In order to understand scalp disorders, we first must understand the scalp. The scalp consists of skin cells. These cells are constantly replicating and shedding to produce new cells on the scalp. Like the skin on the rest of our body, this process happens so synchronously and microscopically, it is invisible to the naked eye. It is only when something disrupts this process that scalp problems arise.
The scalp produces natural oil called sebum. This slightly acidic substance coats the hair strands and lubricates the scalp. Most scalp disorders are a result of a dysfunction of the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. The over production of sebum causes large oily flakes and the under production of sebum cause large dry flakes on the scalp. These flakes are skin cells. When the cells on the scalp replicate at an accelerated pace it causes these large flakes to sit on the scalp. Some of the symptoms associated with flaking are redness, itching, and tenderness. Hair will not grow long or strong on an inflamed scalp. Therefore, it is important to properly identify scalp disorders so that the proper treatment can be used to alleviate the symptoms and bring the scalp back into balance.
Dandruff is one of the most common scalp disorders and can be a result of stress, extreme weather conditions, nutritional deficiencies, or other scalp conditions. The most common cause of dandruff is the overgrowth of a fungus on the scalp. When dirt and product residue accumulate on the scalp and is not cleansed regularly, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that leads to a lot of scalp discomfort. The primary characteristic of dandruff is flaking, and other scalp disorders such as scalp psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and scalp eczema are often misidentified as dandruff because flakes on the scalp are one of the primary symptoms.
To soothe the symptoms associated with these scalp disorders, I recommend medicated shampoos with one of the following ingredients: coal tar, salicylic acid, pyrithione zinc, or ketoconazole. If you are unsure which ingredient will give you the best results, seek the help of a professional. Medicated shampoos are drying on the hair, so I always recommend incorporating a hydrating shampoo and deep conditioner to replenish moisture in the hair. The AnnCarol Moisturizing Shampoo, Penetrating Deep Conditioner, and Peppermint Chamomile Oil are perfect for keeping your strands soft and scalp pH balanced.
If you are experiencing any level of scalp discomfort, seek the help of a professional who is familiar with scalp disorders, so that you can get accurate recommendations that will restore the health of your scalp and keep your hair healthy.