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Overview

Dandruff - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Dandruff?

Though dandruff needs no formal introduction yet it is the shedding of dead skin cells of the scalp. Skin cells too die and a little bit of flaking is well within normal boundaries.

How is the cause of dandruff diagnosed by doctors?

Scalp examinations are usually used to determine why excessive dandruff is present. After the examination of the scalp, the cause of the condition is most often obvious. Sometimes though a scalp biopsy may be in order in such a procedure, local anesthesia is applied and a sample of the skin of the scalp is taken for further investigation.

What is the medical treatment of dandruff?

Seborrhea or dandruff is treated by fighting the inflammation of the skin. This may be achieved directly through the use of lotions and creams based on cortisone which reduces the inflammation. Another treatment is to put into use topical shampoos and lotions that deter yeast. The direction of dandruff treatment is usually dictated by the cause which is behind the condition.

Dandruff Home Remedies

Medicated shampoos may help a person to fight dandruff. These shampoos available at the pharmacy contain:

Such shampoos may be used for every occasion or even just twice or once every week. This is dependent on the severity of the condition. When it is mild or negligible switch to ordinary shampoos. Sometimes a particular shampoo might work for some time then be rendered ineffective. In such instances switch to another type of shampoo. If one has a resistant variant between dandruff alternate between two different shampoo types that are effective in the case of the patient. It is not that harmful to regularly use shampoos which one may use regularly to keep dandruff at bay. Topical steroids like antifungal creams and creams based on cortisone also help to fight dandruff. They too are available over the counter at concentrations of either 1% or 0.5%. They are safe for the face with results visible within few days of regular application. Lotions and creams may be combined with medicated shampoos for even more effectiveness.

Antifungal creams are also highly efficient in the task of reducing severe dandruff. They work as they decrease skin yeast organisms. Creams and lotions, although should be used till dandruff, persists after which it should be avoided. When dandruff strikes back one may use them again.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Symptoms
Oily skin Irritated skin Itchy scalp Worsened conditions in winters

Popular Health Tips

White Scaly Patches On Skin - Can It Be A Sign Of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

MD - Dermatology , Fellowship in Hair Transplant
Dermatologist, Nashik
White Scaly Patches On Skin - Can It Be A Sign Of Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a dermatological disorder that is characterized by the appearance of itchy, red rashes and flaky scales. The symptoms are similar to those of eczema, psoriasis or an allergic reaction. The disease usually affects the scalp and the body. It is not a serious disorder, but it can end up being a cosmetic concern.

Symptoms
The symptoms of this disorder include appearance of skin flakes on the scalp (dandruff), redness of the skin, an itchy skin and crusting of the eyelids. It can affect one’s daily activities because of the irritation that it entails. In case of babies, it is often mistaken for diaper rashes.

Possible triggers
The exact cause of this disorder is not known. Certain factors are known to trigger the symptoms of this disorder; them being:

Certain medical conditions such as acne, AIDS, depression and rosacea increase the risks of seborrheic dermatitis significantly.

Treatments
The treatments for seborrheic dermatitis include using medicated shampoos, lotions and creams. The various treatment options that are available for seborrheic dermatitis have been listed below:

  1. Antifungal medications: Antifungal medicated pills such as ‘terbinafine’ are prescribed to treat this disorder. They may also be used as an ingredient in shampoos.
  2. Inflammation controlling creams and shampoos: Corticosteroids such as ‘desonide’, ‘hydrocortisone’ and ‘fluocinolone’ are often prescribed to treat seborrheic dermatitis. However, a prolonged usage of these topical creams and shampoos might cause skin thinning.
  3. Antibacterial medications: Certain antibacterial gels or creams can be used such as ‘metronidazole’.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4124 people found this helpful

How Is Dandruff Affecting Your Skin?

MD - Dermatology Venereology & Leprosy, MBBS
Dermatologist, Ludhiana
How Is Dandruff Affecting Your Skin?

