Does Stress Cause Dandruff? August 4, 2016

Have you had one of those phases when you felt restless, unable to concentrate on work or couldn’t sleep well at night? Times when you can actually heard your heart racing through your shirt? Well, I have had my share of stressful days and woken up to feel my scalp itchy and dandruff showing up on my clothes.

According to dermatologists, stress and poor personal hygiene can cause dandruff to a certain degree. Stress is something that no one really cares about, or rather cannot care about due to lack of time and all, but yes mental stress can cause dandruff. Other causes include the use of shampoos that are harsh on the scalp and hair.

So why is it that when we are stressed we get dandruff? Is it just because we don’t bathe, or wash our hair when we are busy? Or is there something more?

Read on to learn what exactly is the connection between stress and dandruff? How is dandruff caused by stress?

What exactly is dandruff?

Flakes of dandruff on the scalp are nothing but dead skin cells. As we all know, our skin cells die so that new ones can grow. They are not noticeable because there are hardly too many flakes and when we wash our hair, they get cleaned away. It is when the skin cells on the scalp die excessively that we notice how flaky our scalp is. Experts estimate that over 50 per cent of the world’s adult population suffers from dandruff, and that is a lot!

So the question here is: what is the cause of excessive dead skin cells? Scientists have found that a fungus known as Malassezia is the main cause of dandruff. It is a fungus that is able to live on the human scalp. It has not yet been determined why it is causing this annoying problem but it seems to be true that it is the main cause as treating dandruff with anti-fungal remedies works wonders.

[ Read: Herbal Remedies For Stress ]

The Million Dollar Question: Does Stress Cause Dandruff?

It cannot be 100% proven that stress causes dandruff but scientists have deemed it highly possible. In the year 2007, a study was conducted on 82 people who suffered from depression as well as anxiety. It was found that more than 80% of the patients had scalps that flaked excessively. Studies related to general stress are difficult to find due to the fact that stress is a subjective topic. The closest study that relates stress to dandruff is the one mentioned above.

[ Read: Cure Chronic Dandruff ]

According to experts, when we are under stress, our body produces glucocorticoid which is a substance that helps us calm down.

  • Glucocorticoids have the ability to alter the make-up of cells that are present on our scalps. It is possible that this ability leaves us prone to the fungus Malassezia and obviously the dandruff that it causes.
  • It has still not been discovered by scientists how exactly stress causes flaking scalps but there is no doubt with continuous research and studies, a connection between the two will be found and the never-ending mystery can be solved.
  • While more knowledge is being gathered on the connection between stress and dandruff, we can in the meantime combat this embarrassing problem with anti-fungal treatments and use shampoos and conditioners that are meant to eradicate the problem. If you do not like using too many commercial or medicated products on your scalp and hair, there are many great natural remedies that you can try out so that you get a safe, chemical-free anti-dandruff treatment.

So, from now on try to sleep for at least 8 hours and get a healthy massage from someone you are comfortable with, at least twice in a week. It gets the dandruff caused by stress out, trust me!

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