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Dandruff is dandruff? Not true!

Skin flakes are generally the result of a natural process in the body in which the skin is constantly renewed and old skin cells are shed. Dandruff only becomes a problem for those affected when excessive amounts of flakes are produced and large, visible flakes form. However, this can have various causes - and that is why not all dandruff is the same.

In this blog post, we explain the differences between oily and dry dandruff and what role chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as neurodermatitis and psoriasis as well as fungal infections can play.

What are dandruff?

In short: Dandruff is a buildup of dead skin cells . It is caused by an accelerated renewal process of the skin cells on the scalp and appears in the form of white, dry or yellowish, oily skin flakes .

How do you differentiate between oily dandruff, dry scalp and chronic inflammatory skin diseases?

1. Oily dandruff on the scalp

Oily dandruff is caused primarily by excessive sebum production , often in conjunction with a yeast fungus called Malassezia. These dandruff scales are usually larger and stickier than dry dandruff.

Symptoms of oily scalp

  • Yellowish, oily flakes
  • Oily scalp
  • Partial itching

2. Dry flaky scalp

Dry, flaky scalp occurs especially when the skin on the head does not produce enough moisture or loses too much moisture. This can be caused by environmental factors, frequent hair washing, dry heating air in winter or the use of aggressive hair products.

Symptoms of dry scalp

  • Small, white, dry flakes
  • Dandruff that easily falls out of the hair
  • Mostly itching

3. Dandruff in neurodermatitis

Neurodermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that can also affect the scalp. It is characterized by dry, flaky and itchy skin, including on the head. Aggressive care products with fragrances are often not tolerated and make the flaking worse.

Symptoms of neurodermatitis on the scalp

  • Dry, rough skin and flaking
  • Severely itchy skin areas
  • Redness and inflammation

4. Psoriasis on the head

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to an overproduction of skin cells. Here, too, the symptoms can appear on the scalp in the form of dandruff. However, unlike other types of dandruff, these are difficult to remove from the scalp and the skin underneath the dandruff is very red.

Symptoms of psoriasis on the head

  • Thick, sticky scales, so-called plaques
  • Silvery-shiny flakes
  • Severe itching

What helps with oily dandruff?

  • Anti-dandruff shampoos : Shampoos containing active ingredients such as piroctone olamine or antifungals such as ketoconazole can help reduce dandruff.
  • Healthy diet and stress reduction : These factors can also have a positive effect on the well-being of the scalp.
  • Regular hair care : Keep the scalp clean and avoid additional styling products.

What helps with dry, flaky scalp?

  • Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners : Use shampoos with natural surfactants and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Mild hair products : Avoid aggressive shampoos with strong fragrances and products containing alcohol.
  • Reduce hair washing : Reduce hair washing to 2-3 times a week to maintain the scalp's natural oils and prevent further dryness.
  • Avoid blow-drying : Avoid frequent and especially hot blow-drying or straightening of your hair.

If your dandruff is caused by neurodermatitis or psoriasis , we recommend that you choose a particularly mild shampoo or wash gel that is specifically tailored to the needs of sensitive scalps, in addition to the tips for dry scalp mentioned above. These products are generally free of silicones and preservatives and are also free of fragrances that could further irritate the scalp.

⇢ Read here how you can recognize typical symptoms of neurodermatitis and how it differs from psoriasis .

Should you apply cream to dry scalp?

Sounds absurd, but yes! You can apply moisturizing lotions or oils in small amounts to the scalp to reduce dryness.

Natural almond oil , for example, is a real nutrient booster and provides moisture to the skin and hairline. Olive oil or coconut oil also have a similarly positive effect. You should gently massage a few drops of the oil into the scalp and leave it on for at least 20 minutes.

A scalp mask is also a real home remedy that works wonders against dry scalp and dandruff. You can use a very moisturizing cream and leave it on overnight.

Dandruff during pregnancy – good to know!

If dandruff occurs during pregnancy, this is usually due to hormonal changes that the body goes through during this time. Here, too, we recommend our tips for dry dandruff: mild hair care products, natural surfactants and reduced hair washing.

The same applies to dandruff problems during puberty and menopause; here too, hormonal changes play an important role.

med Serie Dr. Michaela Hagemann und Anni von Annisbuntewelt

Biologist and bioanalyst Anni, who shares her knowledge of cosmetic ingredients on Instagram under the name @annisbuntewelt, supported boep founder and doctor Michaela in developing the cream. Together they wanted to develop a care cream for problem skin that was as clean and effective as possible,
at the same time meets the highest natural cosmetics standards. No sooner said than done: with our boep med base cream, the first product for very sensitive skin moved into our shop at the beginning of 2023. Since then, the med series has grown steadily and we can already reveal this much: more products will follow!

ANNI & Michaela


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