Dandruff is also known as Seborrhea, the white flakes that you may notice on your scalp or skin. It is generally caused due to dryness. Dandruff can only be controlled and not absolutely cured. It can give rise to other skin problems as well. The following are the ways in which your skin may be adversely affected due to dandruff

  1. Pimples may pop out: Due to dandruff pimples may pop out on your skin. If the white flakes fall on your T- zone region, the facial area which is more prone to pimples.
  2. Problem of pigmentationThe pimples leave behind dark spots all over your skin leading to the embarrassing problem of pigmentation. Dandruff makes the condition even worse.
  3. Chest rashes may appear: If your dandruff becomes uncontrollable then it keeps falling all over your body. This may lead to the break out of chest rashes.
  4. Acne: Acne is another distressing problem that may be the result of dandruff. This also promotes the break out of pimples and red rashes on your skin.
  5. Facial rashes: Facial rashes may also appear in many cases. Rashes can be seen near the eyebrow or forehead region. In case of men, beard rashes are also common.
  6. Itchy scalp: Dandruff gives you an itchy scalp. This further makes the condition of dandruff worse and the skin of your scalp becomes scaly resulting in further problems.
  7. Eczema and psoriases are unfavorably affected: Skin problems like eczema and psoriases become far worse due to dandruff.
  8. Inflammation and redness: Dandruff may cause your facial skin to suffer from the problems of inflammation and redness.

It is highly recommended for you to use natural remedies and good hair care products to control your dandruff so that your skin is not much affected. But if it is uncontrollable, visiting a dermatologist is a must.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2580 people found this helpful

Dandruff v/s. Dry Scalp - What's The Difference?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Dandruff v/s. Dry Scalp - What's The Difference?

The skin on your scalp renews its cells like every other skin cell on your body. They restore every twenty-four days by forming new types skin cells underneath the old cells to reveal the new ones eventually. Dry skin and dandruff are caused due to many reasons, however, are different than each other. Here are a few signs and causes that separate the two:

Dandruff
Dandruff is not caused by dryness but instead an excessive amount of oil. In a few people, the yeast begins to feast upon the excessive oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, making the skin cells shed off and form flakes on the head. Here are a few reasons why dandruff is caused:

  1. Excessive intake of sugar, fat, starch
  2. Improper nourishment
  3. Heredity problems
  4. Allergies or sensitive skin
  5. Lack of rest
  6. Emotional anxiety
  7. Hormonal changes
  8. Poor well-being

Dry scalp

Dry scalp is caused because of loss of oil and moisture from the skin and can be caused because of certain shampoos, cleansers, climate, water, or even your eating routine. Signs and side effects include itching and tingling and little white flakes that fall off excessively.

Here are a few ways in which you can fight dry skin:

  1. Dry scalp can be dealt with by using normal cures, for example, apple cider vinegar since help in normalizing the pH on your scalp and remove the flakes and residue left behind by shampoos, conditioners, and other hair items.
  2. You can likewise do a light scalp message using regular oils, for example, additional virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, and so on.
  3. Yogurt and honey can help the hair recover by hydrating them and adding dampness to your scalp to fight the dry scalp.

Here are a few ways in which you can treat dandruff on your scalp:
Wash your hair consistently with a delicate shampoo to decrease the amount of oil on your scalp. qIn case that your dandruff is more serious or a normal shampoo doesn't work, try an anti-dandruff shampoo. Most dandruff shampoos contain solutions like Pyrithione zinc and Selenium sulfide that kill the fungus on your scalp or evacuates flaky skin.

  • Pyrithione zinc: It contains antifungal properties that kill the bacterial growth on your scalp that causes the flakes to appear.
  • Selenium sulfide: This helps in diminishing the signs of dandruff growth and keep an excessive number of skin cells from being killed along with it. In case you have coloured hair, ask your specialist before using the dandruff shampoo containing selenium sulfide. It can change the shade of your colour.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4367 people found this helpful

Scratching Dandruff - Know The Do's & Don'ts!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
Scratching Dandruff - Know The Do's & Don'ts!

Scratching dandruff or a flaky scalp is a common problem that can be quite embarrassing for the person concerned. You comb your hair only to find white flakes all around your shoulder (more visible, if you are wearing a dark colored dress). Men as well as women, can both suffer from a flaky scalp. The characteristic white flakes associated with the condition are nothing, but the dead skin cells that your scalp sheds from time to time.

The trigger for a flaky scalp can be due to myriad of reasons ranging from from stress, to unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. A flaky scalp can also be an outcome of using harmful hair styling products, hormonal imbalance or certain medical conditions.The condition, though annoying, can be treated successfully. There are certain do's and don'ts associated with a flaky scalp, which if followed diligently, will ensure better and faster results.

The most common mistake that people with a flaky scalp make is scratching their scalp vigorously. The temporary relief is sure to aggravate the condition more, with the possibility of a scalp infection. Resist the temptation, no matter how itchy it gets.

