The 5 Most Common Causes of Dandruff


So the white speckles falling from your head are getting you down and you are tired of having an itchy head. You want to know what you can do to stop this annoyance once and for all.  Well read on and find out how you can get rid of troubling dandruff.

First we will need to take a look at what dandruff really is, what causes it, and determine if what you have really IS dandruff to begin with. Then we will look at what treatments are available and see if you want to got the route of medicated shampoos or try some of the suggested alternatives that are natural and friendly to the body.

  • What Is Dandruff?

Dandruff, whose technical name is Pityriasis simplex capillitii and  is also sometimes referred to as scurf, is an irritation and flaking of the scalp. It is a common condition among people all over the world.

All the skin cells of the body renew themselves continuously. The skin is made up of four layers.  New cells grow at the bottom layer and work their way up to the top layer over a period of about 30 days. Old skin cells are pushed toward the surface and then are shed at the top layer of skin.

The skin cells on our scalp are replenished just as the skin cells all over the body replenish themselves. However, the scalp has a different environment than most skin on the body, with its abundance of hair follicles and hair cells.  There is a tiny fungus named Pityrosporum ovale, (or P. ovale) that lives on our bodies and scalp all the time, usually without causing a problem.  The scalp handles this organism by producing a naturally occurring, slightly oil substance called sebum. This natural defense system usually works well, except when people have dandruff. When people get dandruff the rate of skin cell renewal speeds up dramatically.  In extreme cases, instead of 30 days, the skin renewal can happen in 4 days.  When this happens the little normal skin cells that are shed clump together and become the flakes we associate with dandruff.

 The 5 Most Common Causes of Dandruff

Dandruff is the largest scalp problem worldwide, affecting more than 60% of people at some point in their lives; we look at the 5 most common causes of dandruff.  While some speculation about all the possible causes of dandruff, there are some that are widely known.

For the most effective treatment of dandruff it is important to identify the root of the issue from some of these most common causes of dandruff explained below…

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a fungus that thrives on the human skin and feeds on oils found in the skin.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is characterized by scaly flakes and more than normal grease on the skin. It is one of the most common causes of dandruff.

While we all have a certain amount of the fungus on our scalps, dandruff is not caused solely by it, however a bad response to the fungus is what is very likely causing the dandruff.

  • Psoriasis

Psoriasis is considered to be another leading cause of dandruff. Psoriasis causes the skin to become so dry it leads to thick scales.

  • Dry Skin

Dry skin and dryness is another serious cause of dandruff which can be aggravated by the overuse of hair dryers & too the wrong or little conditioner.

Dry climates and winter conditions can exacerbate or cause dryness of the skin leading to a dry scalp and dandruff.

  • Fungal Infections

Fungal Infections on the scalp will usually cause the skin to become more oily than normal. Dandruff caused by fungal infections is often easier to cure as a anti-fungal cream could be prescribed to clear it up.

  • Other Causes

Other causes of dandruff can be many, including stress, poor scalp hygiene, sharing a brush belonging to a dandruff sufferer (this has not been proven conclusively yet) or even not using enough or the proper shampoo or conditioner depending on how oily or dry your scalp is.

  • Dandruff or Dry Scalp?

It is sometimes thought that dandruff is caused by dry skin on the scalp.  While the feeling is somewhat similar it is simply not true that dry skin on the scalp causes dandruff.  Dry skin will be itchy and irritated and perhaps produce some small flakes, but this is not dandruff.  If you have an itchy scalp, but no white flakes that drop noticeably, more than likely your cause of irritation is dry scalp.  In this case, use good moisturizers and healthy hair oils to nourish your scalp.  The information about how to get rid of dandruff naturally will help your condition very well and will help you get your dry scalp under control.  If you have dry scalp but not dandruff, you really should avoid the harsh dandruff shampoos and instead try the natural remedies for dry scalp.


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