Generally speaking, the human body is a marvel of symbiotic harmony, with microorganisms thriving in our guts and mouths, and living on our skin without us even noticing. Occasionally though, things go awry, resulting in unpleasant reactions like the sinister-sounding seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as dandruff. The itchy, flaky scalp condition is caused by the body's reaction to a naturally occurring species of yeast called Malassezia and, while not life-threatening, no one wants it. Luckily, it's easy to treat and Dr. Jessica Krant, founder of Art of Dermatology, has some tips to keep your head and shoulders clear.
Get checked out
Dandruff isn't anything to be worried about in terms of health risks. It impacts men and women equally, with about 20 percent of the population experiencing symptoms at some point, and aside from negative impacts on your social life, it shouldn't cause too many problems. But a sudden, severe outbreak that comes out of nowhere and doesn't go away with over-the-counter treatment could be a sign of something more serious. "Dandruff itself does not cause other health risks, but interestingly, it can tend to come out more strongly in people suffering from chronic illness," says Dr. Krant. If shampoos, oysters and plenty of sleep aren't solving the problem, schedule an appointment.
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