Dermatologists and Skin Care

Do You Have Difficulty in Dealing with Dandruff?

Written by Dr. Vinay Kumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


Dandruff is a condition of the scalp and hairs, in which dry, white flakes tend to accumulate and show up on the scalp and the hairs.

Facts About Dandruff:

  • Dandruff can only be controlled but complete cure is as yet not available. The aim of preventive measures is to minimize the likelihood of development of features of dandruff.
  • Dandruff is caused by rapid turnover of cells of the scalp, the exact reason for which remains obscure. It is also thought to be related to excess of a fungus present on the skin which can be present even in those individuals who do not have any dandruff.
  • Dandruff might be associated with itching and soreness of the skin.
  • Dandruff and dry skin are two different conditions.
  • Dandruff may be a part of a generalized disease called seborrheic dermatitis in which the scales tend to be greasy.
  • Dandruff is not an indicator of poor hygiene. It is reported that nearly half of all the population has symptoms of this common malady.
  • Dandruff is more likely to affect persons with brain disorders like parkinson’s disease, HIV infection, stressful conditions like heart disease and brain stroke, and disorders affecting body resistance.

Preventive Measures:

  • Ideally speaking, the treatment should be started under medical guidance. However, there is so much you can do that might provide you relief and help even if you are taking treatment under supervision.
  • Eat healthy and balanced diet with plenty of zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. Avoid yeast and refined sugars. This helps in preventing the growth of yeast which is thought to be responsible for causing dandruff.
  • Relax and engage in de-stressing measures.
  • Watch out for adverse effects of any hair styling product and take appropriate action if it is so.
  • Brush (not comb) your hairs frequently to stimulate blood circulation and to remove the debris collected on the scalp. Brushing before a shampoo is recommended.
  • Zinc Pyrithione or ZPTO, coal tar, and Ketoconazole have antifungal properties whereas salicylic acid dissolves skin cells or scales. Use appropriate shampoo or leave on preparations containing suitable concentration that work best for you.
  • At every bath, wash your scalp thoroughly even before dandruff has appeared. First rinse the scalp and hairs, then massage the shampoo (preferably diluted with equal quantity of tap water) gently but thoroughly, and finally rinse again to wash away the dislodged skin cells and oily secretions of skin glands.
  • In order to soften and remove the heaped up collections of skin flakes, use shampoos containing salicylic acid or other compounds that will dissolve the scales faster.
  • Shampoo your scalp and hairs daily until dandruff is under control. When satisfactorily controlled, taper the frequency of application of medicated preparation to match your needs. Use of conditioner is better left to one’s individual preferences as some people may require it while others don’t.
  • Allow medicated shampoo to remain in contact with the affected skin for at least 8-10 minutes on each application.
  • If you notice that one particular shampoo is no longer that effective as it used to be, switch over to another but do not use different shampoos at a time.

Ayurvedic procedure:

Read this article to know about the Ayurvedic procedure to treat dandruff.

If the symptoms persist even after following above measures or if you experience soreness and redness of skin, then it is time to consult your dermatologist online -->

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



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