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What is dandruff and how to get rid of it?

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What is dandruff and how to get rid of it?

Anyone who has ever faced a stubborn case of dandruff has certainly wondered how to get rid of it. It is annoying to be the one carrying the snow on your shoulders. Dandruff is not just a matter of appearance: an itchy, flaky scalp can hurt. Fortunately, dandruff is one of the easiest problems to treat and prevent, as long as you use the right products. What is dandruff? And how do you get rid of it for good? Read this article from The Dermo Lab in collaboration with the dermatologist Dr. Hoda Mekawy to find out all the answers.

What is dandruff?

Let’s start with what dandruff really is. It is the skin’s response to a natural fungus and natural oils on the scalp. According to Dr. Hoda Mekawy, dandruff is a common condition that causes the skin on the scalp to flake.

About half of the population has this problem, and those who do have a genetic predisposition react to the presence of the dandruff-causing fungus on the scalp. Everyone has the fungus naturally present on the scalp, but not everyone’s scalp reacts to it.

Although this skin problem most often occurs on the scalp, it’s possible to develop this condition on other parts of the body as well. It can appear on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, chin, ears, and even the center of the chest.

Below we explain how dandruff forms and how you can get rid of it permanently without resorting to inconvenient and aggressive treatments.

Why do I have dandruff?

Dr. Hoda Mekawy explains that several factors play a role in the development of dandruff, including oily skin, contact dermatitis, and sensitivity to hair products.

Although the exact cause of dandruff is not well understood, some experts believe it is the result of too much oil (sebum) from the oil glands (sebaceous glands). Sebaceous glands are found in the hair follicles and produce the oily, waxy substance that lubricates the skin and hair, called sebum. A type of fungus called Malassezia yeast can also play a role in the development of dandruff, as this yeast grows in sebum. 

Seborrheic dermatitis is a type of dandruff on the scalp. It has a reddish-yellow color, which makes it easy to differentiate from other types of dandruff. Dandruff can also occur as a result of underlying skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Another cause of dandruff is sensitivity to ingredients in hair care products such as shampoos, dyes, or hair gels.

What is dandruff and how to get rid of it?

What are the steps for treating dandruff?

1- Watch the water temperature

Don’t wash your hair and scalp in hot water because it dehydrates them. Use lukewarm water instead.

2- Be aware of seasonal temperatures

Dandruff problems seem to become more frequent in winter. Indeed, in winter, our body is confronted with freezing temperatures, and central heating blows. This fluctuation in temperature dries out the scalp, leading to flaking.

On the other hand, a hot summer can result in a sweaty scalp, which triggers a build-up and eventual appearance of pimples, so be careful. 

3- Don’t overwash your hairline or scalp either

This can contribute to increased dryness, which is the number one enemy of recurring dandruff. 

4- Use anti-dandruff shampoos

We recommend a medicated dandruff shampoo. Anti-dandruff shampoos aim to slow down the renewal of skin cells or inhibit the production of yeast on the scalp. Look for products that contain salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione, coal tar, ketoconazole, or selenium sulfide. As a bonus, leave the shampoo on the scalp for five minutes before rinsing it off so the scalp soaks up all the goodness.

Ducray offers shampoos with an extra-strength formula that is recommended by dermatologists. It works wonders on even the most stubborn flakes, relieving itching and refreshing the scalp. Check them out!

For oily dandruff:

For oily dandruff:

Squanorm Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo – Oily Dandruff

Ducray Squanorm Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo - Oily Dandruff

For dry dandruff:

Squanorm Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo – Dry Dandruff:

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Ducray Squanorm Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo - Dry Dandruff

For dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis:

Kelual DS Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo

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Ducray Kelual DS Anti-Dandruff Treatment Shampoo

For dandruff caused by psoriasis:

Kertyol P.S.O Keratoreducing Shampoo

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Ducray Kertyol P.S.O Keratoreducing Shampoo

5- Take care of yourself and your health

Dandruff is a lot like acne, it’s one of the first conditions that show up when we are exhausted, overworked, under-rested, stressed, or just plain stressed. If we make an effort to exercise, sleep well and do the things that reduce stress, skin conditions often improves! Taking care of our bodies and wellness can definitely help our skin and scalp. So, don’t underestimate the power of daily self-care.

6- Focus the treatment on the scalp

If you suffer from psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, you can benefit from the medical treatments below.

Make sure to apply the products directly to the scalp. It is important to work the products into the scalp and massage them gently with your fingertips, not your fingernails. Be careful not to scratch the scalp or hair, as this can cause hair breakage and further irritation of the scalp.

For dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis:

Kelual DS Squamo-reducing Soothing Cream

Shop Now: NahdiOnline

Kelual DS Squamo-reducing Soothing Cream

For dandruff caused by psoriasis:

Kertyol P.S.O Concentrate

Kertyol P.S.O Concentrate

If itching is intense, you can apply the following cream to the scalp, leave it on overnight and rinse it off the next day.

7- When in doubt, consult a dermatologist

If dandruff seems severe, or if it causes hair loss or a ton of itching or flaking, it’s important to consult a dermatologist. 


Can dandruff cause hair loss and baldness?

Dr. Hoda Mekawy states that dandruff can sometimes lead to hair loss.

In most cases, dandruff does not immediately cause hair loss. However, constant scratching of the scalp can damage the hair follicles leading to some hair loss, but not complete baldness. This is not a permanent condition and should go away once you find the cause of your flaking.

Does dandruff cause lice?

No, there is no connection between dandruff and lice. Neither influences the other nor is it caused by the other. Lice don’t like dandruff; they like your blood and feed on it. 

Can dandruff cause pimples?

Dr. Hoda Mekawy confirms that dandruff can cause pimples, especially on the forehead.

It makes the skin of the scalp flaky. These dry flakes are often responsible for clogging the pores of your face. In this way, dandruff triggers the onset of acne and can worsen your skin condition if you already have pimples.

Last Updated on April 7, 2024

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