Dandruff is a condition that can happen to anyone. It results in dry, white particles that show up in the hair and on collars or shoulders, and stand out on dark clothes. Though it is harmless, it is embarrassing. It is a condition of the scalp, caused by a fungus called malassezia, and the condition gets worse by stress and weather conditions.
There are many theories and beliefs about dandruff. Many of them are just wrong, that is why they are called myths. In this article I will explain the common myths regarding dandruff. If you are suffering from dandruff, you have to know the real causes and cures rather than rely on myths.
Myth: Dandruff is caused by dryness
Since dandruff looks like flaky, dry skin, it is commonly believed that it is caused by dryness. It is not so. On the contrary, it results from an oily condition that gives rise to the Malassezia fungus, which causes faster shedding of dead skin cells. It causes flakes and an itchy scalp.
Myth: Dandruff is contagious
Another common myth is that dandruff is contagious and can spread from person to person. It is not so. You don’t need to avoid friends who have the condition and it does not spread like the flu. It is not an infection, just dead skin. While it does not spread from person to person, the fungal bacteria causing dandruff is present on everybody’s scalp. Thus, anybody can develop dandruff.
Myth: Dandruff results from poor hygiene
Another common myth is that dandruff is caused by poor hygiene. Though poor hygiene will show up in other problems and make the dandruff condition worse, poor hygiene is not the cause of dandruff. It caused by sebum over-production, causing yeast that feeds on the excess oil. This causes irritation and more dead skin cells come off as flakes. The condition is easily cured by using anti-dandruff shampoo. A number of alternate therapies are also advocated.
Myth: Dandruff causes hair fall
Dandruff causes flakes and an itchy scalp, but not hair fall. Scratching the head because of a feeling of itch may well cause hair fall but dandruff is not the direct cause. Treat the dandruff, stop scratching, get rid of stress, follow a healthy diet – these are the things you need to do to avoid hair fall.
Myth: Washing will get rid of dandruff
Many people believe that dandruff can be washed off. They start to over wash and over shampoo their hair, which results in more problems. To get rid of dandruff, use a medicated shampoo; you don’t need to keep washing your hair. Anti-dandruff shampoos clean the scalp, and work by removing excess oil. They also contain a medicine for stopping the growth of Malassezia.
Dandruff can show on face and body too. It can be seen on eyebrows and around your ears.
But it is important to understand what it is rather than follow some myths that will lead you to wrong treatment and cause more harm than good.