  1. Avoid self-medication. Just because someone with a flaky scalp benefited from certain medications does not guarantee success in your case. The trigger in your case may be different. It would be foolish on your part to try any medication without consulting a physician. It is better to be cautious now than to regret later.
  2. Stress can affect your life in more ways than you can think. In many cases, stress has been found to be a contributing factor resulting in a flaky scalp. Try to live a stress-free life as much as you can. Do not compromise with your sleep for anything. A sound sleep can work wonders to keep stress at bay. It is important that you maintain a healthy sleep cycle (a daily sleep of 6-8 hours is a must). Meditations, yoga, exercise, or physical activities are known to be great stress busters.
  3. Your diet may have an important role to play in a flaky scalp. Fast and processed foods, foods rich in sugar or simple carbohydrates are what most people drool over. However, these foods can spell doom for the overall health. In addition to the many harmful effects, most of these foods are known to trigger an elevated production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Increased levels of sebum can worsen the dandruff problem. Include more fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and those rich in vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Keep your body well hydrated. Drink water and healthy fluids (fresh fruit juice, coconut water, soups, to name few) at regular intervals of time.
  4. Follow a healthy hair care routine. Oil massage (warm oil) your hair at least twice a week. Use mild shampoos or those recommended by the doctor. Avoid over shampooing. Also, avoid the extensive use of hair styling products.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4525 people found this helpful

Scalp Peeling - Did You Know It Can Be Of 3 Different Types?

Dermatologist
Dermatologist, Delhi
Scalp Peeling - Did You Know It Can Be Of 3 Different Types?

Eczema of the scalp, which results in itching, flaking, or crusting of the scalp, is called scalp peeling or is commonly referred to as “dandruff”. This condition causes increased shedding of normal scalp skin cells. Dandruff may also be caused by a fungal infection, other than just dehydration of the scalp.

The causes of an extremely dry scalp, thereby causing dandruff or even bigger flakes falling from the head onto shoulders and clothes, may be due to scalp psoriasis, eczema, poor nutrition, generalized dehydration, exposure to too much direct heat, and using too much of shampoo.

The three types of dandruff that need to be treated are those resulting from fungal growth, dry scalp and the one resulting from product build-up.

  1. Fungal growth: This kind of dandruff is a chronic condition, caused by increased oil content on the scalp or an off-balance pH of the scalp. It may also be due to poor cleansing habits, or even an allergic reaction to the hair products one uses. Try switching shampoos, conditioners, or styling products to sulfate-free formulas to cure this condition.
  2. Dry scalp: Sometimes, the skin of the scalp is literally so parched and dry that it is flaky and falls away like snakeskin. People with this kind of dandruff usually have drier hair and notice a tightness in their scalp. To treat dry-scalp dandruff, it is wise to indulge one’s hair with moisturizing and hydrating shampoos, cut down on or space out harsh chemical treatments like relaxers, permanents, or dyes, and take in more moisture from the inside - drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day, and your skin (including your scalp) will show you results that you want. Eliminating sulfates from your shampoos or other hair care products will also help with dry scalp, since these ingredients help strip away natural oils. Brushing hair or massaging the scalp - either with bare fingertips or a few drops of oil - is another great treatment, since massage helps stimulate circulation and bring blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the scalp and hair.
  3. Product buildup: The most common type of dandruff is due to product buildup. This is what happens when people with otherwise healthy manes and scalps use too many styling products, such as layering gels, hair serum, hairspray, wrap lotions, scalp oils, heat-protecting serum, and so on. Dandruff caused by product buildup usually looks more like small clumps or balls of dirt. It may have a brownish color, since all those products attract and trap plenty of dirt and sweat. Product-buildup dandruff also tends to appear sporadically, only when hair is in need of a wash, whereas other types of dandruff show up more quickly and regularly.

To treat this kind of dandruff, one should wash hair more often or simply aim for using minimum chemical-rich hair products. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.

4056 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 21 years old suffering from hair fall for last 4 yrs. I have thinning of hair in front area of scalp. I recently started use minoxidil 5%solution with multivitamin with protein diet. I use candid b lotion for dandruff. My hair fall slows down. But thinning not improved. I used for 1 month. Will my thinning reversed? Please suggest any solution.

