What you need to know about dandruff: myths, facts and how to treat it
Dandruff is a very common issue, according to the information from Dercos, Clínica del Cabello y Scalp , almost 50% of the adult population worldwide has or had dandruff and 5% suffers from seborrheic dermatitis. Despite being one of the most recurrent problems of the scalp, few times those who suffer from it know exactly what it is and how it should be treated. Therefore, it is important to return to this topic from the basic points.
We spoke with Dr. Claudia Aquino, dermatologist and spokesperson for VICHY México, in order to understand what dandruff is, how to identify it, as well as the most popular myths and realities on the subject and, above all, how to treat it.
As part of a natural process, epithelial cells are normally renewed every 28 days; In the case of the scalp, the same occurs, unless it is stressed and this results in an acceleration in the renewal process, taking between 13 or 15 days, which results in a visible accumulation of scales and cellular debris, which is what which we know as dandruff.
It can be presented in two ways:
What is the most common, is when we can see these fine and whitish flakes on the surface of the scalp, they fall off easily and can be seen on dark hair and clothes.
These are large, yellowish flakes that adhere to the scalp. It is always associated with excess sebum. The scalp shows irritation due to scratching.
Most of the time, both conditions are usually accompanied by itchy scalp and surely from here a series of doubts arise, some myths are born and it is important to know how to identify them and have real data on dandruff in order to know how to counteract it . Dr. Claudia Aquino helped us clarify the myths and highlight the realities of dandruff.
Myth: dandruff is caused by a contagion from another person who has it
Dandruff is not contagious. It is caused by an excess production of fat in people with a tendency to suffer stress, anxiety and nervous tension, or by an excess in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As well as the constant use of products that affect the pH of the scalp (such as dyes or fixatives).
Reality: Each type of dandruff has different manifestations and treatment
There are two types of dandruff, dry and oily. People who suffer from any of them usually feel discomfort because their manifestations are very visible.
In the case of dry dandruff, fine, white scales and cellular debris are visible on the surface and around the scalp, and on clothing; and in oily dandruff the scales are larger and yellow. In both types there is usually irritation, redness and itching of the scalp. Each type of dandruff must be treated with specific products, due to its causes and type of manifestations.
Fact: Dandruff can get complicated
If the imbalance caused by dandruff is not addressed it can become more serious, this is known as seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (SSD). At this stage, the patient presents more greasy crusts due to the increased production of sebum, and a notable inflammation of the scalp that can spread to the face, behind the ears and neck.
Myth: dandruff can’t be prevented
If you are a person with a tendency to stress, feel anxiety or nervous tension, or you identify that your fat production is a little higher than that of others, we have good news for you: Yes you can prevent it! Using a shampoo specialized in caring of the skin, which improves the function of the skin barrier and gives you immediate cleaning, you can improve the conditions of your scalp and reduce the probability of suffering from this condition.
Myth: Any shampoo for oily hair helps.
The ideal is to carefully check that the product you use to treat dandruff contains the ideal anti-dandruff ingredients so that you obtain the expected results. The main ones should be salicylic acid, selenium disulfide, zinc pyrithione, among others.
In addition, Dr. Claudia Aquino shared with us a recommendation with reference to treatment – it is very important to always consider consulting an expert voice in dermatology for each particular case, because regardless of whether it is a fairly common theme among men and women and not distinguishes age, the solution must be attacked in a personalized way.
In the same way, you can consult the Dercos clinic for hair and scalp platform , which offers specialized content and interactive spaces not only to inform yourself but also to know a more precise diagnosis about the health of your scalp. In this way you can correctly identify the hair problem and have a suggestion of the most appropriate solution.