Furthermore, there are specific factors that risk causing dandruff. Like:
Dandruff generally develops at puberty and continues till mid ages. However, older adults and infants might also have dandruff. For some people, dandruff continues lifelong.
Stats show that dandruff affects males more than females. Although the exact cause is unknown, doctors suggest the hormones play a significant role here.
- Specific complications
Parkinson’s disease or several more common neural disorders tend to boost the risk of dandruff. A tender immune system can also trigger dandruff along with having HIV.
5 unseen causes that also lead to dandruff
We saw some common symptoms that you can easily correlate with the symptoms of dandruff. But that’s not all. Several studies have led to the excavation of specific unexpected causes that can lead to dandruff.
- Oily scalp
For a dry condition like dandruff, how can an oily scalp be an issue? Yes, it is unobvious but totally possible. Some hormones trigger the overproduction of sebum in the hair follicles. You might be thinking this is good. But no, over the top production of oil in the scalp leads to clogging of pores, which ultimately forms flakes. Periodic washing of your hair is necessary to keep the grease in control. Both under and over-washing can lead to white patches on the head due to dandruff.
Stress affects many days of activities and also your cognitive abilities, but scalp? Well, anxiety also has a turn on your scalp health. Although there is no direct link, the correlation is noteworthy. From hair fall to white patches on your head due to dandruff, stress can escalate it all. Your immune system takes a toll with excessive pressure. As a result, the naturally occurring scalp microbes are not fought. Which ultimately leads to dryness, itchiness, and flakes. Manage your stress and see the effect on your scalp.
- Vitamin deficiencies
Just like most parts of your body, your scalp also craves particular vitamins that help it thrive. Zinc, B vitamins, and essential fats are vital for your scalp health. To keep your scalp aloof of white patches on your head due to dandruff, add a variety of fruits, veggies, meat, and poultry protein to your platter.
We do not resonate with the amount of effect pollution has on your scalp daily. Several wild chemicals present in the air can call upon an apocalypse on your scalp’s health. Although there is no natural preventive for this, you sure have products to back you. Various hair products are targeted to protect your scalp from the effects of pollution. These are formulated to relieve oxidative stress and stop the white patches on your head due to dandruff before they even start.
Along with climatic heat and humidity, there are various occasions where you tend to heat the scalp. Processes like blow-drying, straightening, or curling leave your scalp dry and vulnerable to flaking. Reducing the use of dryers and letting your hair dry naturally on occasions gives your scalp a chance to rejuvenate.
By now, you know where is the origin of the white patches on your head due to dandruff. While you can easily prevent the known causes, specific unexpected causes may still lurk. This article covers a wide span of reasons that can lead to dry scalp conditions and dandruff (2). Your hair is your crown; always protect it.
Madelline completed her studies in community healthcare education. Apart from being a freelance writer, she also volunteers at the local non-profit organisations that help people suffering from mental disorders like depression and anxiety.