Why does the skin on your head peel and dandruff appear?

Dandruff is a skin condition in which accelerated cell regeneration leads to the rapid formation of flakes. And although dandruff is not dangerous, for many people it becomes a serious problem, because sometimes it does not allow them to wear a dark T-shirt or jacket. If you have dandruff on your head — clothes quickly become covered with light “dust”, which is clearly visible against a dark background. Usually the skin scales are white, yellow or gray. In addition, dandruff is clearly visible on dark hair, and it looks completely unaesthetic. According to some data, scalp flaking is a common cosmetic problem, affecting 40-60% of adults.

Why does the skin peel on the head and dandruff appears? For many people, dandruff is a serious problem that is difficult to deal with. Photo.

Typically, people experience the appearance of dandruff after puberty or at a later age. Moreover, no one is protected from it except bald people, but in this case another problem arises — increased risk of developing cancer. The causes of dandruff can be different. For example, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, dandruff can be a symptom of a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. In people with this condition, peeling skin is sometimes accompanied by itching and can spread beyond the scalp. For example, the skin may begin to peel behind the ears or around the nose.

Seborrheic dermatitis can also cause inflammation of the skin. Dandruff with it has a yellowish tint. Presumably, the cause of diabetes is the increased growth of yeasts of the genus Malassezia, such as M. globosa and M. stricta. Scientists don't yet know why they cause skin problems for some people.

Causes of dandruff. The fungus M. globosa, which lives on the skin, is the cause of dandruff. Photo source: mtstatic.com. Photo.

The fungus M. globosa, which lives on the skin, is the cause of dandruff. Photo source: mtstatic.com

One theory is that excess sebum production may create a favorable environment for Malassezia, leading to an excess of it on the scalp. Some studies have also shown that the fungus produces free fatty acids that damage skin cells. Also, the fungus can multiply if a person goes to bed with a wet head.

But there are other versions, for example, that genes or even the skin microbiome play a role. For example, a recent study confirms the idea that the microbiome plays an important role in the formation of dandruff.

In addition, there are other causes of dandruff, but they are also associated with fungi. For example, peeling skin is caused by a fungal infection known as lichen, which comes in different types. It usually causes a rash accompanied by peeling skin. Sometimes lichen even leads to hair loss.

In addition, psoriasis can occur on the scalp, which causes not only flaking, but also the formation of plaques. Sometimes dandruff is a response to an allergic reaction caused by hair care products. This allergic reaction is commonly called contact dermatitis.

Causes of dandruff. Some shampoos will hold back the antifungal agent. Photo.

You can find special anti-dandruff shampoos on sale. They typically contain an antifungal ingredient that inhibits Malassezia fungi. Shampoos help get rid of mild dandruff. But it is quite possible that you will have to try several different options before you find one that will help solve the problem.

Zinc pyrithione, which has broad antifungal and antibacterial properties, is most often used as an active therapeutic agent in shampoos. properties. The effectiveness of this substance also lies in the fact that it remains on the skin even after washing off the shampoo, due to which it can act for a long time.

However, shampoo with zinc pyrithione is not always effective against dandruff. As one study showed, despite the fact that the level of active ingredient in different shampoos is sufficient to suppress the growth of the Malassezia fungus, the effectiveness can vary greatly.

Anti-dandruff shampoos — how effective they are. You can get rid of dandruff if you approach the treatment correctly. Photo.

Treatment of dandruff in severe cases

If shampoo does not help, you should seek medical help. Your doctor may prescribe a lotion or scalp treatment that contains salicylic acid. The latter allows you to remove the top layer of cells and prevents the formation of plaques and scales.

Don't forget to subscribe to our Zen and Telegram channels so you don't miss the most interesting and incredible scientific discoveries!

Creams and ointments are also sometimes prescribed, which contain more antifungal agent than shampoos. In some cases, treating dandruff requires taking antifungal medications. As a rule, they are prescribed to people with weakened immune systems. But, fortunately, most people manage to get rid of this problem without resorting to complex treatment.