Symptoms of Dandruff
To the average person, the obvious sign of dandruff is the pale shower of tiny chips of scalp peeling from the head and onto clothing. Dermal scaling, however, can be a symptom of several associated ailments, most notably:
Epidermal Desiccation-Flaking can be caused by environmental conditions, especially temperature extremes and indoor heating. This type of scaling can be distinguished from clinical dandruff, which tends to deposit greasier and larger flakes than simple dry skin produces.
Skin Reactions and Contact Dermatitis-Allergies and immune responses to cosmetic and hair care products sometimes trigger symptoms including scalp irritation and flaking.
Seborrheic Eczema-Also known Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, this affliction also leads to chronic dandruff on oily parts of the body, leaving flakes on the face as well the head. Often blamed on a fungal infection, this inflammation may have a variety of roots, including inherited and hormonal factors, and precipitate hair loss and redness as well as dandruff.
Neonatal (or Infantile) SD-Commonly called â€œcradle capâ€ or â€œmilk crustâ€ because it is found among infants, this type of Seborrheic Dermatitis seems to be a temporary, though unnerving, condition, which generally disappears as the child ages.
Tinea Capitis-Usually referred to as â€œscalp ringworm,â€ this infection spreads among older children and can be identified by the enlarged red bumps which accompany itching, flaking, and often hair loss. Again, the effects of this condition are not confined to the scalp, but often spreads to the brow and lashes of the eyes.
Psoriasis-Although it can often be startling and embarrassing, this type of skin disorder is not contagious, but can spread to cover large portions of the body with distinctive grey patches of cracked, dead skin. When Psoriasis attacks the scalp, it can leave flakes very similar to dandruff.