Dandruff - Your Ultimate Guide to Flake-Free Hair


Dandruff as it is known comes from a latin word called Pityriasis simplex capillitii. The word dandruff however comes from dandruff which is of Anglo Saxin origin where drof means dirty.

Normally our body develops dead cells and then scalp off when new cells take their place. In case of dandruff the process is quicker and hence it generates too many dead cells at once leading to a bigger chunk which can be seen by eye.

Dandruff is a common chronic problem also known to be a common form of skin eczema. In most of the cases formation of dead cells is a common and natural phenomenon where the rate of flaking is small and around 487,000 cells/ cm2. But in cases where the rate is more than or equal to 800,000 cells/cm2 it leads to dandruff.

Mild dandruff can affect anyone and almost more than half of the population from around the world suffers from it. Moderate to severe dandruff is however majorly reported in people of age group from early twenties. Why early twenties because of puberty. Puberty is the process of physical or hormonal changes during which a child’s body becomes an adult capable of reproduction.

Sexual maturation can be termed best for understanding puberty. Dandruff is also known in medical terms as Seborrheic dermatitis.

Types of Dandruff:

There are various ways with which dermatologists have defined dandruff and consider their types. We are going to list all of them for you.


3 types of dandruff: Oil related dandruff, Yeast Related Dandruff and Disease Related Dandruff

Categorization 2

2 types of dandruff: Pityriasis-capitis and Seborrhea Dermatitis

Let’s discuss them one by one.

Categorization 1

  • Oil Related Dandruff

They typically occur due to accumulation of oil in scalp and skin. Now why would oil accumulate? This happens due to bad and unhygienic living practices. Oil related dandruff thus happens due to not washing of the hair and staying dirty for long. There are glands named sebaceous or often called sebaceous glands which result in production of protective oil sebum in your scalp. This is a natural phenomenon of a healthy body. But due to many days of continuously not washing your hair this oil may start accumulating and combine with dirt and dead skin leading to dandruff.

  • Yeast related dandruff:

Yeast related dandruff as the name suggests happens due to the presence of a fungus named Malassezia. This fungus is found in everyone’s scalp. Those people who apply a lot of oil on head they have greater tendency to get this kind of dandruff. Because oil serves as a food for this fungus they grow in large population and cause itchiness and build additional skin cells on the scalp. The added skin cells become dead eventually and lead to more flakes and dead skin cells falling of the hair and thus causing dandruff flakes.

  • Disease related dandruff:

This kind of dandruff is resultant of presence of skin problems or diseases. Psoriasis is one kind of a skin disease which leads to dandruff as its side effects. There are other kinds of eczema as well which leads to dandruff as a side effect. These skin diseases normally enhance the production of skin cells and hence additional cells lead to dandruff.

Categorization 2

  • Pityriasis-capitis dandruff:

Simple kind of dandruff which consists of white dry flakes falling from the scalp. The rate at which the flakes generate is different for different people. Dry skin on scalp is also resultant of health and stress related issues.

  • Seborrhea Dermatitis:

This is oil related dandruff. Due to excessive grease and oil on the scalp scaly, oily and greasy dead cells lead to dandruff. Seborrhea dermatitis can also be mixed with oil related or yeast related dandruff.

  • Cradle Cap:

This is infantile or baby dandruff. In recently born babies this may be found and is yellowish, rusty, and scaly. Cradle cap as it sounds begins in the first 3 months of a baby. It isn’t dangerous and tends to get reduced due to oiling and washing the scalp daily. Severe cradle cap is very rare. Cradle cap for some countries falls into the category of Pityriasis-capitis and for others in the category of Seborrhea Dermatitis.

Symptoms of Dandruff:

Symptoms of dandruff are easily noticeable. For most teens and adults dandruff shows flaky scalp and white and oily dots on shoulders.

Itchiness and dryness are some of the other characteristics of dandruff. Some of the common symptoms of dandruff are:

1. Flaky skin or skin lesions

2. Plaques over large areas

3. Itching

4. Mild Redness

5. Oily and greasy skin

6. Hair Loss

7. White dots, flaks and dry parts of skin on shoulders

Causes of Dandruff:

As explained above in the types of dandruff there are several causes of dandruff. Also since this is one of the most common diseases there are several causes of dandruff:

  •  Unhygienic living conditions causing oil related fungus related dandruff
  •  Skin oil that is sebum or sebaceous secretions also cause dandruff
  •  Fungus like Malassezia also causes dandruff
  • Allergic conditions or skin problems like psoriasis, eczema also lead to dandruff
  •  Even tension, stress and health related issues cause dandruff

Medication or Treatment for Dandruff

There are several kinds of treatment for dandruff.

Shampoos: Shampoos often have one or the other ingredient mentioned below present which result in treating dandruff.

Tar: Coal Tar or T-Gel shampoos. These are used to slow down the process of dandruff formation and to reduce the inflammation. General or dry dandruff diagnosis leads to use of this kind of shampoo.

Salicylic Acid: Beta Hydroxyl Acid Keratinolytic agent which is used to remove scaly parts of the skin. Psoriasis or Eczema related dandruff.

Selenium Sulfide: This is used to reduce itching, flaking, irritation and redness on the scalp. Used when yeast related dandruff is diagnosed.

Ketoconazol: This is an anti-fungal medication. It prevents growth of fungus. This medicine is used for dry skin dandruff.


Cortisone creams: These creams reduce inflammation. They are also available in lotions. They are very safe to use as the medicated concentration is only .5 to 1%.

Antifungal Creams: They tend to lower down the fungus formation and yeast organisms on the skin. Imidazol antifungal creams are commonly used.

Sulfur: Sulfur extracts of white egg is used to treat skin for reduction of dandruff. It is also used in many medicines in order to form some other element like pentathionic acid is formed when sulphur is mixed with keratinocytes.

Topsoil: Topsoil with chlorine is used to treat dandruff. This is done to reduce oil related dandruff. Steroids: Corticosteroids are mostly used to control dandruff. Since steroids often come with side effects their use isn’t much recommended by doctors until necessary.

Hydroxypyridones and Naturopathic agents: These are used in creams with other agents to reduce dandruff.

Tips for dandruff

  1. There are various ways by which dandruff can be fought other than the above medications:  Hot oil therapy is one method. Hot massage during daytime or before bedtime leads to reduction in dandruff. Next day you can wash your hair. This is usually suggested for dry scalp dandruff.
  2. Lemon and egg usage and cosmetic vinegar usage for hair is also recommended for treating dandruff
  3. Hot steam turban or hot steam bath reduces the oil formed in the scalp and leads to opening of the pores of the hair leading to lesser dandruff.
  4.  Dried and used tealeaves in hot water are also another treatment by which one can treat dandruff. Then after that one can rinse hair with mild shampoo.
  5. Don’t use tar based shampoos daily. Since they are too harsh and may lead to greying of hair use tar based shampoos along with mild shampoos alternatively.
  6.  A little bit of hotness or sun exposure (not much though) is very good for dandruff.
  7. If dandruff is too much then you must use shampoo twice. First time rinse the dirt out of the scalp. Second time rinse your hair and wash thoroughly.
  8. Massage regularly your scalp for treating dandruff. 

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url