Dandruff is a sloughing of the
skin on the scalp that leads to white flakes on the head, neck, and
What causes dandruff?
Dandruff is thought to 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.
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 is often effective
in preventing and getting 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 your scalp from
accumulating dead cells.
If an antidandruff shampoo helps stop
dandruff for a while but the dandruff problem returns, rotate
Consider alternating antidandruff shampoos with regular
ones if you are concerned 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.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
April 26, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 26, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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