Dandruff is almost a fact of life for most people. It’s common to the point that general supermarkets sell the products to treat it. A lot of people associate it simply with having a dry scalp. In fact, the cause of dandruff may come from a fungus.
If you’ve ever sought treatment for dermatitis, your doctor may have used the word Malassezia in front of you before. It refers to a genus of fungi that can cause skin infections, and it’s also a possible cause of dandruff.
It’s always been thought that it only exists on our skin, and feeds off waste products like oils. Scientists have recently made a discovery which points to the contrary, though.
Where Else Is It Found?
Recent discoveries have found that apart from living on our scalp, Malassezia can also exist in some pretty extreme conditions. This includes the depths of Antarctica, the gut of a lobster, and the roots of plants such as orchids.
These new areas have led to it being described as the most versatile fungus around. It’s also thought that jumping back and forth from wet to dry homes may have led to some changes in its genetic makeup.
The bottom line is this: malassezia needs skin to survive but the skin doesn’t have to be human’s.
Can You Get Rid of It?
Shampoos and conditioners that specifically treat Malassezia are available at most supermarkets. It’s important to understand that they aren’t as effective if the instructions aren’t followed exactly. Make sure you read the instructions and follow them to a T.
The cause of dandruff can be a number of things. The fungus malassezia is one of them.