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What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff refers to the shedding of scalp skin resulting in white flakes scattered over the hair. This condition can happen to anyone but is usually found in people in their pre-teen and teen years. Dandruff causes the scalp an itchy and annoying feeling.

It is normal for the body to shed skin. Skin cells are renewed each day and the body replaces the old skin cells. This normal process of skin regeneration does not exhibit visible signs of flaking. The flaking becomes more evident or visible when a part of the skin is scratched. In the normal scalp, the replacement of old skin cells takes on a normal and orderly course. A scalp affected with dandruff causes an abnormal mode of replacement. This abnormal mode results in the replacement of live cells and the eventual flaking on the scalp.

Several factors appear to be the cause of dandruff. One factor is hormonal imbalance caused by substances that are frequently used on the hair. These substances include hair gel, hair sprays and even hair dye.

Evidence also shows that poorly nourished individuals have a higher propensity to acquire dandruff. Although the complete relation between unhealthy individuals and dandruff has not been fully known, it appears that the body's hormonal systems are so much affected when the body lacks the nutrients that allow it to work well.

A popular, although incorrect theory, suggests that dandruff is caused by bacteria. Bacteria does not really cause dandruff although their presence may increase the severity of the dandruff. Dandruff is a skin disorder and a scalp related disease. It is widely believed that fungus, not bacteria, causes dandruff. This fungus is Pityrosporum ovale, or P. ovale. All of us have this fungus on our scalps and in different parts of our bodies. The normal behavior of this fungus does not cause us problems. A disorder in their behavior may lead to dandruff.

It is believed that dandruff is brought about by deficiencies in certain B complex vitamins such as the B6 or pyridoxine vitamin. Those who experience dandruff are advised to take in food or supplements that are rich in vitamin B. Taking in chamomile, for example by drinking chamomile tea, also helps in the elimination of dandruff. A major antioxidant nutrient is selenium. Selenium protects cell membranes and it has been found out that deficiency in this nutrient may lead to dandruff. Selenium works as a very good antioxidant together with vitamin E. Colloidal Silver is also believed to help with toning down the bacteria on your scalp.

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