Dandruff is a shedding of the
skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and
What causes dandruff?
Dandruff may be caused by a
form of a skin condition called
eczema, which causes increased shedding of normal
scalp skin cells. Dandruff can also be caused by a
fungal infection. Hormonal or seasonal changes may
make dandruff worse.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of dandruff
include white, oily-looking flakes of dead skin in your hair and on your
shoulders and an itchy, scaling scalp. Your scalp can be either excessively dry
How is it treated?
Home treatment often helps
prevent and get rid of the symptoms of dandruff.
Use an antidandruff shampoo. A variety of shampoos are available, containing different
ingredients. Trying several will help you find out which antidandruff shampoo
is most effective for you.
Shampoo daily to prevent a build-up of
dead skin cells on your scalp.
If an antidandruff shampoo helps
stop dandruff for a while but the dandruff problem returns, try a different
Alternate antidandruff shampoos with regular
ones if you are worried about the effects of antidandruff shampoos' harsh
chemicals on your hair.
Rub your scalp. When you
wash your hair, lather once, rinse, then lather a second time and rub your
scalp vigorously as you shampoo. This will help dislodge excess cells. Be
careful not to rub so energetically that you damage your
Let it soak. After you lather the
second time, let the medicated shampoo sit on your head for 5 minutes. This
will give the antidandruff shampoo time to work.
Rinse well. This will help get rid of all the cells you have
loosened up during shampooing.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine