What is Dandruff?

Dandruff affects the scalp and causes flakes of skin to appear – it is a common condition. Our skin cells are forever renewing themselves. When the skin cells on our scalp are renewed the old ones are pushed to the surface and out of the scalp. For a person with dandruff the renewal is faster, meaning more dead skin is shed, making the dandruff more noticeable. Dandruff can also occur if the scalp is frequently exposed to extreme temperatures.


  • Not enough hair brushing
  • Yeast – People who are sensitive to yeast have a slightly higher risk of having dandruff, so it is logical to assume that yeast may play a part.
  • Dry skin – people with dry skin tend to get dandruff more often. Winter cold air, combined with overheated rooms is a common cause of itchy, flaking skin
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (irritated, oily skin) – People with seborrheic dermatitis are very prone to dandruff.
  • Not enough shampooing –
  • Certain skin conditions – People with psoriasiseczema and some other skin disorders tend to get dandruff much more frequently than other people.
  • Some illnesses – Adults with Parkinson’s disease and some other neurological illnesses are more prone to having dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Patients recovering from heart attacks and strokes, and some people with weak immune systems may have dandruff more often than other people.
  • Reaction to hair/skin care
  • Diet – Some experts say that people who do not consume enough foods that contain zinc, B vitamins, and some types of fats are more prone to dandruff.
  • Mental stress – Experts believe there is a link between stress and many skin problems.
  • HIV – A study found that 10.6% of people with HIV have seborrheic dermatitis.


  • There are while flakes of skin on the scalp, and in the person’s hair
  • Flakes may be oily looking
  • Head may feel tight and itchy
  • Head may feel tingly
  • Head may feel sore
  • Red, flaky, greasy patches of skin (adults, Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in adults)
  • Crusting and scaling rash on scalp (babies with Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap)