Exploring the Relationship Between the Scalp Microbiome and Dandruff

by Charlotte Vedel, Chief Operating Officer, Lactobio A/S (L’Oreal)

Euro Cosmetics Magazine April 2024
April 2024

Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are prevalent scalp disorders that affect millions of people worldwide, both characterized by flaking, itching, and inflammation. These conditions not only pose cosmetic concerns but also impact the quality of life for affected individuals. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic and relapsing inflammatory disorder, represents an exacerbation of dandruff pathology, often affecting sebum-rich areas such as the scalp, face, and intertriginous regions. While the precise etiologic of seborrheic dermatitis remains elusive, dysregulation of the immune response, genetic predisposition, and neurogenic factors have been implicated. Malassezia were thought to be the cause, and dandruff scalp treatments and shampoos are therefore geared towards fighting fungi. But with more knowledge about the scalp microbiome, it appears more likely that a microbial dysbiosis, involving both fungi and bacteria, is the major cause of dandruff. A dysbiosis can lead to flaking, itching and irritation of the scalp, as well as inhibited hair regrowth and even hair loss.
Over recent years, a burgeoning body of research has underscored the pivotal role of the scalp microbiome in the etiopathogenesis of these dermatological disorders, shedding light on novel therapeutic avenues and preventive strategies. Over the years, numerous studies have delved into the underlying causes of dandruff, and one intriguing area of research is the scalp microbiome.



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