What's Causing Flakes? Dry Scalp and Dandruff?

Dandruff flakes may indicate a dry scalp or another skin condition. Take these steps to keep your scalp healthy and flake-free.

If your black shirt is covered in white flakes and it's not snowing outside, your scalp is probably to blame. This symptom, commonly known as dandruff, can be due to a variety of conditions, from a simple dry scalp to a form of eczema or even psoriasis.

What's Causing Flakes? Dry Scalp and Dandruff?

Understanding Dandruff

Dandruff flakes are in reality dead skin cells that naturally fall off the scalp — much more if you scratch. Lots of people think that a dry head is synonymous with dandruff, but either a dry scalp or an overly oily head can cause extra cells to clump and fall down, forming dandruff flakes. Lots of epidermis conditions as well as other reasons can make your scalp flaky.

Some factors that can increase the danger of dandruff include:

  • Heredity
  • Hormone changes, like puberty
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Consuming high-sugar, spicy, or high-salt meals
  • Lack of nutrients like fatty acids and supplement B
  • Weather changes
  • Stress

Common Dandruff Causes — and Treatments That Work

Dry scalp. Dry epidermis on the head can cause scaly flakes. Dandruff due to a dry head can be treated with inexpensive, medicated dandruff shampoos sold in drugstores. Try to find products which have pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, or ketoconazole. Use dandruff shampoo several times per week to help keep flakes away.

A gentle scalp massage and a good rinse can also help to prevent dandruff. Understand that your head could be responsive to drying locks services and products, so be careful along with your locks and watch everything you put on it.

Seborrheic dermatitis. A greasy, oily head is a result of increased manufacturing of sebum or oil from sebaceous glands around the follicles of hair. An oily scalp can lead to other dandruff-producing conditions, notably seborrheic dermatitis, the title for eczema that impacts the head. This epidermis problem results from infection for the oily areas, causing scaly, yellowish patches to form on the scalp and then flake off. Seborrheic dermatitis could be due to stress, greasy epidermis, and particular diseases. Regular modifications and a family history can also may play a role.

To simply help prevent seborrheic dermatitis outbreaks, keep epidermis, scalp, and locks clean with frequent shampooing. Medicated dandruff shampoos might help treat the situation. Sulfur, selenium, zinc, or coal tar-based treatments are created for severe situations.

Head psoriasis. This inflammatory skin condition provides the head a silvery, powdery look. Scalp psoriasis often causes thick scales and large, white flakes, and might cause irritation. Psoriasis happens for unknown reasons, it is regarded as an autoimmune condition. Although you can't prevent or cure psoriasis, different procedures, like coal tar, light treatment, and topical corticosteroid usage will help handle psoriasis symptoms.

Irritant or sensitive contact dermatitis. You can have an allergic or irritant reaction to a shampoo, styling gel, or other locks item. Utilizing a product having an ingredient you’re allergic to or the one that simply irritates the head may result in swelling and dry, flaky epidermis. Discontinuing the merchandise that creates a response may be all it will take to stop the effect as well as the dandruff flakes.

Get a Dandruff Diagnosis

How can you know for sure what condition is causing your dandruff? Just a dermatologist can unearth the actual cause and prescribe the greatest plan of action. This really is particularly essential each time a medical problem like eczema or psoriasis would be to blame. If drugstore dandruff shampoos and conditioners aren’t assisting, get a firm diagnosis and suggestions about therapy from a specialist — and leave behind your flakes.

By Diana Rodriguez
Clinically Evaluated by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

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