Biggest dandruff flake ever.
Dandruff is a type of skin condition also known as Seborrheic dermatitis. It is the excessive shedding of the top layer of the skin on the scalp, eyebrows, or along the sides of the nose. Although dandruff flakes may look alike, they are of different sizes and caused by any of the several possible causes of dandruff, and knowing what type of dandruff you have can help treat the condition.
WHAT IS DANDRUFF?
Dandruff is a non-contagious scalp condition that causes the skin of the scalp to become flaky or scaly. If you have dandruff, you may feel unattractive or embarrassed, however, it shouldn’t worry you so much. Medically, it is not a serious condition and is primarily considered an aesthetic problem, and will not lead to baldness
Naturally, the top layer of our skin is made up of dead cells that act as protection to the more fragile cells underneath. The body is constantly producing new cells that move up to replace older ones, so by natural course, these dead cells are supposed to shed. However, the case with dandruff is that larger scales are shed off at an increased rate.
Both men and women can be affected by dandruff. It tends to worsen in adolescence and young adulthood but improves thereafter.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF DANDRUFF?
The cause of dandruff is unclear, regardless, several factors can be considered to be responsible for the development of dandruff.
Such factors include:
- Dry Skin: Dry skin is a prevalent cause of dandruff, mostly in dry winter months when there is very little humidity in the air which affects the nature of the scalp, causing it to dry and flake.
- An Allergy to Hair Product: Not all hair products are great for all hair types. Some hair products contain chemicals that may seem harsh and cause irritation to your scalp which eventually leads to dandruff. If you notice that you started developing dandruff after using a hair product, consider changing the product.
- A Type of Yeastlike Fungus (malassezia): Often, dandruff stems from Malassezia, a fungus that lives naturally on the scalp and feeds on the oil secreted by hair follicles. This fungus is usually not a problem, but for some people, their immune system overreacts to it, hence, causing the scalp to be irritated and produce extra skin cells, causing the older ones to shed off faster.
- Oil Accumulation: The sebaceous gland is an oil secreting gland in the skin. It secretes oil called sebum, to moisturize and protect the skin. When secretion becomes excess ad you fail to clean your scalp of oils and debris, the oil clumps together and forms dandruff.
- Other Skin Problems: Such as scalp psoriasis and eczema. Scalp psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly, causing thick, scaly patches to form on the scalp, while eczema, an inflammatory condition, also causes flaky, itchy skin, and sometimes it comes with a rash.
- Heredity: although it is not contagious, for some people, dandruff could stem from genetic vulnerability, implying that the condition runs in the family.
Poor hygiene is sometimes assumed to be responsible for dandruff, this notion is however not true. Poor hygiene is not a possible cause of dandruff, however, factors such as age, gender, medical condition, harsh/dry weather, and stress levels can increase your risk of having dandruff.
- Age: At a very young age, you probably didn’t have scaly or flaky skin falling off your hair, but as you become an adolescent you may begin to notice it and it continues through middle age.
- Gender: It is believed that dandruff is more prevalent in the male gender than it is in the females.
- Underlying Medical Condition: You may notice that dandruff is more common in people with the following medical condition:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Weak immune system
- Eating disorders
Stress Levels: Directly, stress cannot cause dandruff, but its symptoms have shown to cause a flare-up in dandruff problems. When you are stressed, you tend to sweat a lot and the body goes through some hormonal changes which cause excess secretion of oil. The yeastlike fungus –Malassezia thrives in these conditions, so it breaks down more oil on the scalp, leading to an increase in dandruff flaking.
TYPES OF DANDRUFF
There are various types of dandruff, and each has its unique cause. While some dandruff can be treated easily, others may require prescription medications. Let’s consider the different types of dandruff and their causes.
1. Oily Skin Dandruff: This type of dandruff is due to the excess production of sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that helps to keep the skin moisturized and protected. Below the surface of the skin, some glands produce sebum, and when they produce them in excess, it makes your hair oily, and the excess oil clumps together, causing an irritation on your scalp which turns to dandruff.
2. Dry Skin Dandruff: A dry scalp can become irritated easily, causing it to shed skin cells. Dry skin dandruff is the most common type of dandruff and it tends to happen more often in the winter months as cold weather and indoor heating can dry out your skin, including the skin of your scalp.
3. Fungus–related Dandruff: Every human has a common type of fungus on their skin called Malassezia. Malasezia can trigger an inflammatory response that produces dandruff or other skin conditions such as eczema.
4. Seborrheic Dermatitis: This type of dandruff is common among people with oily skin. It is a more severe form of oily skin dandruff that causes flakes, red scaly patches, and itching.
5. Disease Related Dandruff: Just as we have said earlier, some underlying medical conditions such as psoriasis, can affect your scalp and cause dandruff.
BIGGEST DANDRUFF FLAKE EVER
The sizes of dandruff flakes differ according to what is causing dandruff and what type of dandruff you have. Dry skin dandruff flakes are white and small, while oily skin dandruff flakes tend to be larger and appear yellow. There are no records of the biggest dandruff flake ever found or removed, however, stubborn plaques on the scalp measuring 1-2 cm across have been reported.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU HAVE DANDRUFF
A common symptom of dandruff is the appearance of flakes and scaly scalp, along with the itching of the head. If the dandruff is severe, you may notice white or oily flakes typically accumulating in your hair and on your shoulders. This gets worse in the dry winter months.
Other symptoms you may notice if you have dandruff are:
- Hair loss
- Eyebrow dandruff
- Red patches on the skin of the scalp
HOW TO GET RID OF BIG DANDRUFF FLAKES
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective way to get rid of dandruff is to use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments. Most anti-dandruff or anti-fungal shampoos contain at least one of the following active ingredients that you should check out when getting a dandruff shampoo:
- Selenium sulfide
- Zinc pyrithione
- Coal tar
- Salicylic acid
- Tea tree oil
To get rid of dandruff flakes with dandruff shampoos, follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle. There are several dandruff shampoos and each of them contains different active ingredients for controlling symptoms of dandruff. For some dandruff shampoo, it is required that you lather the shampoo into the hair and scalp and leave the shampoo in for about 5 minutes before rinsing, while for others the instruction may say you shouldn’t leave the shampoo on the scalp for as long as 5 minutes. The different instructions are to ensure that you don’t suffer further scalp irritation.
Before using any anti-dandruff shampoo, try to remove as many scaly or crusty patches as possible as this will make the shampoo more effective. Knowing the cause of your dandruff is also essential in treating it, as some treatments will target underlying medical conditions, others may aim to exfoliate dead skin cells or counter the yeast production that triggers dandruff.
Therefore knowing the cause of dandruff, its severity, and any underlying medical condition will help in treating dandruff. However, there are some lifestyle changes and home remedies that could help such as:
- Managing stress
- Avoiding the use of hair products that contain chemicals that may be too harsh for your scalp
- Brushing the hair often
- Shampooing the hair at least once a week
- Seeking a dermatologist’s help on what scalp and hair care treatment might be suitable for you
Dandruff is a skin condition that causes itching and scaly or flaky dead skin cells to fall off faster than they should. There are different types of dandruff, based on what may be causing them. Although there is no record of the biggest dandruff flake ever, the flakes caused by oily skin dandruff are said to be the biggest dandruff flake compared to flakes caused by other types of dandruff.