Dandruff 101: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention


Dandruff is a common scalp condition where the skin cells on your scalp start to flake. In appearance, dandruff looks like white-colored tiny particles that often fall on your clothes and shoulders. 

From home remedies of dandruff to prescribed medicines, the treatment options are plenty. But to get rid of dandruff, it is essential to know what type of dandruff condition you have, along with their causes and symptoms. 

Types Of Dandruff And Their Causes

There are several types of dandruff caused by different conditions. Hence the treatment such as home remedies for dandruff will not apply to all of them. To understand to distinguish different types of dandruff, here are four of them:

  1. Dry Skin Dandruff

The most common type of dandruff is dry skin dandruff. It happens due to the skin getting dry, the most common cause for which is the winter. That is why dandruff is most noticeable in winter. 

Itchiness is one of the major symptoms of dry skin dandruff. Home remedies for dandruff usually do the trick if the cause is dry skin due to seasonal changes. These include massaging your hair with coconut oil and using shampoo frequently to keep your scalp moisturized. If the itching still does not go away and is rather persistent, then you should make an appointment with your doctor. 

  1. Oily Skin Dandruff

A gland called sebum is produced on your scalp just below the skin. The purpose of sebum is to produce oil on your scalp to keep it moisturized. However, due to conditions like dermatitis, the skin releases more sebum than necessary. This results in the excess accumulation of oil clumps in your scalp, leading to irritation and dandruff. 

Oily skin dandruff, instead of being white, is yellow. Source: Head & Shoulders

One of the home remedies for dandruff caused by oily skin dandruff is to shampoo regularly. If the condition persists, the best option is to visit a doctor. 

  1. Fungal Dandruff

A common fungus to be found on the scalp is Malassezia. To survive, it uses excessive oil in the scalp and, in return, produces oleic acid. This oleic acid causes the skin cells to clump together and result in inflammation and itchiness. The other conditions which it can also produce are dandruff and eczema.

Home remedies for dandruff may not be as effective because you will need an anti-fungal shampoo to treat this condition. It is better if this shampoo is suggested by a dermatologist so that you do not run into any kind of side effect. 

  1. Disease-Related Dandruff

Some diseases can trigger the growth of dandruff on your scalp. Conditions like skin eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis are some of the diseases which can lead to excessive dandruff on your scalp. 

No home remedies for dandruff is going to work here. These conditions require special attention from a dermatologist. Only the basis of a doctor’s prescription should you be taking preventive measures for dandruff. 

Home measures

Maintaining your hair and scalp is essential if you need to keep dandruff at bay. There are plenty of home remedies for dandruff to ensure a healthy scalp. These include making lifestyle changes, using dandruff shampoos, and taking care of hair. For more home measures, find out all about the best home remedies for dandruff.

Changes In Lifestyle

The stressful and exhaustive way of living often contributes to poor scalp health. Since stress gradually weakens the body’s defense mechanism, the chances of having skin conditions increase with stress. Therefore, some lifestyle changes should be made where your stress levels can be reduced.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are also other factors you should be keeping in mind to keep your scalp healthy.  Probiotics, B Vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids should be prioritized if dandruff is your concern. 

Dandruff Shampoo

For many people doing shampoo comes as a great relief from dandruff. As doing shampoo moisturizes the scalp, so the flakes of which the dandruff is made is significantly reduced.

The thing to keep in mind regarding shampoo is the contents it are made up of and how they react on your scalp. 

  • Read carefully the description given on the shampoo. Some shampoos can be used on a daily basis, while others are meant to be used only twice or thrice a week. Knowing you are using which is essential in order to avoid any side effects. 
  • If the shampoo you are using is causing scalp irritation, excessive hair fall, or red patches on your scalp, then you should immediately stop using it. You may try a different brand or seek the consultation of a dermatologist for better results. 

Care For Hair

If dandruff causes you irritation and you want to keep them from coming then you should always take good care of your hair. 

  • Avoid using chemical stuff on your hair.
  • Keep your hair moisturized by doing shampoo frequently or using coconut oil. 
  • Avoid hot water for your hair. 

With these home remedies for dandruff sooner rather than later your scalp and hair condition will improve. If not, then it must be that you are suffering some underlying condition for which a doctor, especially a dermatologist, should be consulted. 

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