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FAQ: Can Dandruff Cause Pimples?
When you think of hair care issues, dandruff mostly tops the list. And, the resultant itching and hair fall can get annoying. But do you know what else is equally bothersome? Acne and pimples. And for some inexplicable reason, it tends to pop up especially when you are looking forward to an important event.
Both dandruff and pimples have two things in common - discomfort and awkwardness that accompany them. But do these similarities go beyond this? Can dandruff cause pimples? This is one of the most intriguing questions, people tend to ask when they are dealing with both these conditions. Before we explore the link between pimples and dandruff, let’s look at what causes them in the first place.
Imagine those white, oily flakes settled comfortably on your shoulders and tresses. If that’s not enough, you also have an itchy scalp to deal with. The presence of flakes and itching indicate that you may have dandruff. Plus, this condition worsens during the fall and winter. The major causes of dandruff are:
• Seborrhoeic dermatitis, a skin condition that affects the sebaceous (oily) parts of the skin, is known to cause dandruff. It affects the skin on the face, scalp, and chest. Seborrhoeic dermatitis also causes redness of the scalp and looks similar to other skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or an allergic reaction.
• Another major cause of dandruff is the yeast-like fungus, Malassezia globosa. This otherwise harmless microbe is present on every scalp and responsible for breaking down the sebum and create a by-product called oleic acid. This is a normal process. But if your scalp is allergic to this by-product, it can trigger dandruff.
Other causes of dandruff include not shampooing your hair enough and using certain personal care products that trigger contact dermatitis. If you are allergic to the ingredients used in the products, the dandruff may be your body’s reaction to the allergy.
When the pores on the surface of the skin are blocked with dead skin, bacteria, or oil, it causes acne. Every pore on your skin is the opening for a follicle, which is made up of hair and a sebaceous oil gland. This oil gland produces sebum which travels up the hair, goes out of the pore, and reaches your skin. You need sebum to keep your skin soft and moisturised. However, sebum becomes a problem and causes acne when:
• Bacteria clog up your skin pores
• The follicles produce too much oil
• Dead skin cells block
Now, let’s address the question you have been waiting to ask—Can dandruff cause pimples? As you are aware that the causes of acne and dandruff are quite different. However, people tend to experience both these conditions at the same time, especially during puberty. Pimples and dandruff occur owing to the hormonal changes that can encourage your body to produce more oil.
Dandruff occurs when the microbe that breaks down sebum, creates a by-product and your scalp reacts to it. Whereas, acne occurs due to the excess oil production, with surface debris clogging the skin pores. This can cause the bacteria living on the skin to infect the clogged pores and trigger acne.
Often the flakes from the scalp land on your face, especially your forehead and clog the pores. This can cause acne as your pores get blocked and your skin cannot breathe at all. However, this is the only way where acne due to dandruff gets triggered.
Now that you know that pimples due to dandruff can be prevented by tending to dandruff first, here are some measures to keep acne and dandruff in check.
We know that pimples and dandruff are not directly related but they do have a common ground—excess oil production. If your acne flare-ups occur even after you have undertaken measures to prevent dandruff, you should consult a dermatologist immediately.
(*visible flakes, with regular use)