Pimples Due to Dandruff
The BBC reported in 2007 that nearly half the people in the U.S. have dandruff, and more than half of those are men. Dandruff is created by a common scalp fungus that creates a severe reaction in some people, triggering the shedding of a massive amount of skin cells. These block scalp pores and lead to outbreaks of pimples.
Conditions Creating Dandruff
Dandruff is created by a scalp fungus, the Malassezia globosa, "...that lives and feeds on human skin, causing the itching and flaking associated with the condition," according to the BBC. The fungus is found on normal scalps but, because it feeds on skin oils, people with high levels of sebum created by the sebaceous glands have problems with large amounts of flaking skin and dandruff.
Conditions Contributing to Pimples
Pimples, also known as comedones, include whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules. Whiteheads and blackheads are created by clogged and blocked pores. Papules and pustules involve redness and tenderness and sometimes are raised above the skin on the scalp, creating tender skin when touched. When dandruff conditions are severe, papules and pustules may quickly occur on the scalp.
Relationship Between Pimples and Dandruff
Skin pores operate normally when the opening is clean and clear from blockages. The Mayo Clinic warns that when dead skin and dandruff block pores on the scalp, whiteheads and blackheads are created. If these are left untreated by drying shampoos or scalp treatments, the small pimples turn into larger pimples, inflamed by bacteria growth. This is magnified by the creation of addition dandruff that blocks more scalp pores.
Removing Dandruff Conditions
The genetic code of Malassezia globosa was mapped by Procter and Gamble, which reported the information to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007. The fungus feeds on human sebum, a combination of fat and cells released from the pores. In order to break down the sebum, the fungus creates lipases, an enzyme, that in turn produces oleic acid from the sebum. People with sensitive skin scalp react to the oleic acid by sloughing more skin cells.
Use of medicated shampoos destroys some of the fungus, eliminating the creation of enzymes and acids, and additional research is expected to increase the effectiveness of shampoo now that the fungus genetic code has been discovered. Pimples are reduced in size and the inflammation is reduced with drying products that include zinc pyrithione, coal tar, selenium sulfide and salicylic acid. Dandruff shampoos incorporate these ingredients to destroy the fungus and dry the skin, but the chemicals also dry pimples.
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