Remember those ads that emphasise how embarrassing it is when white flakes from dandruff become visible? They weren’t wrong, right? It can really be humiliating to have a flaky scalp, especially when these white particles fall on your clothes and other people notice them. So, what can you do to avoid having flaky scalp? How do you treat it?
In order to properly treat flaky scalp, its cause must first be identified. While it is common for most people to automatically associate white flakes with dandruff, there are other reasons why the scalp flakes.
Causes of Flaky Scalp
These yellowish or white flakes are actually dead skin cells. It is perfectly normal for your scalp, much like the other parts of your body, to shed them. However, there are conditions which can cause the shedding process to happen at a faster rate.
One example of this condition is seborrheic dermatitis or what’s popularly known as dandruff. This condition affects anyone including infants. However, some are more susceptible to it than others. Reports claim that people with a family history of dandruff have a higher risk of suffering from it, too. Similarly, men and those who are overweight are more prone to having it and so are those who have oily skin and Parkinson’s disease.
Flakes due to dandruff may be coloured white or light yellow (particularly in babies). The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not yet known. However, experts believe that overproduction of oils on the scalp, either due to hormone, genetics or a fungus called Malassezia, plays a crucial role.
Another possible cause of flaking is a dry scalp. When there is little moisture on the scalp, it becomes irritated and flakes off. Both dry scalp and dandruff cause itching and flakes. However, flakes due to dandruff are large and oily while those associated with a dry scalp are small and dry. Also, oftentimes, when the scalp is experiencing dryness, other parts of the body like the legs go through the same thing.
An autoimmune disease, psoriasis happens when autoantibodies attack healthy tissues. As a result, the production of new skin cell speeds up. They form even before the body is able to get rid of the dead skin cells. This eventually leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface which manifest as dry and flaky patches on the scalp and other body parts.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that is more uncomfortable than dandruff. Currently, it has no cure but there are medications available to manage its symptoms.
Properly diagnosing the cause of a flaky scalp requires the expertise of a specialist like a dermatologist or a trichologist. So, if you want to get rid of those flakes, make sure that you see an expert from a reputable clinic. Here at the Universal Hair and Scalp Clinic, we have dermatologists and trichologists who are experienced in successfully treating scalp problems including flaky scalp.
Please do not self-diagnose and use products that claim to cure flaky scalp. Remember, the excessive shedding can be due to various conditions. Identifying the exact cause is only possible through diagnostic tests and with the help of a professional.
Flaky scalp can be addressed easily for as long as its root cause is treated. Furthermore, this problem can be avoided if you observe proper hair care routine. This means washing your tresses and scalp with shampoo regularly but not too often to avoid scalp dryness. You must also rinse your hair and scalp well to completely rid it of shampoo.
Including food rich in zinc and omega-3 fatty acids is also highly recommended. Zinc is known to help in repairing skin tissue. Examples of food which contains zinc are nuts, whole grains and seafood. Meanwhile, omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent skin dryness. Some of the good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flax or linseed and fish like salmon.
Admittedly, even with an excellent hair care routine and a proper diet, you may still suffer from flaky scalp if you develop conditions like dandruff or psoriasis. This is why it is imperative that you see a dermatologist immediately, especially if the itching and flaking becomes unbearable.
Are you suffering from flaky scalp? Let our hair and scalp specialists help you. Call us at +353 (0)1 6793618 now!
Photo by betsyjons