Dermatological responses

Simple dandruff conditions

Simple dandruff conditions are very common:

    1 in 2 people are affected during their lifetime
    Men are more often affected
    Peak in frequency around age 20

What is dandruff?

Dandruff, which in medical terms is a squamous condition of the scalp, is an extremely common scalp problem. It involves a light, harmless desquamation of the epidermis of the scalp.

It should be noted that our epidermis, the outer layer of our skin, is continuously renewing itself.  Every day, mature cells detach themselves from the skin. These are microscopic cells that fall away from the skin one by one, and we don't usually see them. However, in some skin diseases, this epidermal renewal is abnormal, and it occurs too quickly and excessively. Clumps of skin cells, visible to the naked eye, detach themselves from the scalp. These are called "squamae". Dandruff is therefore a visible manifestation of excessive scalp desquamation.
The hair itself isn't affected: dandruff conditions, though intense and long lasting, do not trigger hair loss.

What causes dandruff?

The main cause of simple dandruff, besides desquamative diseases of the scalp, is a microscopic fungus belonging to the yeast genus, called Malassezia.
Malassezia are usually present in small quantities on a healthy scalp. They develop excessively when their environment is rich in lipids. This is the case for the scalp, the center of the face and the upper torso, where sebaceous glands are highly abundant.
Besides the excessive presence of Malassezia, several factors can trigger the appearance of dandruff, or worsen it: stress, fatigue, hyperseborrhea of the scalp, scalp irritations (intolerance to hair products for example) and certain scalp diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, certain eczemas and seborrheic dermatitis.

Different types of dandruff

Dry dandruff
Unattractive but harmless, this type of dandruff causes very small (1 to 2 mm) fine, white or light gray flakes to cover the entire scalp (which is dry and dehydrated) giving it a "dusty" appearance. These flakes detach themselves easily and fall "like snow" onto the shoulders.
This condition is sometimes accompanied by itching and moderate redness.

Oily dandruff
Squamae are associated with hyperseborrhea and are joined to the sebum. The sebum is eroded by the malassezia, causing redness and itching.
Big, thick, yellowish flakes of dandruff cling to the scalp.

Ducray treatment

We have a solution for every type of dandruff
Consult your dermatologist

All conditions require the help of a health professional for diagnosis and treatment

Get answers

from our experts
Is dandruff caused by a lack of hygiene?
No, dandruff is a result of abnormal desquamation of the epidermis. It is not linked to poor hygiene. That said, the best way to treat dandruff is to use an anti-dandruff shampoo regularly, which will guarantee proper scalp hygiene as well as dandruff treatment.
Why does my dandruff keep coming back?
Dandruff is not an acute condition; it's an indicator of a chronic condition in which the scalp undergoes excessive desquamation. Even if the treatments are effective, this efficacy is only temporary. If treatment is stopped, the dandruff comes back. But don't worry, it disappears again when treatment is restarted.
Does dandruff cause hair loss?
No, dandruff does not cause hair loss. This is an anomaly of the epidermis; the hair itself grows normally. If you are experiencing hair loss, it could be a case of alopecia, common baldness, or another scalp condition. It is best to consult a doctor to get a precise diagnosis and advice for treatment.