MBBS, MD - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon
You are suffering from female pattern baldness (google it. Its a hereditary hair loss on females where there is initially widening of partition. We have corrected almost 500 such cases surgically by hair transplant. One should remember that medicines minoxidil 5% 1 ml twice daily, a DHT inhibitor with certain precaution and only under prescription and very high protein diet (1g/kg/bw of protein) along with strong nutritional supplement is must to get improvement. Improvement takes at least 6 month to 8 month after regular intake. Diet plays a very important role. I cannot comment any further as I have not seen you. You can go to our website www.eugenix.in and their surgical correction to see such cases of female pattern hair loss. We have done more than 100 cases in last 1 and half year with great result and few cases from kolkatta as well. Remember every female does not need transplant but may need it in higher grade baldness and its not same as male hair transplant. Consult a qualified MD or DNB or DVD dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis.
71 people found this helpful

I am facing massive hair fall for the past two weeks. I have dandruff and this this problem started after I applied onion paste on my hair. My hair has become very thin and at this rate I might face baldness. How can I stop this?

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Mumbai
There are many reasons for hair fall or thinning of hair on scalp. So first and foremost we have to find the cause with the help of detailed history and examination. Some of the common causes are nutritional deficiency, hormonal causes like androgenic alopecia or patterned baldness, hypothyroidism, telogen effluvium etc. Unless we find and treat the cause there is no point in giving non specific treatment. Oils or shampoos do not have any effect on hair growth as they are not absorbed in the skin. Moreover, you should never self treat with anything. Please call me or send photographs using online consult option for proper diagnosis and detailed prescription.
19 people found this helpful

My hair is too dry and dandruff. Now I use fungizole shampoo now I don't have dandruff problem. But my hair looks dull not shinny. Suggest me some good wine based shampoo.

CIDESCO, DGA, DBT, DBC, MBBS
Trichologist, Mumbai
Hello If no dandruff then u can stop using fungizole shampoo or use it as maintainance . For dry hairs u can use , Triclenz shampoo n Triflow hair conditioner. For further doubts please write to us . Thank you

Dear sir, I'm suffering from hair fall for around 2-3 years. Actually my scalp produces white substance (hard) and sometimes my hairs which fall have this substance at its end (which might have resulted into losing of the hair strength from the scalp). My doctor said it to be dandruff, but it seems to me the problem of over production of sebum. I even sometimes feel itching in the scalp and when I scratch it the said particles were found. Kindly guide me for my problem. Medications prescribed by my doctor: (period of treatment around 3 months) 1) Follihair Tablets 2) Hfin Tablets 3) Mbson-SL Tablets (B12) 4) Ze Bet-S Lotion 5) Morr F 5% Lotion.

MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Chennai
You are suffering from hormonal changes causing Androgenetic alopecia causing hair fall. It's completely stoppable even regrowth of hair is possible with certain medications without any side effects. Treatment depends on the grade of hair loss. So, it's a must for diagnosing which grade, you are in for an effective treatment. Please meet me in my clinic or do direct personal online consultation by sending photos for accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
3 people found this helpful

Too much dandruff persists .It was not there when treated from dermatologist. But now getting same dandruff patches .Tar shampoo was suggested but is not it too harsh to use it for a very long time?

MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Chennai
Use ksky lotion twice weekly, along with the following medicine. Contact me or send photos on direct private online consultation for proper diagnosis and treatment.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Dandruff?
How is the cause of dandruff diagnosed by doctors?
What is the medical treatment of dandruff?
Dandruff Home Remedies
Play video
Top Home Remedies to get rid of Dandruff
Looking over your shoulder while driving is a healthy habit. But looking over your shoulder to check for dandruff could be quite embarrassing, especially for women.

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that is usually chronic but not contagious (unless caused by infection). Formation of dry, white flakes of dead skin on hair and scalp is dandruff. It may also be accompanied by itching and burning sensation.

Those with oily skin are more prone to this problem because it is often a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.

Dandruff is caused by:

- cold, dry weather
- infrequent shampooing
- overgrowth of yeast-like fungus (malassezia)
- sensitivity to hair products
- conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- hormonal changes
- stress
- a diet lacking in zinc and b vitamins

Try these home remedies to get rid of dandruff:

Home remedy 1
- take a handful of neem leaves.
- boil them in 4 cups of water.
- cool and strain this solution.
- rinse your hair with this decoction 2-3 times a week.

Home remedy 2
- take some coconut oil.
- add half the amount of lemon juice in it.
- mix them thoroughly.
- apply this mixture to the roots of your hair and massage for a few minutes.
- leave on for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off.

Home remedy 3
- take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- add an equal amount of water.
- add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil.
- mix the ingredients well.
- massage your scalp with the mixture.
- rinse after a few minutes.
- follow this remedy 2-3 times a week.

Now you can confidently say" look, no dandruff anymore"

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice