A Few Causes and Reasons for Scalp Scaling and Flaking

With a common condition such as dandruff taking place among many individuals, it is no surprise that many have this no matter what their ethnicity or if they are a man or woman. Scalp scaling or dandruff is often seen as being unattractive and can seriously affect someone’s lifestyle. A sign of dandruff includes a great amount of itching that takes place as the weather gets cold.

men with dandruff scratching his head

Difference Between Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis

Many of the characteristics of dandruff are also present with Seborrheic dermatitis. Both of these conditions affect sebaceous gland areas. The difference lies in the affected area’s location and how severe the condition becomes. With dandruff, it involves a dry scalp that is flaky, itchy, and does not involve any inflammation. With seborrheic dermatitis, the chest, scalp, and face are affected  and involve redness, itching, scaling, flaking, and inflammation.

Knowing the differences above now means you should know a few causes and reasons for scalp scaling and flaking.

Malassezia Yeast

This type of yeast is normally located within areas that contain oil glands, such as the scalp and is in a higher amount among those who experience seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. When the Malassezia is increased, it is directly related with a severe case of seborrheic dermatitis. 

The Age Factor

It is believed that the amount of seborrheic dermatitis is determined by age. As an infant, it is believed that the increase is due to the remaining hormones the child obtains during pregnancy. As the child goes through puberty, there is an increase in the oil glands because of the change in hormones again. Then, as you reach at least 50 years old, the amount of oil gland activity subsides.

High Amount of Exposure to the Sun

Having a great amount of exposure to the sun can possibly cause flaky scalp dandruff. Not only that, but the sun exposure can also possibly eliminate Malassezia. 

Besides this, it is believed that individuals who have sensitive conditions may end up developing scalp scaling following exposure to the sun.

Scalp Irritation due to Shampooing Techniques and Products

If the scalp irritation is mild in nature, it may be caused by the shampooing technique used or chemical products used on the scalp. When the amount of irritation is significant enough, dandruff could develop. The area of the skin that gets affected the most is the stratum corneum, which helps prevent the loss of moisture and organisms from entering. When the stratum corneum is weakened, then dandruff could result. If shampooing or combing is conducted more than necessary, then an impairment could ensue. 

When hair dyes are used excessively, then irritation may develop and become painful. The irritation may occur more often when a dry scalp is involved.

Immune System Suppression

When an individual has an immune system suppression, it could cause an overgrowth of Malassezia yeast. An example of an immune system suppression involves treatment of chemotherapy for cancer and/or those with HIV/AIDS. Many patients with these conditions will likely develop a higher amount of the Malassezia yeast.