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Is Your Dandruff Driving You Crazy?

Aug 17, 2007
How many times have you seen commercials for dandruff shampoos that claim to help dandruff? Have you ever thought that people who have dandruff are not taking proper care of their hair?

Maybe you have dandruff and are wondering what you are doing wrong, why you cannot seem to get rid of it. Maybe you even spend even more time scrubbing your scalp and shampooing your hair in an attempt to rid yourself of this condition. If this is you, then you know that dandruff is not caused by lack or hygiene. So, what is dandruff?

Dandruff, which affects nearly everyone at some point, is dry, white, and flaky. It comes from the scalp and is usually noticed on your shirt or blouse, most often on the shoulders. Dandruff can be a number of conditions, so it wise to see your doctor or dermatologist to determine the exact cause of your particular dandruff. Conditions that may be causing your dandruff but require special attention include seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Simple dandruff is your scalp shedding dead skin cells in larger clumps than normal. These clumps look like small flakes that are dry and white or grey in color. Small patches where the clumps have fallen from the scalp may be seen hidden within your hair, appearing more often on the top of your head.

Because skin cells replenish themselves very quickly, you scalp is constantly shedding dead cells. Usually, like the rest of your skin, these dead cells are shed almost invisibly. Without this shedding process, the scalp would be unusually thick.

Sometimes, the skin begins to over produce new cells, causing an excess of dead cells to build up. These fall in the larger, visible flakes that we call dandruff.

Most people think that dandruff is the result of a scalp that is too dry, when the opposite is usually true. In many cases, oily skinned people have more trouble with dandruff than people with dry skin. This may be due to the fact that the oil tends to act as glue, sticking the dead cells together and holding them to the scalp for longer than usual. Because more men have dandruff than women, it is possible that male hormones also come into play with this condition.

In the case of oily skin, proper care can help control your condition. The first thing you should realize is that you should not try to combat oily scalp by using shampoos that are excessively drying. Moisturizing shampoos may actually help you more because over-drying your skin causes your oil glands to work harder in an attempt to correct the lack of moisture. Use of moisturizing conditioners may help also.

Good scalp manipulation while cleansing can relax the inner workings for a short while (notice how your head feels when you have been to the salon). More important than any moisturizing agent is to be sure that you rinse extremely well. Shampoos and conditioners left on the scalp to dry will cause excess dryness in your scalp. Remember that you still need to keep your scalp clean, just use the right products to clean it.

When dandruff is actually the result of seborrheic dermatitis, an abundance of dead cells is usually apparent in eyebrows and around the nose (in the folds). Like that in people with oily skin, there is an overabundance of yeast on the skin. Because the yeast tends to thrive on oils, seborrheic dermatitis is an even more optimal environment for this growth than simply oily skin is.

Everybody has this fungus on their skin, but it often over produces in people with seborrheic dermatitis. When this condition is present, certain triggers often preclude a flare up. These can include: seasonal changes, diseases, stress, and excessively dry air, use of over drying shampoos, sweat, allergies, yeast infections, among other things.

Basically, by being careful about what gets on your scalp and staying away from things that cause drying, you can often control simple dandruff at home. Seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis will take more in depth treatment and should be seen by a dermatologist to get the best results.
About the Author
Louise Forrest has created the ultimate FREE Health & Beauty guide. Find out how you can gain access to FREE skin care articles, tips and techniques at http://www.NaturalElements.co.uk
Learn how you can help care for your dandruff at www.NaturalElements.co.uk
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