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Flakes on the scalp, but not dandruff?
If you suffer from a flaky scalp, dandruff is the first thing that comes to mind. But sometimes, it just doesn't look like what you're used to. That's because these flakes can occur for several reasons. What are they, and what can you do about them?
What are the causes of flakes on the scalp?
The most common reason will be dandruff. Dandruff is considered a mild form of seborrheic eczema. This eczema occurs when the skin fat, or sebum, changes. When this skin fat changes, the yeast cells on the skin are likely to grow faster. As soon as they become numerous, these cells can cause inflammations on the skin. This eczema is harmless, but nevertheless unpleasant.
Read more about our article: 'Dandruff in your hair, now what?'
If seborrheic eczema gets worse, it is also accompanied by inflammation with redness and slight swelling. The flaking is often more yellow than mild dandruff that many people get. In children, it is called a "mountain" and disappears independently. Various factors such as genetic predisposition, stress, cold, dry air or diet can affect the condition.
This condition is difficult to distinguish from seborrheic eczema in its milder form, but it is a different condition. It is caused by accelerated cell division of the skin cells and an abnormal immune response. It manifests as sharply defined red flakes on the scalp and hairline. The flakes may be absent if you have oily hair.
The medical term is tinea capitis. It is a highly contagious fungal infection of the scalp and hair. This head fungus manifests itself in flakes, but also with bald patches and a lot of itching. It is most common in children.
Can dandruff cause hair loss?
If dandruff exists long enough and is not treated properly, hair may start to fall out.
Home remedies for dandruff and flakes on the scalp
There are many home remedies for dandruff and flaking. Products such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt and lemon are anti-dandruff remedies. But it is wise to be wary of them. You can rub yoghurt into your hair because it contains good bacteria. Still, there are specially developed shampoos with the same or better effect that are healthy and safe.
One solution that does help many people is to change your pillowcase for a softer, more breathable material. Or change your pillowcase regularly. This also works well for acne, should you or your teenager suffer from it.
What can you do about these flakes?
Firstly, it is wise to avoid the known triggers. These include stress, cold or dry air and diet. You may also wear a cap or hat regularly. This aggravates seborrheic eczema. All you hear about is washing our hair too often. But if you suffer from flakes on your scalp, washing your hair more often does make sense.
It is also important not to scratch. This can make it worse by irritating the scalp more. The most important way to get rid of these flakes is to use the right shampoo. It is best to look for a quality anti-dandruff shampoo with ingredients such as ketoconazole, piroctone olamine or zinc pyrithione. We at the Hair Growth Specialist sell anti-dandruff shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, such as Dandrene. This shampoo works well with seborrheic eczema and is specially designed to tackle dandruff, flakes and itching.
A powerful shampoo that has been specifically developed to tackle scalp problems. Also effective against dandruff and can make hair thicker and fuller.