ShedHanna Rutkowski is a freelance writer for the NetDoktor medical editorial team.
Dandruff (mediz.: Squama) trickle down to the shoulders of many people. Usually they are harmless and can often be eliminated with anti-dandruff shampoos, lotions and tonics for the scalp. However, dandruff is not always a purely cosmetic problem – it can also be a side effect of skin diseases that should be treated by a doctor. Read here everything important about the topic: Where does dandruff come from?? What are the possible causes? What remedies help against the annoying dandruff? When is a visit to the doctor advisable?
OriginDandruff occurs when large clumps of dead skin cells are shed Causes: often hereditary, but also possible are skin diseases (such as psoriasis), hormonal fluctuations, improper hair care, certain climatic conditions, stress What helps? Many affected people can help themselves, z.B. with anti-dandruff shampoos, proper hair care and healthy diet as well as sun protection. In the case of underlying diseases, however, treatment by a doctor may be necessary (e.g. with medication). When to see a doctor? In the case of persistent or recurring dandruff, suspected skin disease, hair loss, redness, inflammation, itching and/or oozing of the scalp.
What helps against dandruff?
There are several products that have proven effective in the fight against dandruff. Some of these can only be prescribed by a doctor, others are available over-the-counter. To find the right remedy for the individual case, the reason for the dandruff must be known. Basically, however, there are the following possibilities to get dandruff under control.
Dandruff: What the doctor does
Especially against Psoriasis, which often manifests itself in annoying dandruff, there are various treatment options for the dermatologist (dermatologist):
Salicylic acidIt dissolves dandruff and makes the skin underneath more receptive to the subsequent active ingredients of the medicinal ointments. Salicylic acid shampoos or washable ointments should only be used for a few days. Caution: salicylic acid is not suitable for infants! Vitamin D3 analogues: These are derivatives of vitamin D, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, they slow down and normalize the process of dandruff formation. The preparations are suitable for long-term therapy of up to one year.
At greasy dandruff and fungal infestation the dermatologist can refer to Antifungal products fall back as a dandruff shampoo. These contain active ingredients such as ketoconazole or clotrimazole.
Dandruff: What you can do yourself
The light dandruff is usually harmless, but annoying to unpleasant. With the following "anti-dandruff measures" many affected people can help themselves:
Correct use of anti-dandruff shampoo: Dandruff shampoos can prevent the formation of new dandruff. Often they also contain active ingredients that kill fungi (e.g., antifungals).B. zinc pyrithione). But be careful: dandruff shampoos are usually not suitable for daily or long-term use. Otherwise you can dry out the scalp. Then intensify dandruff instead of alleviating it. Apply them only once or three times a week. Do not use for more than one month on.
Proper care for dry scalpDo not wash your hair every day. After washing, rinse the hair thoroughly with clear water. Refrain from hot blow-drying to prevent dry scalp from developing in the first place. In general, you should use mild shampoo for dry, sensitive scalp.
Proper care for oily scalpDaily hair washing, long blow drying and drying shampoos are also unfavorable for oily scalp – they promote the sebum production of the scalp. If you can't or don't want to do without blow-drying, you should at least choose a cooler level and blow-dry your hair as short as possible.
Hair care productsRinse, mousse, hairspray and hair gel can further irritate the scalp and promote dandruff. Therefore, use only a few hair care products and then only those that are coordinated with each other.
Olive oilFor a smooth scalp, you can massage in a small amount of olive oil, leave it on for a while (overnight, for example) and then wash it out. This is good for dry scalp, which is often heavily stressed by shampooing.
Sunscreen: You can prevent too much sun exposure on the head with a light, airy head covering. Sun in moderation harms skin. Hair but not.
Proper diet: Alcohol, wheat flour, sugar and coffee are unfavorable because they promote the food supply for microorganisms on the skin. Also avoid high-fat diet, because it can increase the sebum production of the skin. Instead, your diet should contain sufficient amounts of the "skin vitamins" Provide vitamin A, vitamin E and biotin. These provide from the inside for beautiful skin and hair and can thus help with dandruff.
How dandruff develops?
One thing in advance: everyone produces dandruff. The top layer of skin (mediz. Epidermis) consists of skin cells arranged in several layers. Within four weeks, the cells travel through the various skin layers (from the inside to the outside), ultimately die and are shed on the surface of the skin. If this process is normal, the small, shed skin cells are not visible to the naked eye.
Only larger associations from a number of about five hundred cells are visible as dandruff. They form when the skin rejects the flakes too quickly and they clump together. Typical sign is an itchy scalp. It indicates that the scalp is irritated, for example, by an aggressive shampoo or too frequent washing and blow drying.
Most of the time, the dandruff is harmless and is only perceived as aesthetically unpleasing, especially on dark clothing. But dandruff can also be an indication of a disease such as psoriasis or neurodermatitis.
Dry and greasy dandruff
Dandruff can be divided into two categories:
Dry dandruff:Dry, white dandruff is mainly caused by dry scalp, heating air in winter, drying shampoos and care products, blow-drying or hot, dry climate. Women are affected by this just as often as men. Dry dandruff also occurs with certain diseases, for example psoriasis vulgaris.
Oily dandruff:Increased sebum production results in yellow, greasy dandruff. These are usually larger than dry dandruff and feel oily. In addition, since they are sticky, they are not exfoliated as quickly as the dry dandruff. This favors the growth of the yeast fungus Malassezia furfur. Although it is part of the normal skin flora, it has a negative effect in this case: the easily inflamed scalp promotes the development of greasy dandruff.