Causes of Itchy Scalp and Dandruff

Causes of Itchy Scalp and Dandruff

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Kittikun Atsawintarangkul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Itchy scalp can appear as a result of various factors. In many cases, dandruff is responsible for itchy scalp. However, what we see as dandruff in commercials is not actually dandruff, according to experts. Namely, the tiny white flakes that we mistakenly see as dandruff are dead skin cells that occur because of dry scalp. Dry scalp is the most common phenomenon than dandruff per se. Aggressive chemical hair products, poor diet, hot water, weather condition, air pollution, dehydration, etc., are responsible for dry scalp. To help our scalp regenerate, we can reduce the number of times we wash our hair, avoid too much chemistry on our head, find suitable and mild shampoo, stay hydrated, enrich our diet with healthy omega oils and vitamin B, using cool water while washing hair, reduce usage of blow dryer, decrease hair products on our head, gently wash the hair, and rinse it thoroughly. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to dry scalp. Sometimes, there are hormonal changes that make the whole situation worse. On the other hand, if dandruff is a problem, then we have another set of causes. Seborrheic dermatitis, yeast, psoriasis, eczema, fungus Malassezia are some of the reasons that affect our scalp and form dandruff. To find out more about the causes of itchy scalp and dandruff, the article “Surprising Facts About Dandruff” gives us the following explanation.

Causes of Itchy Scalp and Dandruff

Dandruff is not caused by dryness.

If the skin on your body or face becomes scaly or itchy, your first instinct is probably to reach for a moisturizer. When your scalp is flaky, though, it’s usually the result of too much oil rather than too little. “It’s a common misconception that dandruff is caused by dryness; in reality, it’s usually due to an overgrowth of a harmless yeast,” explains Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California Medical School. “In some people, the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes.”

You should wash your hair more often.

Normally, dermatologists warn against shampooing your hair every day, the concern being that you’ll strip the scalp and hair of natural oils and cause irritation. Dandruff poses the opposite problem. “Not shampooing enough will only make your dandruff worse — it causes more oil and dead skin cells to accumulate on your scalp, which the yeast and fungi just continue to feed on,” warns Beverly Hills dermatologist Stuart H. Kaplan, M.D. To rid your scalp of dandruff, you need to clean out all the gunk, which a regular shampoo won’t do. Dr. Kaplan recommends a medicated dandruff shampoo (which you can find at drugstores) every day, one that contains ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or zinc. If your hair is coarse, though, and you’re concerned that daily shampooing will make it more brittle, you may want to use a dandruff conditioner too.

According to experts, itchy scalp usually appears when its pH is out of balance and skin loses its natural moisture. In this way, our scalp becomes vulnerable and easily prone to irritation. Micro inflammation is the most common response of our skin that made our scalp irritated and sensitive. Sometimes, a certain autoimmune disease can be a part of the problem. In any case, itchy scalp is curable, but we need to find out what is the causes to treat it properly.

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