Dandruff – An interview with a Trichologist

Dandruff – An interview with a Trichologist

Dandruff – An interview with a Trichologist

Brought to you by Nizoral.

Expert trichologist, Stephanie Sey answers some common questions about dandruff and scalp conditions.


Why is dandruff caused?

The main cause  of dandruff is the overgrowth or reaction to a fungus on the scalp. This fungus us called Malassezia. For some people, this naturally occurring yeast can irritate the skin causing skin cells to shed quicker than they usually would. Other scalp conditions can also cause dandruff, some examples of these are contact dermatitis, scalp psoriasis and cradle cap.

Is dandruff common?

Around 50% of the population will experience dandruff at some point in their lives. Males are usually more affected than women and symptoms can peak over the age of 20 years old. If you are experiencing dandruff, remember that it’s a common condition and you will probably know someone who has experienced it too!

Can you catch dandruff?

Dandruff is not a contagious condition and therefore you can’t pass it from person to person. Malassezia is present on most people’s scalp but the reaction you may have to cause dandruff is down to the individual.

Is dandruff a permanent condition?

It’s important to remember that dandruff is a condition that needs to be controlled and can’t be cured and therefore needs a long-term prevention routine to help keep its symptoms away.

Does dry skin cause dandruff?

Although dandruff seems like it’s caused by dry skin, it’s usually an oily condition. Malassezia, the fungus which is a primary cause of dandruff feeds off the oil produced on the scalps sebaceous glands.

Why does dandruff cause itching?

Approximately 60% of those who experience dandruff also suffer with itchiness. The itching is the body’s inflammatory response to the overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia. Dandruff can also cause irritation and tightness on the scalp. Your scalp may also be sore if you are suffering with a condition such as seborrhoeic dermatitis or contact dermatitis.

How does hair loss link to dandruff?

Although dandruff doesn’t directly cause hair loss, the itching that comes with it can cause you to scratch your scalp damaging the hair follicles. If you’re worried about hair loss, speak to a healthcare professional for more information.

Can dandruff cause acne?

Although dandruff doesn’t cause acne, as your skin is producing more oil, it can play a role in both conditions. If you are experiencing dandruff, you may also suffer with acne alongside this.

Is there a way to prevent dandruff?

A good scalp care routine can reduce your likelihood of experiencing dandruff. Choose a medicated shampoo that suits your scalp type and limit the use of product you use on your hair. You could also try making a few changes to your lifestyle to help prevent dandruff, these could include stress management and adapting to a healthier diet.

Can stress cause dandruff?

Stress can weaken out immune systems and therefore trigger the symptoms of dandruff. When our bodies release stress hormones, they lower the activity of cells which respond to viruses, bacteria and fungi, therefore this is when the fungus, Malassezia has the opportunity to thrive. If you think stress may be a trigger for your dandruff, you could try taking some time out to relax by doing some yoga or meditation to help manage your stress levels.


Stephanie Sey does not endorse any medicinal brands or products.

Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo and Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo use ketoconazole to treat and prevent dandruff. Always read the label.