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Why Do People Get Dandruff?

author image Kristin Sullivan
Kristin Sullivan has been writing professionally since 1995. Her credits include "Men's Health," "Runner's World," "Glamour," "Caribbean Travel and Life" and dozens of other national publications. She specializes in health, medicine, travel, celebrities and relationships. She has written six novels, which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Florida.
Why Do People Get Dandruff?
Scratching your scalp can make dandruff flakes worse. Photo Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Dandruff can cause your scalp to become itchy and you’ll likely start to shed off flakes of skin from the scalp. Your scalp has several layers of skin, and although it’s common for dead layers to fall off, most of the time this is hardly noticeable. Once you start to notice the flakes, dandruff has formed. Although there’s no solid reason why some people get dandruff over others, there are some key factors that can contribute to the likelihood of dandruff forming on certain people.

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Age and Gender

Boys are more likely to get dandruff than girls, specifically because their hair tends to be oilier. It is also more common for dandruff to be found after a person hits puberty when oil gland production increases.

Skin Conditions

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a skin condition that causes excessively oily skin. People who suffer with this condition may be more likely to get dandruff because their scalp produces excess oil. Another skin condition that can cause dandruff is malassezia. This is a fungus that usually produces no harm or symptoms on the skin, but if it grows excessive, it can speed up new skin production, thereby causing dandruff. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema may also increase the likelihood of dandruff.

Other Possible Causes

Some other things that can make people more prone to dandruff are emotional stress, overuse of hair products, infrequent hair washing or even washing the hair too often and having a weakened immune system. In general, if you have oily skin, you are more likely to suffer from dandruff.

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