Most people would easily recall that moment on April 24, 2018, frozen in time, in colour, when United States President Donald Trump, who is said to be so self-absorbed with being image perfect, graphically tried to flick off specks of dandruff from the shoulder of the suit of the French President Emmanuel Macron, during the latter’s visit to the United States.
The incident, which was dubbed Dandruff Diplomacy by the international media, happened moments after Trump had finished receiving Macron in the Oval Office and both of them stepped out for the customary photographs. It was just then that the US President set about “helping” the French President flick off dandruff flecks from the perfectly clean suit of his guest. Macron’s trip to the United States was Trump’s first state visit from a foreign leader.
The graphic display of “care” was dismissed by most commentators as a decidedly undiplomatic, which they interpreted as a move to embarrass Macron, destabilize him and possibly extract concessions from the French in the intricate diplomatic, economic and military relationship between the countries as they pursue interests at NATO, UN and around the world. With equanimity, Macron smiled through Trump’s obvious bumble and undiplomatic step, and in the process earned kudos from global observers for remaining calm and decorous.
Dandruff, which is a skin condition that mainly affects the scalp, can be a real embarrassment to the person who has it. Without a doubt, it can lead to the individual suffering from social problems or even exhibit low self-esteem. The clearest sign of the condition is the flaking and itchiness of the scalp, either when the person combs the hair all the way to the scalp.
According to Wikipedia, the condition may manifest in a more severe way known as seborrhoeic dermatitis. Several causes have been associated with dandruff. Among these are: irritated, oily skin; not shampooing enough, infestation by a fungus called malassezia that feeds on oils on the scalps of most adults, dry skin, sensitivity to hair care products (a reaction known as contact dermittis). Other causes are skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.Dandruff affects about half of all adults, with males more often affected than females. Onset is usually at puberty, with rates decreasing after the age of 50.
What causes dandruff?
As the skin layers continually replace themselves, cells are pushed outward where they die and flake off. For most individuals, these flakes of skin are too small to be visible. However, certain conditions cause cell turnover to be unusually rapid, especially in the scalp. It is hypothesized that for people with dandruff, skin cells may mature and be shed in 2–7 days, as opposed to around a month in people without dandruff. The result is that dead skin cells are shed in large, oily clumps, which appear as white or grayish flakes on the scalp, skin and clothes.
The treatment for dandruff involves tackling with antifungal medication and agents such as ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione and selenium disulfide has been found to be effective. Ketoconazole appears to have a longer duration of effect on dandruff. Ketoconazole is a broad spectrum antimycotic agent that is active against Candida and Malassezia furfur. Of all the antifungals of the imidazole class, ketoconazole has become the leading contender among treatment options because of its effectiveness in treating seborrheic dermatitis as well. Ciclopirox is widely used as an anti-dandruff agent in most preparations.