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Scalp conditions can be attributed to two main culprits. Oily scalp and dry scalp wreak havoc on your delicate hair follicles, causing damage to your tresses. Everything from split ends, dry or oily hair and frizziness can be traced back to your individual scalp condition. Despite the differences between both scalp problems, a slew of similarities also exist. Knowing the condition of your scalp and how to care for it will help you prevent chronic problems that can cause discomfort and physical marks on this delicate area of skin.
Dry Scalp Signs
Dry scalp is signified by symptoms, such as itching and skin flaking. What causes dry scalp can be identified through your body's natural hormone production. Androgen hormones that are secreted by your adrenal glands are responsible for regulating oil production within your hair follicles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposure to the sun's rays and chemical processing dries up oil production, damaging the scalp and hair shaft. Chemical processing refers to coloring using bleaches and other colorants as well as processes to introduce curls to your hair.
- Dry scalp is signified by symptoms, such as itching and skin flaking.
- What causes dry scalp can be identified through your body's natural hormone production.
Oily Scalp Signs
What Causes Oily Hair?
Oily scalp refers to overproduction of the scalp's natural oils, also known as sebum. Hormonal fluctuations are also responsible for this scalp condition that leaves your hair looking greasy, flat and lifeless. Although these oils are designed to protect your hair and moisturize your scalp, excess oil is also responsible for secondary scalp conditions that may be associated with dry scalp as well. Oily scalp requires frequent washing and special grooming directed at drying excess oil to avoid secondary infection and conditions.
- Oily scalp refers to overproduction of the scalp's natural oils, also known as sebum.
- Although these oils are designed to protect your hair and moisturize your scalp, excess oil is also responsible for secondary scalp conditions that may be associated with dry scalp as well.
Secondary scalp conditions that result from too oily or too dry hair range from irritation to actual scalp skin damage. According to CareFair.com, dandruff and acne are two of the most common secondary skin conditions that can occur 1. Dandruff is known to cause flaking of the scalp and itching, leaving your clothes and hair spotted with white flakes of skin. Scalp acne occurs around the hairline when your hair follicles become clogged with shed skin cells, bacteria and oil. A more severe case of acne type skin eruptions is known as scalp folliculitis, disguised as acne breakouts and sometimes requiring medical intervention.
- Secondary scalp conditions that result from too oily or too dry hair range from irritation to actual scalp skin damage.
- Dandruff is known to cause flaking of the scalp and itching, leaving your clothes and hair spotted with white flakes of skin.
How to Get Rid of Sebum
Treatment for oily and dry scalp will decrease your chances of developing uncomfortable secondary scalp conditions. The important thing to remember is that oily hair is not treated with the same products as dry hair. Shampooing would be the first step to controlling either problem. Oily hair requires daily shampooing with warmer water while dry hair only requires shampooing two to three times a week. Medicated shampoos are available for use when dealing with dandruff and itchy scalp as a result of these scalp conditions.
- Treatment for oily and dry scalp will decrease your chances of developing uncomfortable secondary scalp conditions.
- Medicated shampoos are available for use when dealing with dandruff and itchy scalp as a result of these scalp conditions.
Although oily and dry scalp are easily treated at home, there are times when it is best to let a physician examine your scalp for stronger treatment course. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis affects all ages and is identified through inflammation and scaling of your scalp. Normally caused by oilier scalps, seborrheic dermatitis may require use of corticosteroid creams and prescription or non-prescription medicated shampoos, based on your doctor's recommendation.
What Causes Oily Hair?
How to Get Rid of Sebum
What Are the Dangers of Relaxing Hair?
How to Prevent Dandruff in Black Hair
Dandruff Shampoo That Is Safe for Color-Treated Hair
Crusty Spots on the Scalp
Leave-in Conditioner for Dry Scalp
How to Prevent Dandruff in Winter
How to Treat Dry Scalp in Babies
How to Remove Dead Skin From Psoriasis
- MayoClinic.com: Dandruff: Lifestyle and Home Remedies
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- Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006
- Satchell AC, Saurajen A, Bell C, Barnetson RS. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;47(6):852-5. doi:10.1067/mjd.2002.122734
- Huang TH, Wang PW, Yang SC, Chou WL, Fang JY. Cosmetic and therapeutic applications of fish oil's fatty acids on the skin. Mar Drugs. 2018;16(8). doi:10.3390/md16080256
- Piccardi N1, Manissier P. "Nutrition and nutritional supplementation: Impact on skin health and beauty." Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Sep;1(5):271-4.
Sharin Griffin has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in health-related articles. She has worked in the health-care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician. Griffin's medical expertise encompasses bariatrics and geriatric care, with an emphasis on general medicine. She is completing an associate degree in health-care administration from Axia University.