Pityriasis simplex capillitii is what happens when dead skin cells from the scalp start to shed, causing them to visibly fall off as flakes. This happens when a person is exposed to extremes of temperature with regularity. Skin cells, like any other cells, die. This is a part of the natural process and is not a sign of poor skin care. When it happens with more frequency than usual, or if there is a larger amount of flaking than normal, it can be problematic. The primary sign that this has gone from “normal” to “problematic” is if the flaking is accompanied by redness or irritation, though sometimes a dry scalp is also possible. To most people, pityriasis simplex capillitii is better known as dandruff.
The causes of dandruff
Understanding the causes of dandruff requires a bit of background into some of the regular functions of the skin. The outermost layer of the skin is continually replacing itself, pushing off the dead layer of cells and replacing them with newer, more resilient ones. When this process becomes more rapid and pronounced, it is accompanied by visible skin flakes. Skin oil secretions increase along the scalp and micro-organisms on the skin generate more by-products of their natural processes than normal. The susceptibility of the person to developing the problem is also noted as a large factor in the development of the condition.
Natural skin treatment and some chemical skin care preparations are usually available for treating dandruff. Shampoos with various active ingredients in their mix are among the most commonly available ones. Salicylic acid is a common component of these products, along with selenium sulfide. Ketoconazole is also very common. Anti-fungal shampoo can also dramatically reduce both the flaking and the visibility of the flakes. In milder cases, simply increasing the usage of normal shampoos will reduce these.
Treatments that don’t help
Sometimes, people make the mistake of doing things that they mistakenly believe can help alleviate dandruff. Moisturizing the dry scalp doesn’t do anything more than smooth out scaly areas, and can actually make the reddening worse. Changing brands of shampoo doesn’t help, unless it is medicated to deal with the condition. No amount of changing hair care routines will work either, and may cause more aggravation.
Dandruff is normally not a dangerous condition, though it can be very frustrating. Some have problems with self-esteem because of it, and psychological reasons behind skin care for the condition are generally more common than physiological ones.