(Continued from last week)
People who are sensitive to yeast have a slightly higher chance of dandruff, so yeast may play a part. Dandruff is often worse during the winter months and better when the weather is warmer.
This may be because ultraviolet-A (UVA) light from the sun counteracts the yeast.
- Dry skin
People with dry skin are more likely to have dandruff. Cold winter air combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin. Dandruff that stems from dry skin tends to have smaller, non-oily flakes.
- Shampooing and skin care products
Certain hair care products can trigger a red, itchy, scaling scalp. Frequent shampooing may cause dandruff, as it can irritate the scalp.
Some people say not shampooing enough can cause a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, leading to dandruff, but evidence is lacking that this is true.
- Certain skin conditions
People with psoriasis, eczema, and some other skin disorders tend to get dandruff more frequently than others. Tinea capitis, a fungal infection also known as scalp ringworm, can cause dandruff.
- Medical conditions
Adults with Parkinson’s disease and some other neurological illnesses are more prone to dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
One study found that between 30 and 83 percent of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis, compared with 3 to 5 percent in the general population.
Patients who are recovering from a heart attack or a stroke and those with a weak immune system may be more prone to dandruff.
Not consuming enough foods that contain zinc, B vitamins, and some types of fats may increase the risk.
- Mental stress
There may be a link between stress and many skin problems.
Dandruff is more likely from adolescence through middle age, although it can be lifelong. It affects men more than women, possibly for reasons related to hormones.
More severe cases may indicate a skin condition and should be seen by a doctor.
There are rarely any complications with dandruff, and it is not normally necessary to consult a doctor; however, sometimes dandruff can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Medical help should be sought if:
There are signs of infection, such as redness, tenderness, or swelling.
Dandruff is very severe, or it persists after home treatment.
There are signs of eczema, psoriasis, or another skin condition the scalp is very itchy.
Complications are rare with dandruff, but they may result from one of the treatments.
If a shampoo or scalp treatment causes irritation, the individual should cease using it and ask a pharmacist to suggest another one.
A person with a weakened immune system, for example, due to HIV or AIDS, should ask their doctor about any dandruff.
Dandruff in babies
Cradle cap is a kind of dandruff that affects newborns and young infants.
Newborns and young infants often have a kind of dandruff known as cradle cap. There will be yellow, greasy, scaly patches on the scalp.
It often appears within the first 2 months after birth and lasts a few weeks or months.
Gently washing with baby shampoo and applying baby oil can help prevent the scales from building up.
If there are signs of skin cracking or infection, if itching, swelling or bleeding occur, or if it spreads to other parts of the body, it is important to see a doctor.