Warning: reading this may cause itching and/or uncontrollable regurgitation of your breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Welcome to the bizarre world of ‘dandruff scraping.’
Every bit as icky as it sounds, dandruff scraping is essentially videos of people using a fine-tooth comb, metal instrument (or even their long nails) to scratch or pick the flacks of dandruff off their head.
A quick scroll of ‘dandruff scraping’ on YouTube throws up more than 2K can’t-look-away videos of people hacking at their heads to remove their flakes. Bleugh!
Being a dandruff scraping voyeur is one thing, each to their own and all that, but if you’re thinking of actually trying out the trend yourself experts have a couple of words of warning.
Some dermatologists believe that the instead of everyday dandruff, some the people in these videos could have a condition called seborrheic dermatitis.
According to the NHS this is a common skin condition associated with an overgrowth of yeast on the skin, which can cause the scalp, face and other areas of the body to become scaly, itchy and red and often requires medical treatment.
If you do have dandruff, scraping your scalp can end up making the skin red and raw, which can open your skin to bacteria and therefore infection.
Plus the more irritated your scalp becomes, the more it’ll react with itchiness, soreness, and dry flakes of skin leading to a sort of itch/scratch cycle.
“Almost everyone will get dandruff at some point. It’s very common,” Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist and Hair Care Expert at Philip Kingsley tells Yahoo Style UK.
“If you have a flaky or itchy scalp, it’s important to address it asap. Apart from being a nuisance, a flaky scalp can cause hair loss. Scratching can also damage the scalp tissue and result in an infuriating ‘itch-scratch cycle’.”
Instead of joining the dandruff scraping army Anabel suggests using special products which help to clear flakes.
“Shampoo your hair each morning or evening with an anti-microbial shampoo and follow by applying a soothing scalp toner,” she advises. “You can also apply this throughout the day to irritated areas.”
Anabel also suggests using an exfoliating scalp mask to gently remove the flakes once a week.
“I recommend our trio of scalp soothers: Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner and Exfoliating Scalp Mask.”
“Certain lifestyle habits can also have an impact on the scalp,” Anabel continues. “One of these is stress. To help manage stress levels, try weekly sessions of yoga, Pilates, mindfulness and/or meditation.”
And diet can have an impact on dandruff production too.
“Full fat dairy products, as well as white wine and champagne can exacerbate flaking,” Anabel explains. “I suggest avoiding cheese, full fat milk and cream – and opt for red wine or a spirit and soda while your symptoms persist.”
So while some of us will no doubt find watching someone scratch away flakes of their head strangely satisfying, it’s really not worth sacrificing your scalp for likes and getting involved yourself, instead hit up your GP and/or a dermatologist.
And maybe revert back to cat memes.
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