BLOG 167 DANDRUFF
It’s the stuff that made Head & Shoulders famous. Dandruff is that flakey mess on the scalp that nobody wants to have. It’s an uncomfortable secret most people try to hide. This skin condition can be a real self-esteem kicker and stereotyped as being associated with poor hygiene.
Well, dandruff is actually the result of skin cells on your scalp shedding more quickly than usual. Skin cells are in constant reproduction and they actually die and shed off of us all the time. Here’s the rundown: “The main cause of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that turns the skin oily, red, and scaly. The white or yellow scales flake off, creating dandruff. You can get seborrheic dermatitis anywhere you have oil glands, including your eyebrows, groin, armpits, and along the sides of your nose” (https://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/dandruff-vs-dry-scalp#causes). But it is a little gross and sort of making my stomach turn that dandruff is triggered by a fungus called Malassezia. It actually lives on our scalp and having too much of it causes that extra skin to multiply then “flake” off. Malassezia can also be over productive in the face of age, hormones, and stress.
There are other causes as well. If you don’t wash your hair enough, more oil builds up, and then the skin builds up and sheds off. This is more common in males, which doctors believe is hormonal. It is also common in people with Parkinson’s disease and HIV due to lower immune system functioning.
Treatment would start by washing the hair more frequently and making sure to clean the scalp using your fingernails. This can help unclog the pores on the scalp where oil built up. Certain shampoos are also helpful. According to EMedicineHealth, “The best shampoo choices include those containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, and tar-based shampoos. Prescription dandruff shampoos such as ketoconazole offer no benefit over over-the-counter brands” (https://www.emedicinehealth.com/dandruff/article_em.htm#facts_on_dandruff).
Self-care is health care on our fitness journeys. As I aim to help every BODY feel comfortable in their own skin, let’s not have it flaking off our scalps ? When we sweat we do produce those oils on the scalp, so maybe an extra hair wash or two per week is in need. Hey, I got you covered head to toe, not just Head & (to) Shoulders.