Extreme Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis Hair Conditions
Affecting many people, dandruff is distinguished by dry, flaky patches
of skin on the scalp. Sometimes, dandruff can be extreme and difficult
to treat. Extreme dandruff is often causes by a condition called
“seborrheic dermatitis” which has a build-up of skin cells in scaly
patches on the scalp. In babies, “seborrheic dermatitis” is referred to
as “cradle cap.”
What are the Signs of Extreme Dandruff?
dandruff is a scalp condition that results in an itchy scalp and
flaking skin. Dandruff varies in severity but extreme cases of dandruff
can be very embarrassing and difficult to treat. Extreme dandruff is not
A medical condition called "seborrheic dermatitis"
is often a factor in extreme dandruff. People who suffer from extreme
dandruff will often have dry dead skin cells on their scalp, which show
up as scales and clumps of skin.
Common Causes of Extreme Dandruff
causes are common reasons for dandruff. Since dandruff varies in
severity, other factors may be responsible for more extreme dandruff.
Some non-medical causes of dandruff:
- Dry Skin: Caused by environmental influences such as dry air in the winter or extra heat in rooms
- Shampooing: Not shampooing often enough can lead to dead skin cell build up and extra oil build up
- Allergy:Allergic reactions to hair care products can irritate the scalp. This condition is referred to as “contact dermatitis.”
Medical Causes That Can Cause Extreme Dandruff
the event of more severe and extreme dandruff, medical reasons may
exist for the condition. Seeking medical advice for extreme cases of
dandruff is recommended to ensure proper diagnosis is reached.
Some medical causes for extreme dandruff are:
Extreme Dandruff and Risk Factors for Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Seborrheic dermatitis:This
condition is distinguished by oily and red skin and can show up on the
scalp as well as other oily parts of the body. On the scalp, dead skin
cells will form a crusty layer appearing yellow or white in color. These
dead skin cells may attach to the hair follicles. In babies and
toddlers, it is commonly referred to as “cradle cap.”
Dead skin cells do not shed and leave the skin surface as they should.
The result is a build up of dead, hard skin forming scales.
- Eczema: Sensitive skin with dry red rash. Eczema, if located on the scalp, can make the scalp very sensitive and itchy.
A yeast-like fungus, malassezia occurs on most adult’s scalps without
causing any problems. In some cases, the malassezia may grow out of
control and being to feed on the oil secretions by the hair follicles.
This can cause excess dead skin cells to mix with the oil and form
clumps which are very visible on clothing.
While anyone can get dandruff at any point in their lifetime, certain factors make one more likely to get this disorder.
Risk factors for getting dandruff and extreme dandruff:
Young adults are more likely to suffer from dandruff until they reach
middle-age adulthood. Some people will suffer from dandruff their entire
- Sex: Males typically suffer from dandruff more
than females. Some research indicated hormones may be a factor. Males
also have larger oil glands which can lead to oily scalp and dandruff.
- Diet: Deficiencies in zinc, B Vitamins and certain fats are also linked to dandruff problems.
- Neurological disorders: Although
the reasons are not completely understood, some disorders like
Parkinsons and Epilepsy have a higher instance of causing dandruff.
- Other medical causes:
People recovering from heart attacks or strokes high a tendency to
suffer from dandruff as well as people who have compromised immune
Treating Extreme Dandruff
commonly, over the counter shampoos are recommended to treat dandruff –
regardless if it is extreme or not. It is recommended by the Mayo
Clinic to shampoo once a day with the shampoo until symptoms are under
control. Thereafter, dandruff shampoos should be used two or three times
When choosing an over the counter shampoo to treat dandruff, ingredients should contains one of the following:
over the counter shampoos do not control the extreme dandruff, a
medical professional may have to prescribe a medicated shampoo and/or a
- Pyrithione zinc
- Selenium sulfide
- Salicylic acid
contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should
not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a
health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her
health should contact a doctor for advice.
Mayo Clinic. "Dandruff" (accessed September 22, 2010)
Mayo Clinic. "Seborrheic dermatitis" (accessed September 22, 2010)
FamilyDoctor. "Seborrheic Dermatitis: What It Is and How to Treat It" (accessed September 22, 2010)
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