Dandruff is a common aesthetic problem, and although it not a health concern, it can be disturbing to many sufferers. It affects approximately 80% of the population at some stage in their lives.
Dandruff is composed of keratin particles that shed from the skin. New skin cells are constantly being formed, and they migrate to the surface, where they eventually shed. If the rate of cell turnover is normal, we usually do not see the shed cells. However, if the rate of the turnover increases, there are many more dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. These become visible to the naked eye when they adhere to particles of keratin and shed from the skin.
The exact reason for the appearance of dandruff is still not completely clear. It is considered to be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, which is linked to the presence of yeast called Malassezia globosa in the hair follicles. It may be caused due to hereditary factors, hormonal changes, external factors or stress.
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