Yes, beard dandruff is a thing, and, lucky for you, so is beard dandruff treatment. But before you self-diagnose and start buying a handful of products, let’s get to the bottom of what causes beard dandruff so you can better understand what’s causing your beard to snow on your chest. We talked to a handful of experts, including board-certified dermatologist Daniel Belkin, MD of the New York Dermatology Group, Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Shafer Clinic, and top New York City barber and men’s grooming expert Jason Biggs of Babe of Brooklyn to discuss both the cause and beard dandruff treatment options.
What is Beard Dandruff?
Beard dandruff is essentially a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which typically affects the face and scalp, Engelman says. Symptoms include red skin and flaking on the scalp and hair, which can be accompanied by itching. The telltale symptoms of beard dandruff include white flakes in the beard with red skin at the base.
What isn’t Beard Dandruff?
Just because you find yourself with a few flakes in your beard doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dealing with beard dandruff. Dry skin can also cause the skin to shed, which may show up in your beard as white flakes. Belkin explains how to tell the difference: “With dandruff, the skin will look normal to pink to red, flakes are larger and greasier, and flaking is seemingly never-ending. When flaking is from dry skin, the skin can look whitish or cracked, and flakes are dry and small.”
Naturally, if you think you have beard dandruff, it’s best to see a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis and course of beard dandruff treatment.
Who Gets Beard Dandruff?
If you normally experience scalp dandruff, you may also be more prone to beard dandruff, Engelman says. That’s because “If your skin cells regenerate too quickly on your scalp, it is common the cells will also do so on your beard.” Belkin says that men are more commonly affected than women because sebaceous glands are responsive to androgens, or male hormones. He also says although there is no known predisposition toward any particular skin type, the redness may be less apparent in those with darker skins; however, the flaking will be similar.
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