Who Is At Most Risk Of Getting Dandruff?

Whether we like it or not, half of us will be affected by dandruff at some point in our lifetimes. Every situation is different, from lifestyle choices to simple bad luck.

One of the
most common causes of dandruff is totally natural. We all have a harmless fungus living on our scalp called Malassezia. When one or more triggers cause this fungus to overgrow, our skin becomes irritated. This causes oily flakes to shed from the scalp.

These triggers may be more common in certain people due to age and hormone levels. While dandruff can affect anyone, the following groups may be more at risk:

Babies

You’ve probably heard a parent using the term “cradle cap”. Cradle cap is a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis, where skin cells overproduce and result in flakes. The difference with babies is that it does not itch and usually clears up on its own. Adults may need to fight dandruff at the cause by attacking the fungus. Nizoral is only suitable for adults and adolescents from the age of 12 years.

Teenagers

During those awkward years of puberty, our hormones are skyrocketing. Amongst other bodily changes, this stimulates oil production. That’s the reason why we’re cursed with acne and greasy hair – our sebaceous glands are battling our hormones!

Unfortunately, Malassezia feeds off natural oils. Too much oil can cause this yeast to overproduce, which can result in irritation and – you guessed it – dandruff.

Men

This is a very broad group, but statistically speaking, dandruff affects more men than women. Because of this gender disparity, some scientists believe hormones are to blame. For example, studies have shown that the male hormone testosterone stimulates dermatophytes, while the female hormone oestrogen inhibits them.

A dermatophyte is a type of fungus that attacks our skin. It can be treated by medicated solutions such as Ketoconazole – just like Malassezia.

Women going through the menopause

Of course, women aren’t entirely immune.  Those hormones are back again – this time, with waning levels of oestrogen. As women go through the menopause, their oestrogen levels decline. This can lead to all manner of skin problems, from dry skin to dandruff.

Those with a weakened immune system

Anybody suffering from a disease that weakens the immune system, such as Parkinson’s or HIV, may be at risk of other conditions. When our immune systems are weakened, our bodies can lose their power to defend themselves against fungi. This gives Malassezia a chance to thrive, irritating the scalp and causing flakes to shed.

Those with other skin conditions

If you’re a chronic sufferer of eczema you may be more at risk. Luckily, all of these conditions, and dandruff itself, can be managed.

The ingredient Ketoconazole is an antifungal medication and is available as an oral treatment, in topical creams and as a shampoo. It works by attacking the common fungi that cause dandruff.

Getting a hold on dandruff

For dandruff, two washes a week with Nizoral® for two weeks will redress the balance of natural Malassezia fungi. You can also use it twice a month after treatment to stop it coming back.

Don’t forget – dandruff can affect anybody! Look after yourself by following a balanced diet and keeping stress to a minimum.