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First Aid for Dandruff

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

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?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 26, 2013
Last updated: March 5, 2018