Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which you will see small pieces of dry, flaky skin on the scalp and throughout the hair. Dandruff is considered to be a form of seborrheic dermatitis (also known as “cradle cap” in babies). Some of the causes of dandruff include oily skin, infrequent shampooing, contact dermatitis to certain products, psoriasis, eczema, hormones or dry skin.
Dandruff appears as flaky skin on the scalp, or in the hair, eyebrows and facial hair. Often, you will notice the flakes of skin on your clothing. Patients often complain of an itchy scalp as well. In babies, dandruff appears as a thick, yellow, greasy scale on the scalp and in the hair. Dandruff tends to flare in the colder months or in colder climates.
There are numerous over-the-counter shampoos that can control dandruff including those that contain pyrithione zinc, salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide or ketoconazole. Often the aforementioned shampoos and modification of shampoo frequency will be enough to improve symptoms. However, there are numerous prescription shampoos and topical medications that your dermatologist can prescribe to mitigate symptoms and provide relief from flaking and itching.
*This webpage is for informational purposes and is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as, medical advice. Any medical concerns should be addressed with a physician.