Everyone once in a lifetime has faced embarrassment at finding white flakes on their shoulders. Dandruff is a common scalp condition that affects up to 60% of the worldwide population. Teenagers are especially more concerned about dandruff because they are more prone to get dandruff due to the hormonal changes in their bodies. It is not contagious but may cause embarrassment at times.

What is Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition in which our body sheds dead skin cells especially visible on the scalp in the form of white flakes. It is also known as seborrhea or Seborrheic dermatitis. It is mainly caused due to a yeast called Malassezia globosa. The microbe Malassezia globosa is naturally present on our scalp it feeds on sebum (an oily and waxy substance secreted by the sebaceous gland, this oily substance protects and lubricates our skin) and release oleic acid.

Some people are sensitive to this oleic acid when this acid penetrates the upper layer of our skin it causes irritation and inflammation. Hence, in response to the irritation and inflammation, skin cells begin to divide too rapidly, therefore, shedding a large number of skin cells at a higher rate. This cell combines together to form white flakes, thus causing Seborrheic dermatitis.

Causes of Dandruff

Seborrhea can be persistent and has many different causes:

  • Dry skin

    The most common cause of forming Seborrhea on the scalp is dry skin, especially in winter. Dry skin tends to shed more dry skin cells than normal causing the formation of Seborrheic dermatitis.

  • Not Shampooing Enough

    Excess sebum and dead skin get accumulated in the scalp if not washed regularly. To maintain healthy hair and scalp regular wash is required.

  • Some Skin condition or Illness

    Skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, and even with a disease like Parkinson’s disease, make a person more susceptible to Seborrhea growth.

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis

    This is a skin condition where the skin becomes oily, reddened and yellow or white flakes marks are developed in the affected areas such as the nose, elbows, armpits, behind the ears.

  • Chemical hair products

    Many hair care products such as chemical-based shampoo, dyes can cause irritation to the skin causing more scalp related problems and potentially leading to Seborrhea.

  • Malassezia

    As discussed above leading cause of Seborrhea is mainly due to a yeast called Malassezia globosa.

  • Stress and Depression

    Seborrhea gets aggravated by stress and is sometimes accompanied by depression.


Symptoms of Dandruff

The symptoms of dandruff can vary from person to person, even weather, seasons, age of a person plays a significant role in the formation of Seborrhea. The signs and symptoms may include :

  • Itchy scalp
  • White flakes on the shoulder
  • Dry skin 
  • scaly flakes 
  • skin rash
  • Redness


Dandruff Myths

A Flaky and itchy scalp does not always mean Seborrhea.

  • Using Hair Oil: Oiling your scalp is equivalent to inviting the fungus that causes scalp flakes.
  • Dandruff only occurs in the scalp: Which is not true, Seborrhea can happen on the face and other parts of the body to
  • Only grownups get dandruff: Almost 42% or half of all babies can get dandruff and is known as “cradle cap”.


Dandruff Treatment

Dandruff Treatment

Look for anti-dandruff shampoo containing one of these ingredients.

Zinc Pyrithione

It is antibacterial and anti-fungal used to reduce the fungus “Malassezia” that causes dandruff.

Tar- Based Shampoo

This type of shampoo slows the skin cell shedding, hence reducing Seborrhea formation.

Salicylic Acid

This ingredient is used in a medical shampoo, which helps your scalp to shed skin cells.


Broad base antifungal used to reduce the Seborrhea-causing fungus.

Selenium Sulfide

It reduces excess oil production in the scalp and slows the skin cell shedding.

Home Remedies for Dandruff


Home Remedies for Dandruff

Antidandruff shampoos are commonly used for treating scalp flakes, but it only provides temporary relief and actually causing long term damage. Here are some naturals home remedies that can treat your dandruff without harming your scalp or hair.


Curd is probably the best natural conditioner for hair. It is rich in protein and fatty acid. It moisturizes and nourishes your scalp.

Lemon Juice

Lemon is well known for Seborrheic dermatitis treatment. The vitamin C in the lemon balances the pH of the scalp and helps in shedding away the dead skin layer. It is highly effective for itchy skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree oil has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the Seborrhea-causing fungus.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil lubricates your scalp and prevents dryness. It has also antimicrobial properties that can help to treat Seborrheic dermatitis.

Eat more Probiotics

If you are prone to acidity, bloating and other digestive issues can lead to Seborrheic dermatitis. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can aid digestion and help maintain gut health.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has antifungal properties that help to fight against overactive fungi. baking soda can also remove the excess oil from your scalp, but in excess can leave your scalp dry.

Aloe Vera

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of aloe vera make it a good natural alternative medicine to treat Seborrhea.


Takeaway: Dandruff’s are generally harmless. and can be easily treated by applying these natural remedies.


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