It is the sebaceous gland
The sebaceous glands are exocrine secretory organs that release what they secrete: sebum .
The latter, when in excess, is responsible for oily hair , itchy hair and scalp , and sometimes scalp pain.
The sebaceous gland , on the other hand, is a small sac (visually similar to a bunch of grapes), which is grafted into the hair follicle at the level of the dermis.
It consists of glandular lobes (the grapes of the bunch), which discharge the sebum into small ducts connected to the main excretory duct (stem), which in turn goes up the skin until it reaches the surface of the scalp
It should be noted that the shaft of the sebaceous gland opens at the top of the follicle, so that the sebum coats the hair before it emerges on the scalp.
The sebaceous glands are present on almost the entire surface of the body, with the exception of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
However, they are not equally distributed, given that some areas of the skin, including the scalp, contain a higher density.
On the scalp, in fact, there are between 400 and 900 glands per square centimetre, while in most other areas of the skin it almost never reaches 100.
The sebaceous glands are formed at the beginning of embryonic development and immediately begin to produce their secretion.
In childhood, the production of sebum decreases compared to birth, and then returns to increase in adolescence, until it reaches, around 15/16 years, the levels of sebaceous production that we find in adults.
It is only with menopause, in women, and old age, in men, that the sebaceous secretion decreases again.
The content of sebaceous secretions is sebum , an acidic fatty substance with an average pH of 3.5.
Sebum is composed of a mixture of different fats that is difficult to analyze because when it arrives on the hair skin it mixes with cellular debris, with other fats produced by epidermal cells and with the sweat produced by the sweat glands (head perspiration).
In addition, the sebum fats are modified by enzymes that act both on the skin surface and inside the excretory ducts.
To modify the composition of the sebum, other factors are added: diet, hormones (testosterone, estrogen, cyprotene acetate, isotretinoin) and drugs.
Hormones, especially androgens, are of special importance in the production of sebum , being responsible for the development and maintenance of sebaceous secretion in both men and women.
Broadly speaking, the composition of the sebum is as follows:
- free fatty acids 30%
- glycerides 29%
- wax esters 20%
- squalene 11%
- cholesterol 4%
- various 6%
Sebum has two basic functions:
- contributes to the formation of the hydro-lipid film which protects the skin from chemical-environmental (detergents, shampoo, cosmetic applications, sun, pollution, etc.) and bacterial aggressions;
- lubricates and waterproofs the growing hair shaft.
On the surface of the head the total production of sebum is 650-700 mg per day.
As it is produced, the sebum is distributed on the surface of the hair not only in the terminal part of the follicle, but also subsequently, through combing and repeated contact with the hands.
If, due to malfunctions of the sebaceous glands, the sebum produced is insufficient, the problem of dry hair occurs. Dry scalp loses elasticity, becoming dry and wrinkled, with negative consequences on hair health.
The problem of greasy and oily skin, on the other hand, also called seborrheic skin as it is prone to seborrhea, is linked to the alteration of the activity of the sebaceous glands, which produce excess sebum on the scalp, giving it a shiny and unpleasant appearance.
Although hormonal dysfunctions can cause seborrhea, most of the subjects who are affected do not show endocrine alterations; in these cases the seborrheic skin or even the onset of acne can be explained by the hypersensitivity of the sebaceous glands .
If you want to measure sebaceous hypersecretion, you can use different systems: friction with gauze soaked in solvent, collection of sebum on porous papers sprinkled with diethyl ether, use of sebum absorbent tape (sebutape), lipometry with photometric measurement, in addition to computerized image.
Seborrhea is often accompanied by scalp itching and, sometimes, the formation of comedones; all phenomena often accentuated by the use of inappropriate "do-it-yourself" remedies, such as exaggerating with the frequency of washing or using aggressive products which instead of eliminating excess sebum increase it.
Therefore the use of a trichologist, to carry out the examination of the hair and possibly to have an adequate trichological treatment prescribed, is necessary not only for cosmetic reasons, but also for medical, hair and skin health reasons.
At a trichological center, for example, one might discover that correct cleansing of the scalp is sometimes sufficient, using delicate products and appropriate hair lotions, to return to having healthy hair.
Other dysfunctions of the sebaceous glands
In addition to seborrhea which, as we have seen, consists in the production of excess sebum , and is the cause of oily scalp and greasy hair, with the possible appearance of dandruff , other alterations in the functioning of the glands and sebaceous secretion are quite common.
The most common is seborrheic dermatitis (called by some sebaceous dermatitis), which causes skin redness and scaling, as well as the formation of small yellowish scales behind the ears or near the fins of the nose.
Seborrheic dermatitis, as well as seborrhea, are often accompanied by a sensation of pain in the scalp and hair pain
It is frequent especially in children, but can also appear in adults, often accompanied by seborrhea.
The advice I can give you is to use suitable and specific products for this type of anomaly, don't be frightened, nothing serious but it is good to take care of it because if it is not taken care of it could lead to serious hair problems such as loss or thinning.
So if you want to have a solution to this widespread anomaly, then you can start using the Rebalancing treatment, which is the Shampoo based on Mint and Lavender and Kaolin Clay, which precisely rebalances the pH of the scalp and hair.
Plus maybe you don't know but whoever has this anomaly unfortunately gives off an unpleasant smell from the skin and unfortunately if you have it you can't hear it, which those close to you can hear it as well as see it.
You certainly didn't know this information, but now that I've told you, you'll realize that there are people around who unfortunately don't know how to handle this situation.
And they go around with stinky hair and this unpleasant smell of sweat, unfortunately, only you who are close to them can smell it.
So if you too are afraid of having this "hidden" smell, then run for cover immediately.
Use this product and you will see that from the first use both your skin and your hair will be clean, hydrated, light and without that smell that I mentioned before.
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