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Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. 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.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common condition affecting the scalp, causing flaky skin accompanied by itching. In infants, it is known as cradle cap. The flakes can cause skin irritation leading to a condition, called seborrheic dermatitis (which affects the face and ears).

What are the Causes of Dandruff?

The cause factors of Dandruff include:

  • Poor hygiene (not applicable in case of cradle cap)
  • Being prone to oily or dry skin
  • Secondary conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and infection caused by an yeast-like fungus (called Malassezia)
  • Skin (allergy) reaction to chemicals in skin or hair products
  • Stress

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dandruff?

The signs and symptoms of Dandruff may include:

  • White, scaly flakes in the scalp, hair, and shoulders
  • In newborns and infants, it can cause crusting and scaling of the scalp (cradle cap)
  • Itchy scalp
  • Redness of skin over the face and ears
  • The condition may lead to hair loss

How is First Aid administered for Dandruff?

Dandruff treatment is not a First Aid concern. The treatment measures include:

  • Wash hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo containing active ingredients, such as salicylic acid or selenium sulfide
  • Use medicated lotion to treat areas, other than scalp
  • If condition persists or itching is unmanageable, consult a healthcare professional

Who should administer First Aid for Dandruff?

The individual affected by Dandruff himself/herself can administer the treatment.

What is the Prognosis of Dandruff?

The overall prognosis is good. However, this is dependent on the extent of Dandruff, which is often aggravated by weather and stress factors.

How can Dandruff be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to avoid/prevent Dandruff include:

  • Wash hair regularly
  • Try to find the right shampoo for your scalp condition (dry v/s oily). Use it consistently
  • Follow healthy dietary habits
  • Avoid hair products that make the scalp oily
  • Use a humidifier in winter, if conditions are extremely dry

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

Determine the kind of hair product or lotion that helps you with your Dandruff, and use it consistently.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway Leawood, KS 66211-2672
Phone: (913) 906-6000
Toll-Free: (800) 274-2237
Fax: (913) 906-6095
Email: fp@aafp.org
Website: http://www.aafp.org

American Academy of Dermatology
930 E. Woodfield Road Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (866) 503-SKIN (7546)
Fax: (847) 240-1859
Website: http://www.aad.org

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001959/ (accessed on 6/26/2013)

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dandruff/DS00456 (accessed on 6/26/2013)

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Pierard-Franchimont, C., Hermanns, J. F., Degreef, H., & Pierard, G. E. (2000). From axioms to new insights into dandruff. Dermatology, 200(2), 93-98.

Piérard‐Franchimont, C., Xhauflaire‐Uhoda, E., & Piérard, G. E. (2006). Revisiting dandruff. International journal of cosmetic science, 28(5), 311-318.

Hay, R. J. (2011). Malassezia, dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis: an overview. British Journal of Dermatology, 165(s2), 2-8.

Ranganathan, S., & Mukhopadhyay, T. (2010). Dandruff: the most commercially exploited skin disease. Indian journal of dermatology, 55(2), 130.

Turner, G. A., Hoptroff, M., & Harding, C. R. (2012). Stratum corneum dysfunction in dandruff. International journal of cosmetic science, 34(4), 298-306.

Nowicki, R. (2006). Modern management of dandruff. Polski merkuriusz lekarski: organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego, 20(115), 121-124.

Schwartz, J. R., Cardin, C. M., & Dawson, T. L. (2004). Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Textbook of cosmetic dermatology, 259-272.

Krishnamoorthy, J. R., Ranganathan, S., Shankar, S. G., & Ranjith, M. S. (2006). Dano: A herbal solution for dandruff. African Journal of Biotechnology, 5(10).

Saint-Leger, D. (2005). Dandruff (pityriasis capitis simplex): of yeasts and men. The Science of Hair Care, 2nd edn. New York: Tailor and Francis Boca Raton, 609-31.