Seborrheic dandruff – where does greasy dandruff come from?

4 December 2023
Woman struggling with oily dandruff. En Source: VistaCreate

Seborrheic dandruff is a troublesome dermatological condition whose characteristic symptoms may include increased sebum secretion and a flaky scalp. How does greasy dandruff differ from dry dandruff? What are its causes and how to treat seborrheic dandruff?

Seborrheic dandruff, or what kind of dandruff?

Seborrheic dandruff, otherwise known as greasy dandruff, is one form of dandruff. This condition is associated with excessive sebum secretion by the glands responsible for this process located on the scalp.

The terms „greasy” and „seborrheic” are not coincidental. This is because greasy dandruff manifests itself in greasy, flaky scales on the scalp. Interestingly, the ailment can also occur on the eyebrows.

Oily dandruff and its symptoms

The most characteristic symptom of oily dandruff is the presence of characteristic oily scales on the scalp, which are usually yellow or white in color and quite large. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen to the point where the scales can cover the entire scalp, contributing to feelings of persistent itching and increased hair loss.

Other symptoms of seborrheic dandruff:

  • Redness – oily dandruff promotes redness and irritation of the scalp.
  • Oily hair – in the case of this dermatosis, the scales stick the strands together, and they clump into pods.
  • Exacerbating the condition in autumn and winter – wearing hats can increase the symptoms of seborrheic dandruff.
  • Inflammation – due to a secondary bacterial infection, papulopustular lesions may appear on the scalp.

Causes of oily dandruff

The immediate cause of oily dandruff is the increased production of sebum by the glands. This state of affairs is sometimes caused by a variety of factors – external or internal. In most people, greasy dandruff is associated with the presence of Malassezia-type fungi on the scalp. Their presence is favored by moisture and heat.

Other factors that cause greasy dandruff:

  • Genetic predisposition – if there is a history of this kind of problem in your family, the likelihood that it will also affect you increases.
  • Improper care – both too frequent and infrequent washing of hair, as well as the use of inappropriate cosmetics and inaccurate rinsing of shampoo, promote the formation of oily dandruff.
  • Hormonal changes – puberty, pregnancy or menopause are periods when seborrheic dandruff usually increases.
  • Improper diet – an excess of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats in the diet is not good for the health of the hair and can increase sebum production.
  • Use of stimulants – smoking cigarettes and frequent drinking of alcohol are factors that can aggravate dandruff symptoms.
  • Certain skin diseases – conditions such as psoriasis and folliculitis are also associated with the occurrence of greasy dandruff.
  • Overheating of the scalp – frequent wearing of hats and blow drying of hair with a warm air supply promote the formation of seborrheic dandruff.
  • Stress – excess stressful situations are not good for health and can contribute to abnormal sebaceous gland function.
  • Moisture – sleeping with wet hair increases the risk of fungal proliferation on the scalp.

How to fight seborrheic dandruff? Proper care

Wondering how to combat seborrheic dandruff? The key to nullifying this problem is proper care. Choose the right shampoo – one that not only has antifungal properties, but also reduces seborrhea, gently exfoliates the scalp and at the same time has a soothing effect, reducing itching. Also remember to perform regular exfoliations – preferably using trichological or enzymatic cosmetics.

Seborrheic dandruff – treatment

If you suspect you have seborrheic dandruff, consult a doctor – preferably a dermatologist or trichologist. The specialist will check the condition of your scalp and, if he or she diagnoses you with the condition, will likely recommend using creams, lotions and shampoos with anti-fungal and seborrhea-reducing properties. In addition, follow a diet rich in sources of vitamins – especially B vitamins and E and A – as well as minerals; such as silicon, zinc and selenium. All of these compounds are important for the condition of both your skin and hair. Remember that by acting comprehensively, you have the best chance of dealing with this affliction.

Seborrheic dandruff – treatments that can help

The mainstay of treatment for oily dandruff is trichological treatment and the use of the indicated products. If your doctor sees no contraindications, you can also consider additional treatments:

  • Oxygen infusion – is a specialized method of applying preparations that are better absorbed through the use of oxygen infusion.
  • Trichoscopy – is a trichological examination that is worth performing at the beginning of treatment, as well as later to monitor the condition of the scalp.
  • Mesotherapy of the scalp – when the condition of the scalp allows it, it is possible to perform mesotherapy. This method involves subcutaneous injection of a selected preparation. Its composition is selected individually to the needs of the patient, which is why the effects of mesotherapy are so beneficial. In the case of treatment of greasy dandruff it is quite important to strengthen the condition of the scalp, which can be weakened by the treatments used. For this reason, peptide mesotherapy can be recommended.

Do you suspect you have seborrheic dandruff? Don’t delay visiting a trichologist. This is an ailment that can be effectively eliminated. Don’t underestimate this affliction, as lack of proper treatment contributes to weakened scalp condition and increased hair loss.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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