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Flaky Scalp

Learn about the causes of flaky scalp

While losing skin cells from the scalp is normal, you should be concerned if excessive amounts of skin are being shed. Flaky scalp is also known as dandruff; it's a cosmetic problem that is experienced by millions all over the world, affecting as many as 40 percent of people over the age of 30. Dandruff is not contagious and while it's not a serious health problem, it is nevertheless a source of embarrassment and concern for those who suffer from it.

Causes of Flaky Scalp

The white clumps that are indicative of dandruff are caused by dead skin cells and oil from the scalp bonding together to form flakes. These flakes are particularly visible for those with dark hair and skin or those who wear dark-colored shirts and jackets.

There are many different causes of flaky scalp, including health conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis. However, most of the causes of dry flaky scalp are from dry skin or allergies to hair care products. Yeast overgrowth caused by hormones, excess oil of the scalp, stress or immune system deficiencies may also be implicated in the development of dandruff.

Treating Flaky Scalp

The first step towards finding a dandruff cure is to try shampooing your hair and scalp more frequently, making sure to thoroughly massage the scalp and rinse well. Shampooing often can help reduce the oil and dead skin cell buildup that leads to dandruff. If there is no visible improvement, you can then try using a specialty dandruff shampoo.

When shopping for dandruff shampoos, you should pay particular attention to the list of ingredients on the bottle. Ingredients including coal tar, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, sulfur and salicylic acid are known to fight dandruff and most should be present on effective dandruff-removing shampoos. Ketoconazole seems to be particularly effective against seborrhea-related dandruff outbreaks.

Make sure to also follow the instructions on the bottle; some dandruff shampoos recommend daily usage while others should only be used every few days. You may need to try a few different dandruff shampoo products before you find one that works best for you.

If none of the dandruff shampoos work and your condition worsens, you should seek qualified medical advice immediately. A doctor may recommend a corticosteroid lotion to be used on the scalp for a short time.

There are a number of home remedies for dandruff that you can find online. Some use ingredients like cosmetic vinegar, apple juice or even eggs to treat the scalp and may work fine for those who suffer from mild cases of dandruff.

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