Let’s Talk About Dandruff


If you have ever suffered with dandruff, you know how annoying and embarrassing it can be.  It is caused when small pieces of dry skin flake off of your scalp, often landing on your clothes or shoulders.


Those with darker hair may notice the flakes more. Dandruff may also make your scalp itch, causing you to scratch. That in turn will cause more itching. This is called an itch-scratch cycle.

Dandruff is not caused by poor hygiene. However, infrequent shampooing may be one cause of dandruff, as can a build up of hair care products. Each case is different and the causes are still being studied as they appear to be complex.

Dandruff does not require medical attention. However, if you are suffering from symptoms that are not alleviated by using a dandruff shampoo (Selsun Blue or Head and Shoulders) you may decide to consult with your dermatologist to be certain you are not suffering from a medical condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema.

The most effective way to treat and control dandruff is to use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments. Follow these tips from dermatologists to get the best results:

1. Follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle: There are many different dandruff shampoos, and each contains different active ingredients for controlling symptoms. To get the best results, always follow the instructions on the bottle. For example, some dandruff shampoos require that you lather the shampoo into the hair and scalp and leave the shampoo in for about five minutes before rinsing. Others should not be left on the scalp.

2. Consider using your shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week: If using one dandruff shampoo does not bring relief, try alternating between dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients.

3. Be careful when using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar: Tar shampoo can discolor blonde, grey or white hair, so if you have light-colored hair, you may want to choose a different dandruff shampoo. Tar shampoo also has the potential to make your scalp more sensitive to sunlight. If you use this type of dandruff shampoo, it’s important to protect your scalp from the sun by wearing a hat when outdoors and seeking shade whenever possible.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, contact us for evaluation and to establish a treatment plan.


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