IS DANDRUFF A FUNGUS?
Is dandruff a fungus or is dandruff caused by fungus?
The simple answer to this is - No, dandruff is not a fungus by itself.
However, dandruff is caused by the presence of a naturally occurring fungus. It’s important to understand the role this fungus plays in your body’s ecosystem before you try to use a dandruff remedy on your head.
Dandruff is a hair and scalp condition that affects almost half of the people in the world. It has two common instigators – Fungus and Sebum.
Your body contains trillions of microbes, inside and outside, which make up your microbiome. These microbes can be good, bad, or neutral, affecting everything your body does. It can change according to your diet, lifestyle, surroundings, etc.
One of these microbes is a fungus known as Malassezia Globosa, which is commonly found on your scalp. Along with bacteria like Staphylococcus capitis and Propionibacterium acnes, these together create the microbiome of your scalp. The Malassezia grouping of fungi are in higher levels on your scalp due to the presence of numerous sebaceous glands. And this Malassezia fungus is the cause of your dandruff. It can also be considered as a yeast, which should answer your question – is dandruff yeast.
What is dandruff?
Sebaceous glands secrete sebum or oil to coat your scalp in a protective layer. It is intended to flow down the hair strands, thereby preventing damage to the hair and helping it retain moisture.
But sometimes this oil production and secretion can get disrupted. It could be due to hormonal fluctuations, stress, poor diet or even sudden weather changes. If this oil starts to build-up on your scalp, it allows the Malassezia fungus to grow.
And this is how your dandruff is triggered, when the fungus breaks down the oils on your scalp and produces oleic acid. If you’re sensitive to it, your scalp becomes irritated and increases the rate at which it renews skin cells in an attempt to get rid of whatever is irritating it. This causes skin cells to clump together, forming flakes that we associate with dandruff. Severe scalp itching and redness usually accompany this flaking. This is how to know if dandruff is fungal.
What should you do?
Once you have clarity on the question, is dandruff a fungal infection, it becomes easier to find a solution for it. You can use various home remedies to calm down the symptoms. Aloe Vera , Neem , Lemon juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, etc have shown positive effects when used on dandruff. Whether dandruff is bacteria or fungus becomes inconsequential if you’re trying home remedies.
But always be careful with the quantities, as you don’t know which ingredient can make your situation worse. The best solution for your dandruff troubles is to use anti dandruff shampoos that can take care of your underlying issues.
Use the Head and Shoulders Neem , which can clean your scalp and leave you with up to 100% dandruff free hair, getting rid of all visible flakes with regular use. You can also use the Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, which can repair your damaged hair strands and remove dandruff causing germs at the same time.
When should you visit a doctor?
It is important to note that if your symptoms are not changing with regular use of anti dandruff shampoos, you should visit a dermatologist. You should also consult an expert if you feel like your scalp is swollen and has large red patches, or if the scaling and flaking is spreading to other parts of your body.
Sometimes it could be more serious conditions like Eczema or Psoriasis, which might need anti-fungal creams or steroid-based ointments. The doctor will even be able to answer the question, is dandruff a fungus, in case you still have some doubts.