What is dandruff?
Dandruff, also called seborrheic dermatitis, is an inflammatory condition that forms on oily areas of the skin, particularly on the scalp or inside the ear. The inflammation results in flaking scales that range in color from white to yellow. In infants, this condition is called cradle cap.
Dandruff is a chronic, lifelong disorder that is usually manageable with ongoing treatment and can disappear completely between flare-ups. Although it can cause embarrassment or social stress in some cases, it is not contagious and is rarely severe.
Dandruff can be emotionally taxing in severe cases, but it is not a life-threatening condition. Left untreated, it can lead to secondary bacterial or fungal infections. Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for dandruff and any skin patches form crusts, exude pus, or become very red or painful.
What are the symptoms of dandruff?
Symptoms of dandruff include flaky scales that range in color from white to yellow, usually on oily parts of the skin such as the scalp or inside of the ear. Sometimes the affected skin is also red.... Read more about dandruff symptoms
What causes dandruff?
Although the exact cause of dandruff is not known, it is likely caused by a combination of skin oil overproduction and Malassezia, a type of yeast found on the scalp. Dandruff flare-ups can be triggered by factors such as infrequent washing or shampooing; using skin or hair products that contain alcohol; stress or fatigue; other skin disorders such as acne; and weather extremes.... Read more about dandruff causes
How is dandruff treated?
There is no cure for dandruff, but you can usually manage dandruff with a combination of diligent use of medication, excellent hygiene, and general good self-care to help avoid triggers. Use of special dandruff shampoos can help prevent flare-ups or manage a current flare-up. In severe cases, prescription medications, such as a corticosteroid shampoo or corticosteroid lotion added to your normal dandruff shampoo, may help relieve inflammation and itching. If you develop a secondary bacterial infection, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic.... Read more about dandruff treatments