Isn't that just what you were thinking? That you wish you knew more about dandruff? Probably not, if you haven't suffered from the flaky embarrassment of snowy particles falling from your scalp onto your cashmere sweater, but for those who've experienced the dread of dandruff, they would surely like to get to the root of the problem.
And just because you've been lucky enough as to have lived flake-free up 'till now, there's no guarantee that you won't find yourself in the shampoo aisle looking for an economy-size bottle of Head & Shoulders one day in the future. Head & Shoulders notes that "1 in 2 people in the world have suffered from dandruff at some point in their lives." Look next to you. If the fella next to you appears to be flake-free, you could be the "1" of the 2.
So what the heck is dandruff exactly and why do some people suffer with it? Here are some facts about the flakes if dandruff has you scratching your head with wonder…
What is dandruff?
As per MedBroadcast, "Dandruff is a harmless, chronic condition that occurs when the scalp becomes produces white flakes of dead skin that appear in the hair or on the shoulders. Dandruff usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and affects up to 40% of people over the age of 30." Harmless, perhaps, but the embarrassment and frustration can be pretty dreadful.
It's not caused by dry skin
If not dry skin, then what's all the flaking due to? According to Prevention, "Luis Garza, MD, PhD, and assistant professor of dermatology at John Hopkins School of Medicine says it's actually caused by yeast. The yeast is a normal part of our skin, but it can overgrow."
This yeast, which Mercola describes as a yeast-like fungus is called "Malassezia globosa, which lives on your scalp, feeding on skin oils." As per Mercola, "The fungus uses enzymes called lipases to metabolize the oils, which creates a by-product called oleic acid. The acid penetrates your skin and triggers skin cell shedding."
Watch out for winter
According to Prevention, dandruff flare-ups tend to worsen in winter. "Cold, dry weather weakens the scalp's skin barrier making it more vulnerable to irritation." At least those warm winter caps will serve a dual function in hiding what's going on underneath.
Dermstore adds these additional factors as to why many dandruff sufferers find their flaking worse in winter – seasonal stress, winter allergies, and change in diet. Oh holiday food, why?
There are lots of shampoos that have proven effective. As per Mayo Clinic, these shampoos may contain zinc, tar, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, or the anti-fungal agent, Ketoconazole.
For the all-natural types, Top10Remedies recommends trying coconut oil, Indian Lilac, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or olive oil. For information on how to use these items for relief, visit their site.