You’ve seen it before. It’s the white, flaky dead skin on your scalp and shoulders that we wish we didn’t see! Dandruff is actually incredibly common in both men and women and is caused from a number of different things. No need to stress though, dandruff is no biggie and not threatening to your health – just annoying! Below, learn the symptoms, causes and some helpful tricks and tips on combatting dandruff!
Is This Dandruff?
Symptoms of dandruff are fairly straight forward and easy to spot: white, oily flakes of dead skin on the scalp and shoulders. It is usually accompanied by an itchy scalp. As you itch, flakes of skin loosen from the scalp and make its way from your head to your shoulders.
Dandruff vs. Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an extremely common skin condition, affecting two to three percent of the population. Usually found on the elbows, scalp, knees or anywhere that regularly experiences friction, psoriasis causes raised, red lesions. Dandruff, on the other hand, is caused by mostly external factors and only found on the scalp. It is only typified by a flaky scalp. Psoriasis is a treatable and manageable condition but can cause mild pain so you should see your dermatologist as soon as possible.
Why Do I Have Dandruff?
Dandruff is caused by multiple things, from your body’s oil production to how often you wash your hair. Often, oiliness of hair, not shampooing enough or sensitivity to hair products, will lead to the production of dandruff. Changing seasons can also heavily affect the flaking of the skin. As the weather cools, your scalp begins to dry out, leaving it susceptible to flaking.
Please, help! How Can I Get Rid of Dandruff?
Change Your Shower Routine
- If you don’t shampoo your hair often enough, there is a higher chance that you will develop dandruff. Try washing your hair once or twice a week more often to help your scalp clear up and regulate oil production.
Try a Dandruff Shampoo
- There are many over the counter shampoos that help combat dandruff. Shampoos with pyrithione zinc, tar-based shampoos or selenium sulfide shampoos are all great options. However, because these shampoos have stronger ingredients to clear your scalp, they may also discolor lighter or dyed hair, so be sure to rinse well!
Apply Tea Tree Oil
- Tea tree oil is a highly recommended, natural remedy for dandruff. It is known to clear the scalp and moisturize the skin. You can find shampoos that incorporate tea tree oil and use it as your everyday shampoo. Another option, however, is to visit your local health shop and pick up tea tree oil to apply directly to affected areas.
Get Some Sunlight
- Spending a bit more time outside has been known to decrease dandruff in many people. Sunlight helps dry some of the excess oil on the scalp. This does not mean sunbathing, as that can lead to dry skin (worsening dandruff), but just spending more time than usual in broad daylight.
See Your Dermatologist
- If you experience extreme dryness or bleeding, visit your dermatologist. Sometimes, individuals can incorrectly self-diagnose the scalp’s itchy patches as dandruff, but it may in fact be psoriasis. A dermatologist can help you diagnose what the flakes really are and get you the help you need.
If you or a loved one has tried the remedies above and your dandruff persists, it’s time to see a dermatologist. The staff at Knoxville Dermatology Group is professional and approachable, great for patients of any age. To make an appointment or learn more about how Knoxville Dermatology Group can help, visit their website or give them a call at (865) 690-9467.