Dandruff is not linked to a disease and pose no health risk. Dry or oily, they affect one out of two people during their lifetime. According to some studies, 70% of 20-25 year olds are even affected. These little scales dust our roots and usually land on our shoulders and clothes. They are often interpreted, wrongly, as a lack of hygiene. How to recognize oily dandruff? What to do to limit their appearance and how to eliminate them? We take stock.
The skin on the scalp renews itself approximately every 20 to 30 days. Dandruff usually appears when disruption of this cycle, which takes about 5 or 7 days. The dead cells then no longer have time to gradually detach, cling to each other and concentrate in the form of thin strips of skin (dander), which become what is commonly called dandruff. We distinguish two types : dry dandruff and oily dandruff.
It’s dandruff the most frequent. They are generally whitish, rather fine, volatile and concentrated on dry to normal scalps.
These dandruff, yellowish in color are less frequent. They appear most often on an oily scalp (shiny, even oozing) and are often accompanied by hyper seborrhoea. Once accumulated, they form more or less large plaques which remain firmly attached to the scalp and cause severe itching (pruritus). By asphyxiating it, they can also promote the hair loss.
Be careful not to confuse dandruff with…
- nits, in other words the eggs of lice, well-known parasites of the scalp. When they contain an embryo, they display a yellowish to grayish color and shine. Empty nits are whitish and look more like dry dandruff, except that they remain firmly attached to the scalp.
- Ringwormsat the origin of a parasitic infection that generates the appearance of scales similar to greasy dandruff.
If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your general practitioner or a dermatologist.
What are the causes of oily dandruff?
Oily dandruff is linked to scalp disorder. They can start appearing after puberty and last a lifetime. As explained above, the latter works by cycle: it is renewed every 20 to 30 days and the dead cells are eliminated to make room for new ones. In some people, this cycle is accelerated and the cells are renewed every 5 to 7 days. The old ones therefore do not have time to be eliminated, which generates the formation of dandruff.
This disturbance may have a hormonal origin, which is why men are more often prone to dandruff (excessive sweating under the effect of androgen hormones). But other parameters may come into play.
The influence of external factors
This type of dandruff can to be partly geneticor form under the influence of external factorsas :
- stress or anxiety;
- tiredness ;
- the atmospheric pollution ;
Too frequent shampoos can also lead to excessive sebum production and promote the appearance of oily dandruff. Just like the repeated use of heated appliances (hair dryer, straighteners, etc.) or the excessive use of styling products (lacquers, hair gel, etc.).
Certain skin diseases may be involved
Oily dandruff can be a sign of a dermatological pathology causing inflammation of the scalp, such as:
The Malassezia fungus can also induce excessive flaking of the scalp. If it is naturally present on our skulls, it can however proliferate abnormally in some people and cause an acceleration of the renewal of scalp cells.
Can we limit the appearance of oily dandruff?
First and foremost, learn to resist the temptation to scratch. This would only increase the aggression of the epidermis and stimulate the production of oily dandruff.
Adopt good hair hygiene
Follow the number of shampoos suitable for your scalp and stick to it. There is no rule carved in stone: depending on whether you practice a lot of sport or not, whether you sweat a lot or not, whether you have oily or fine hair, the frequency of washing differs.
As for shampoos, opt for gentle products, adapted to your hair type (oily or dry), for frequent use, alternating with dandruff products which contain agents such as ketoconazole, salicylic acid, sulphide, tar or zinc pyrithione. Abandon very foaming and stripping shampoos, in favor of sebum-regulating care that respects the pH of your scalp. Finally, do not wash your hair with shower gels, which can be irritating.
While washing, use little shampoo and only one shampoo. Massage your skull to behind your ears and without rubbing too much, then rinse thoroughly. When styling, limit the use of irritating gels, hairsprays and other sprays.
Oily dandruff is often harder to treat than dry dandruff. Start by implementing all the prevention measures mentioned above, such as the use of a anti-dandruff shampoo suitable for oily dandruff and containing at least one of these active agents: salicylic acid, piroctone olamine, selenium sulphide or zinc pyrithione. The key to success is consistency.
You can also opt for a shampoo based on:
- antifungal : the shampoo will attack the Malassezia fungus. Although its role is not yet clearly defined, this scalp fungus is closely linked to the production of dandruff.
- anti-inflammatory : the shampoo controls itching and redness
- antiproliferative : the shampoo fights against the excessive multiplication of scalp cells
If the dandruff persists, do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist to obtain the most suitable treatment, for example therapeutic shampoos based on cyclopiroxolamine or ketoconazole (to be applied 2 to 3 times a week, alternating with anti-dandruff shampoos such as those mentioned above).
A healthy lifestyle is essential to limit the appearance of oily dandruff: a healthy and balanced diet, a regular sleep cycle. Also limit your tobacco consumption. Finally, remember to clean your brushes well and comb your hair regularly to avoid the accumulation of dandruff and residue.
Care level, the herbal lotions, like myrtle, can work wonders. Thyme essential oil, rosemary cineole essential oil, or palmarosa essential oil are also great options.
Finally, bet on decoctions of plants such as thyme, chamomile or ginger, once or twice a week.
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