My cast iron pan has started to give off tiny black flakes after 3 months of use. Are these dangerous in any way? Are we ingesting iron? There are patches on the skillet that are now a little lighter than their surrounding areas.
That is just the seasoning - the nonstick carbon that is formed after years of use - coming off. If big pieces are dropping in your food or you are freaked out by it, simply give your pan a good scrubbing with some steel wool and soap then re-season it.
To season the pan:
Remember not to wash the pan with soapy water if you want the pan to stay non-stick. If there are bits of food in it from frying or such. Scrub it out with hot water and some coarse kosher salt, just nothing like steel wool, non-stick safe scrubbers are OK.
Wash it as much as you want. The non stick isn't going to come out unless you let it rust. Wash it, heat it on high, put some oil in it, and put it away. Nuff said.