How can I treat dandruff and a dry, flaky scalp?

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When the natural balance between bacteria and fungi on the scalp is disrupted, dandruff can occur. Synthetic antifungal agents fight the scalp’s microbiota and stop the inflammatory response. YUN on the other hand, is currently developing a treatment that restores the balance in a natural way so that dandruff can be prevented.

Pharmaceutical and OTC treatments

Dandruff is often treated with antifungals or antifungal agents such as ketoconazole and ciclopirox. These products establish clinical improvement of dandruff, probably through suppressing the amount of the fungus Malassezia on the scalp.

In severe cases of dandruff topical corticosteroids may help in order to suppress the inflammation of the scalp.

Immunosuppressive agents such as Pimecrolimus can also be used to counteract the inflammatory response. These drugs inhibit the activity of the immune system. However, it is unclear whether their use has an impact on long-term overall health.

Finally, there are also many commercial antidandruff shampoos. Shampoos with essential ingredients such as selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione reduce the increased production of sebum and the accelerated proliferation of cells on the scalp. They also inhibit the growth of fungi and yeasts.

These antifungals or antifungal treatments contain synthetic substances and (partly) improve dandruff but sometimes side effects and potential resistance may occur.

Probiotherapy

In order to counteract the disruption of the scalp in a natural way, YUN is currently exploring the development of a treatment that restores the balance between bacteria and fungi. For this topical application, YUN has identified the beneficial lactobacilli YUN-V1.0, YUN-V2.0 and YUN-S1.0. These are benign bacteria that bring the ratio of Malassezia, Staphylococcus and Propionibacterium back into the right balance through the production of lactic acid. Through this natural method the balance is restored and dandruff can be prevented.

Interesting references

  • Grice, E.A. & Segre, J.A., 2011. The skin microbiome. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 9(4), pp.244–53.
  • Del Rosso, J.Q., 2011. Adult seborrheic dermatitis: a status report on practical topical management. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 4(5), pp.32–8.
  • Wang, L. et al., 2015. Characterization of the major bacterial-fungal populations colonizing dandruff scalps in Shanghai, China, shows microbial disequilibrium. Experimental dermatology, 24(5), pp.398–400.

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