The itchy, flaky, uncomfortable skin condition known as dandruff affects a lot of people around the world. There are a lot of different causes for dandruff, a wide variety of possible risk factors, as well as a wide spectrum of dandruff conditions, from a few dry flakes, to the large, scaly deposits caused by extreme dandruff cases. Knowing more about the root causes of dandruff can help those who are suffering from this condition to better diagnose their own problems and find treatments that work.
Medically Related Dandruff Cases
In many cases, individuals get dandruff as a kind of “side effect” of a larger condition. Anyone who is rehabilitating from a heart attack or stroke, for instance, can have a higher risk of developing dandruff, as can patients whose immune systems are compromised. Medical experts estimate that up to 10% of AIDS/HIV sufferers develop dandruff as a side effect.
Other kinds of dandruff are related to underlying skin conditions. A kind of dermatology condition called psoriasis can cause dandruff, as well as more disturbing symptoms like arthritis. Another chronic skin condition called eczema causes dry skin on various parts of the body, including the scalp. Another kind of dandruff is something that doctors call as seborrheic dermatitis. This condition leads to larger, oily flakes and persistent, chronic dandruff.
In addition to the above, some kinds of dandruff cases can be related to different factors in an individual’s environment. Some doctors point out that exposure to extreme temperatures can lead to dandruff cases. For example, someone who experiences sunburn on the scalp will be likely to develop some kind of dandruff, since the dead skin get irritated by the heat and UV rays. In other cases, dandruff might be related to a diet that is low in zinc or otherwise unbalanced. People with oily skin can have a higher risk for dandruff as well, and fatty, oily foods might contribute to this skin condition.
Some medical experts also point to stress as an underlying factor for a range of conditions. Lots of people know that stress can cause outbreaks of skin conditions like cold sores or oral herpes, but some claim that chronic stress can unbalance the body’s chemistry and cause issues like dandruff to flare up as well.
Some kinds of “flora and fauna” can also have an effect on an individual’s overall dermatology condition. An infestation of head lice can set off a dandruff outbreak. Some kinds of fungus on the skin can also make dandruff appear.
Looking at the root causes of dandruff is one of the first stages of dealing with this condition on a personal basis. People don’t often need doctors to tell them that they have dandruff, but they may need medical assistance to figure out what kind of dandruff it is, and how to treat it. Some common treatments include shampoos and oils with tar concentrations, tea tree oil or other somewhat natural remedies. It may take time to develop an effective treatment, but with the right research, getting a handle on dandruff becomes a lot easier.