February 14, 2017
Viola Shin Crescenta Valley HS  10th Grade

Viola Shin
Crescenta Valley HS
10th Grade

Chronic and the degradation of the skin seems like symptoms of an extremely serious condition. However, they are meant to describe dandruff. Explained as “a common chronic scalp condition marked by the flaking of skin on your scalp” by the Mayo Clinic, dandruff is known for the embarrassing white “snow” residing in your hair and even falling to the shoulders.

Dandruff is caused by oily skin and, conversely, dry skin as well. However, dandruff is also a result of using shampoo regularly, malassezia, and hair product sensitivity. Malassezia is a fungi that naturally afflicts the skin of animals as a harmless rash. Not much is actually known about Malassezia but the connection between Malassezia and certain cases of dandruff is certain. The excess skin cells die and become white, flaky remnants.

Most “treat” dandruff with more frequent hair shampooing or specific dandruff-targeting shampoos. Containing medication, one should thoroughly read the ingredients in each in case an allergic reaction may be prevented. A lesser known and less studied remedy is tea tree oil. A possible allergic reaction agent, this is actually included in quite a lot of natural shampoos.


Risk factors is “any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury” as defined by WHO. Dandruff risk factors include being male, oily hair and some specific diseases. The reason as to why the specific illnesses (which include Parkinson’s disease and HIV) increases chances of dandruff is unknown.

Dandruff even afflicts babies in what is known as “cradle cap”, a disorder that causes the a degradation of the scalp’s skin. Luckily, this condition usually disappears on its own so action isn’t needed.

Some mistake seborrheic dermatitis, another scalp skin condition, for the innocuous dandruff but seborrheic dermatitis is more severe as it can be lifelong and seeing a doctor or dermatologist is recommended. Seborrheic dermatitis is visibly different as it is described as scaly skin.

Now that you know have the details on dandruff, it’ll be easier to avoid.