Is Dandruff Contagious and Hereditary?


Is dandruff contagious? This question could be prompted by situations where one person catches dandruff and all those living around him or her follow suit. Does the whole of your family suffer from dandruff and you are now wondering if dandruff contagious? Did a close person suffer dandruff which you think they later passed to you and you are now wondering is dandruff hereditary and contagious? We seek to answer these questions in this post.

We have always had an experience in which we were warned about sharing towels, hair combs and brushes. This is more so when people are small kids. This was not allowed lest we caught or spread dandruff from or to others. Did this argument have any basis? Is it possible to get dandruff from other people? This post tries to explore if these claims are warranted or if they are simply presuppositions.

Is Dandruff Contagious
Is Dandruff Contagious?

Is Dandruff Contagious?

With all the negativity that is associated with dandruff, it is normal for one to ask the question: Is dandruff contagious? There are many misconceptions surrounding dandruff. This could be attributed to the fact that an itchy and flaky scalp or skin is at times influenced by microorganisms.

This is however a myth; one cannot get dandruff from another person. Every person has all the contributing factors that could lead to dandruff and is prone to getting it. In fact, everyone has the bacteria causing fungus on their scalp.

The reason as to why people have dandruff is as a result of a multiplication of the fungus malassezia. It could also be as a result of the accumulation of dead skin cells caused by poor hair shampooing. People who suffer from an overproduction of sebum could also experience dandruff. This is because the fungus feeds on it and if there is plenty of it will tend to grow out of control. An intolerance of dairy products could also cause an increased turnover of dead skin cells.

A close look at what dandruff is will help explain further why it is not contagious. To begin with, dandruff is not a disease. It can therefore not be communicable. Some diseases may however aggravate the skin and scalp resulting in dandruff. Simply put, dandruff is an increased production of dead skin cells. Having dandruff is dependent on a person’s susceptibility, the weather conditions, stress and other reasons as mentioned above. This being the case, it is obvious that dandruff is not contagious.

In case you have friends or a partner who have the dandruff condition and are too conscious about your contact, it is time to let that fear go. Your partner will never catch it from you and neither will you ever catch it from them. Sit back and enjoy time with your loved ones.

Is Dandruff Hereditary or Contagious?

It could be that your grandmother, your mother and you have huge chunks of dandruff on your heads. As a result, you keep asking; is dandruff hereditary or contagious? In case you live in the same place there is a possibility that you get a notion that it could be hereditary or contagious.

Dandruff is not contagious in any way. The reason why people who live together may experience dandruff is because of shared predisposing factors. Dandruff could be caused by dry air in the winter season. In case you live under the same roof in which the heater is always on, you all experience dry air which will in turn result in a dry scalp. This is why all of you will end up with dandruff. Though it may begin with one person as the others follow, this does not mean it is being passed on. Some people are simply more susceptible than others.

People who live under the same roof are also likely to share the same food. In case this diet is not sufficient enough, all who share it will suffer the consequences. Lack of Zinc minerals in food is one way through which diet could be causing dandruff in people who are living together.

Having cleared the doubts on whether it is contagious, let us now look at whether it is hereditary. Dandruff can run in the family. It tends to be associated with psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis both of which are skin conditions which are believed to be inherited as polygenic disorders. At other times though, it only occurs by coincidence due to various factors. Therefore, while some people may experience dandruff due to genetics, not everyone who has dandruff inherited it.

Is Dandruff Hereditary or Contagious
Is Dandruff Hereditary or Contagious?

Are There any Dandruff Remedies?

Given that the questions is dandruff contagious and is dandruff hereditary have been answered, the next most relevant question to ask would be; are there any dandruff remedies? It is possible to get rid of dandruff using various ways. These vary from homemade products to manufactured products.

The easiest remedy for dandruff to use is an anti-dandruff shampoo. These are available over the counter and contain various anti dandruff ingredients. They are medicated and have to be used over a period of time to be effective. The type used should be determined by the dandruff cause.

Another way through which one can get rid of it is by using natural remedies for dandruff. These are great as one will not be making use of any chemicals. As a result, no damage is done to the hair. Some of the natural dandruff remedies include baking soda, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and coconut oil.

The natural remedies can also be used in homemade antidandruff shampoos recipes. These are normally mixed in pairs or more for the best results. Using homemade antidandruff shampoos is advantageous as it protects the hair from harsh chemicals found in commercial shampoos.

In case the homemade and over the counter remedies fail to work, it is important to consult a dermatologist. They will diagnose the dandruff condition to determine if it could be caused by some other skin disease such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. They will then recommend stronger dandruff treatment which could include prescription shampoos or steroid creams.