Why can’t fungal dandruff be wiped out “forever” with antifungal medication, like antibiotics for bacteria or the immune system for viral infections?


I don’t understand the concept of dandruff very well. Apparently it is caused by a yeast on our skin, so why can’t it just be killed? I mean, is it really that important for anything?

Can’t I just, you know, take/lather myself in something that kills all Malassezia?

In: 4

Unilever (they make head and shoulders) did a little piece on it.

Basically, we assumed it was mostly that fungus, but it might also be a bacteria, which obvious fungicide won’t kill, or even just the skin itself. Fungus is just a common, easily treatable one, but it happens because of the environment. It’s not like a cold that you catch. Some people just have a head that’s great for growing it, and fungicide only treats the symptom, not necessarily the cause.

Unilever is basically saying that we don’t know everything about what causes it and I mean, it’s partially true, but a lot of dandruff causes can be treated and even prevented, but it’s like something that comes from a few different places.

This is what I can find after a quick search:
Malassezia is difficult to grow in lab conditions, in order to put a product on the market it has to be fully tested and that has not been done yet. Also functionally there are still question marks on how this yeast works.

This yeast is so abundant on everybodys skin (even on animals), that there is no way to get rid of it forever. It forms spores, “mini cells”, that are very well preserved, difficult to get rid of and can therefore spread more easily. Malassezia will find its way back to you in no time.

There do seem to be certain anti-fungal methods to get rid of Malassezia, but since research on the topic is still ongoing they cannot claim anything specific Malassezia yet. Also I found this from some BBC program called “trust me I’m a doctor”:

“However, there are some chemicals that can help kill it off too. The most effective anti-fungals are miconazole and ketokonazole. Ketokonazole is found in some shampoos, but miconazole is currently only available in skin creams (and some pet shampoos!).
You may find, though, that the effects of an antifungal shampoo wear off after a while, so you might need to cycle some alternatives. Shampoos containing zinc or selenium can also target the fungus, so there are a wide range of solutions to try.”

Keep in mind the fungus is related to the same that give us jock itch, athletes foot, ringowrm etc. As people who have had and treated jock itch can tell you, it is never really gone either. The spores are in your clothes, bed, the rest of your body. So when you soap up the junk with some dandruff shampoo and your goolies stop itching, the spores just start working their way back in again.

The only way to really permanently get rid of them is to remove the environment that grows fungus well. All you have to do is have a perfectly dry skin on your face, scalp, crotch. Don’t sweat ever again. Burn your belongings and move into a bubble.