If you have an itchy scalp and white or sometimes yellow flakes then you most likely have dandruff. Dandruff is fairly common, however I often see people blaming ones overall health for the condition. So is this true? Well, it is possible, but quite unlikely.
Whilst taking care of your health can have a range of benefits, including your hair, dandruff is usually not a direct cause of any health conditions. It is however possible that some medications may cause or exacerbate the issue.
So what causes dandruff then?
There is a number of different possibilities.
This is a major cause of dandruff. Certain people just have drier skin, as it becomes too dry, larger flakes of dead skin fall off your scalp. Whilst it is normal for dead skin to fall off your scalp all the time, when your scalp is extremley dry, there can be far more dead skin than usual.
Oily skin can also cause similar problems to that of dry skin. Large chunks of skin can fall off, that is why it is important to be using the right products or shampoos on your hair.
Neglecting hygiene or grooming standards
This could mean using too much products in your hair or not enough. Be sure to read directions on shampoos.
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So where does general health come into the equation?
It is possible for wider health concerns or issues in your life to make dandruff worse. This may include things like extra stress or a poor diet and nutrition leading to a weak immune system.
However in most cases it is going to be one of the three issues above. So before consulting a doctor, take more care in the way you wash your hair. Try to use products that will avoid making your scalp dry or oily. This is likely to be the culprit.
Is dandruff contagious?
No dandruff is not contagious. Annoying and embarrassing, but dandruff is not contagious nor is it actually harmful (apart from irritating your skin)
How should I treat dandruff?
Take not of the causes of dandruff above. You need to find a way of getting to the root cause of the issue. So this may mean using a stronger anti dandruff shampoo. Or perhaps you are using the wrong shampoo? Maybe your shampoo is actually making your skin drier and causing the issue itself?
What if my dandruff is yellow? Is this bad?
Dandruff with a yellow color, as opposed to white, may mean that it is caused by fungus or hormones. However the treatment is still exactly the same. You need to reduce the dryness of your scalp by using the correct shampoos.
Is dandruff related to hair loss?
No, these are two separate issues. Dandruff does not have anything to do with hair loss.