Dandruff or pityriasis is a very common scalp abnormality that affects people of all ages.
Dandruff , often accompanied by itching of the scalp, manifests itself with abundant flaking of the hair and the appearance of small whitish flakes of skin, or residues of dead cells whose turnover occurs in an accelerated and abnormal form.
Dandruff should be considered a scalp anomaly that causes an unpleasant "snow effect", whereby, when you comb or brush your hair, flakes of dandruff fall off your head and settle on your clothes.
There are two types of dandruff :
1 Dry Dandruff
The skin of the scalp is dehydrated and the fine, whitish scales come off without any particular signs of skin irritation.
The production of dry dandruff increases in the winter and can further increase in periods of greater stress.
Head itching is a symptom that does not manifest itself excessively, but such as to arouse the need to scratch.
There is no hair loss, but the anti-aesthetic effect is evident.
2 Oily dandruff
The scalp of the hair is oily and produces thick, yellowish scales that detach from the scalp.
Seborrhea is often accompanied by flaking, making the hair greasy and the skin oily.
With oily dandruff there is also severe itching on the head, with the risk of seborrheic dermatitis and hair loss.
To effectively combat both dry dandruff and oily dandruff it is necessary to distinguish between:
- Physiological dandruff
- Dandruff Occasional
- Pathological dandruff
1 Physiological dandruff
Physiological dandruff is the stratum corneum of the epidermis that constantly flakes off.
In the epidermis, cells are born and develop through a series of layers until they reach the most superficial one: the stratum corneum.
Due to external agents such as too dry air, washing with aggressive shampoos, combing and brushing, the skin, at the stratum corneum level and within certain limits, naturally flakes off, producing physiological dandruff .
Physiological desquamation is inconspicuous and does not cause hair loss as the horny particles that detach are small and unimportant.
2 Occasional dandruff
Occasional dandruff can originate from external causes of three types:
- microorganisms (infections);
- incorrect hygienic treatments;
- aggressive mechanical treatments.
DANDRUFF CAUSED BY PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS
Among the microorganisms responsible for occasional dandruff is Malassez's Pityrosporum ovale, also known as Malasezia, a parasitic fungus that nestles in the stratum corneum of the epidermis.
Mycosis caused by Pityrosporum of Malassez causes severe itching and profuse pityriasis . There are numerous types of Malassezia (furfur, restricta, obtusa, globosa) and some recent scientific studies have associated each type with a precise geographical area of our planet.
In the United States and Japan, for example, Malassezia globosa and restricta are the most widespread.
Other microorganisms that lurk in dandruff , an ideal source of nourishment for them, are:
- Staphylococcus Aureus;
- Staphylococcus Albus;
- Coccus polymorphus of Cederkreutz. This bacterium creates an inflammation of the skin with the presence of a serum which mixes with the dandruff scales forming a kind of slime which can easily be mistaken for seborrhea.
DANDRUFF CAUSED BY INCORRECT HYGIENE TREATMENTS
Incorrect hygiene treatments, responsible for many scalp and hair problems, are:
- shampoo too drying . Washing the hair with shampoos that are too alkaline and the use of very degreasing shampoos often causes the impoverishment of the skin sebum, with the consequence that the epidermal layer, no longer adequately protected, breaks down producing dandruff ;
- too alcoholic lotions . The alcohol acts on the keratin with a rather intense dehydrating and drying action; the application of highly alcoholic hair lotions can lead to flaking of the stratum corneum causing dandruff ;
- abuse of alkaline substances . These substances have keratolytic characteristics, i.e. they break up keratin. The abuse of alkaline, reducing and oxidizing substances can lead to the production of dandruff flakes;
- hair dryer or helmet with overheated air . Too dry heat tends to dehydrate the keratin and make it brittle causing dandruff ; this effect is made more intense if the stratum corneum has just been hydrated with a wash.
DANDRUFF CAUSED BY AGGRESSIVE MECHANICAL TREATMENTS
Subjecting the scalp to stresses with nails, brushes, combs, etc., often leads to small lesions of an abrasive and excoriative type which can give rise to localized inflammation of the skin followed by flaking and dandruff .
Through these lesions, pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) can penetrate. For this reason, in some cases, dandruff is accompanied by sebaceous hypersecretion so that the dandruff scales stick to the sebum that abounds on the scalp.
This type of dandruff is called steatoid pityriasis .
Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is an inflammation characterized by small scaly lesions spread over the scalp, behind the ears and inside the ear canal.
Sometimes it also affects the eyebrows and chest hair.
The formation of oily scales is the result of an accelerated proliferation and turnover of skin cells, combined with sebaceous hypersecretion.
Removing the scales, you can see the red and moist skin.
Dandruff or pityriasis , in its most serious forms, is a condition that is difficult to distinguish from seborrheic dermatitis, to the point of being confused with each other at a first superficial diagnosis.
The main difference is that in seborrheic dermatitis the inflammation of the skin is decidedly more important than in pathological dandruff.
