Managing Dandruff

If you have trouble managing your dandruff, your dermatologist can offer help and/or diagnosis of another condition.

Nobody enjoys the white flakes that dandruff causes, especially if you are wearing a dark colored top!

Dandruff symptoms include white flakes of dead skin and, sometimes, an itchy scalp. Dandruff often becomes worse during cold weather month and improves during summer months.

Causes of dandruff include irritated skin, not washing your hair often enough that causes a build up of skin cells, a fungus called malassezia that irritates the scalp, dry skin, oily skin, or sensitivity to hair products.

While dandruff can happen to almost anyone, it usually starts in young adulthood and males are more likely to have dandruff then females. Those with Parkinson’s disease, HIV, or have other conditions that compromise the immune system are more likely to have dandruff.

An over-the-counter dandruff shampoo should help manage dandruff. If it does not help, then see your dermatologist for prescription shampoo. Your dermatologist may also examine and diagnose a condition other than dandruff, such as seborrheic dermatitis. If that is the case, your dermatologist can also treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Babies sometimes have a scaly, crusty scalp that is a type of dandruff called cradle cap. Washing your baby’s head with a gentle shampoo and brushing the scalp with a soft baby brush may help, but cradle cap often clears up on its own. If concerned, always contact your baby’s doctor for help.

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