Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
Actinic keratoses commonly appear in areas of chronic sun exposure, such as the face and dorsa of the hands. Actinic cheilitis is a related condition that usually appears on the lower lips...
Brush your hair from your scalp down with steady, firm strokes. This will carry oil from your scalp, where it can cause dandruff, along the hair strands, where it will keep your hair shiny and healthy.
Not all dandruff shampoos are alike. Some have different active ingredients, such as:
Coal tar preparations (Denorex Therapeutic Protection, Neutrogena T/Gel, Scytera)
Pyrithione Zinc (Selsun Blue for Itchy Dry Scalp, Neutrogena T/Gel Daily Control Dandruff Shampoo, Head & Shoulders)
Salicylic acid and sulfur (Sebex, Sebulex)
Salicylic acid (Neutrogena T/Sal )
Selenium sulfide (Dandrex, Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength, Selsun)
Ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral A-D, Xolegel)
You may need to switch between types of shampoos if one type controls the dandruff at first but later loses its effectiveness.
How often you should use dandruff shampoo varies from daily to a couple of times a week. Check the directions on the bottle.
When shampooing your hair, rub the shampoo into your scalp well. Leave the shampoo on your head for five minutes, or as directed, before you rinse.
Rinse thoroughly. Any leftover shampoo may irritate your skin.
Once your dandruff is under control, you may be able to use the dandruff shampoo less frequently.
When to See a Doctor
If you find that you are still scratching and shedding after trying over-the-counter preparations, see your doctor. For really stubborn dandruff cases, you may need to use a prescription shampoo.