Dandruff and hair loss
In some cases, dandruff causes hair loss and prevents the normal cycle of regrowth. This occurs when dandruff favors the onset of infections caused by various types of microbes that generate itching, triggering a perverse cycle of itching, scratching, resulting in lesions superficial and increasingly serious infections.
From an aesthetic point of view, dandruff produces a sense of being neglected and not very clean, especially in the case of greasy dandruff , oily skin and greasy hair that gives off bad smells.
3 Causes pathological dandruff
The main causes of pathological dandruff have to do with the alteration of the hydro-lipid-protein biological complex and are:
- hyperhidrosis : a lot of water on the surface;
- dyshidrosis : little water on the surface;
- seborrhea : a lot of fat on the surface;
- asteatosis : little fat on the surface;
- hypertrophy - many protein substances;
- atrophy : few protein substances.
DANDRUFF CAUSE: HYPERHIDROSIS (LOTS OF WATER ON THE SURFACE).
The water balance in the superficial tissues is given by perspiration (perspiration). In the presence of excessive sweating ( hyperhidrosis ) and as a result of particular skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne, there is a modification of the alkaline pH of the hair skin with the consequent formation of dandruff .
CAUSES DANDRUFF: DHIDROSIS (LITTLE WATER ON THE SURFACE).
It is known that the skin, by means of the sweat glands and superficial vessels, also performs the function of thermoregulation (regulation of body heat).
In the face of a sweating defect ( dyshidrosis ) and therefore hydration, the hair skin becomes dry, arid and dehydrated, with consequent desquamation and the production of dry dandruff .
CAUSES DANDRUFF: SEBORRHEA (LOTS OF FATS ON THE SURFACE).
An excessive amount of sebum on the scalp, caused by sebaceous hypersecretion (seborrhea), softens the stratum corneum of the epidermis and rapidly flakes it off.
In cases of dandruff and oily seborrhea , i.e. oily dandruff , the application of anti-dandruff products is almost useless because they act on the symptom and not on the cause; in this case positive results can only be obtained with treatments based on good anti-seborrheic products.
DANDRUFF CAUSE: ASTEATOSIS (LITTLE FAT ON THE SURFACE).
The lack of fats on the skin ( Dry hair scalp), often caused by sebaceous hyposecretion (poor sebum production), easily leads to dry hair and dry dandruff .
CAUSES DANDRUFF: HYPERTROPHY (MANY PROTEIN SUBSTANCES).
Proteins are complex substances with the task of forming the structure of cells.
Obtained by food, they are transported by blood vessels and also provide nourishment for the hair.
In case of hypertrophy, the germ cells are overpowered and the process of mitosis (cell proliferation) causes the thickening of the skin and a phenomenon called hyperkeratosis. The result is, once again, the flaking of the cells and the creation of dandruff scales.
CAUSES DANDRUFF: ATROPHY (LOW PROTEIN SUBSTANCES).
If the germinative cells of the hair are not sufficiently nourished, the mitosis process slows down and the inadequate cell proliferation reduces the thickness of the stratum corneum of the skin.
This, weakened by the action of external agents (cosmetic treatments, sun, pollution, etc.), flakes off very easily and causes dandruff .
CAUSE DANDRUFF: DYSTROPHY (CELLULAR MALNUTRITION).
If the germinal cells are not adequately nourished, through a Diet that provides all the main nutrients, dystrophy (malnutrition) can occur which accelerates cell turnover, producing dandruff in abundance.
Anti-dandruff shampoos and lotions
Washing the skin every day to fight dandruff is a useful practice to eliminate the most unpleasant effects of dandruff.
The anti-dandruff products sold on the market can also be used daily to reduce the disorder, being careful not to scratch your head too hard, as you risk producing excoriations that can lead to infecting the scalp.
However, it is important not to be under any illusions about the vaunted miraculous properties with which anti-dandruff shampoos and lotions are advertised on TV.
Eliminating or seriously combating dandruff requires specialized treatments that use scientifically tested products that do not contain the substance Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
Bearing in mind that even so, in the most serious cases, the dandruff remedy is not definitive, but must be repeated to contain the problem within reasonable limits.
Do you want to solve the problem?
Then follow our advice
Put these good habits into practice to prevent and fight dandruff :
- washing your hair daily with our PURIFICARE product helps fight dry dandruff avoiding further accumulation of sebum on the scalp;
- in the case of oily dandruff , on the other hand, avoid too frequent washing and prolonged scalp massages, so as not to stimulate the production of excess sebum too much;
- take care of nutrition . Ensure the supply of sulfur amino acids, omega-3, antioxidants and vitamins of group B, present in fruit, vegetables, lean meats and fish;
- reduce the use of non-professional cosmetics Unsuitable gels, hairsprays and mousses can be irritating to the scalp, making it weaker and increasing the itching associated with dandruff ; this discourse is generally more truthful the cheaper the product used.