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Can Stress Cause Dandruff?

Can Stress Cause Dandruff?

Stress can affect the body in many ways including insomnia, headaches, muscle tension and even high blood pressure. One surprising symptom of stress you probably didn’t know about is dandruff, the common skin condition that causes a flaky scalp.

While the stress itself is not directly to blame for the dandruff, the true culprit is a microbe on your scalp called Malassezia Globosa. Stress can influence hormone levels, which in some people can affect sebum production on the scalp. Higher amounts of sebum production create a more conducive environment for malassezia to grow and flourish.

If your dandruff is caused by stress, the obvious solution is to try to remove the stress, though that is easier said than done and often takes time. Try to keep a log of stressful events and how they impacted your dandruff so that you can do your best to avoid potential triggers in the future.

To help with the pesky flakes, consider swapping your normal shampoo for a dandruff-treating one that contains one or more of the following ingredients: zinc pyrithione (antibacterial and antifungal properties that attack malassezia), kletoconazole (an antifungal that fights malassezia), selenium sulfide (which prevents the buildup of dead skin cells), or salicylic acid (which exfoliates and decreases the amount of scales).