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Dandruff: Introduction

Dandruff is a very common condition marked by itching and flaking of scalp. Dandruff is often a form of seborrheic dermatitis, but in rare cases, dandruff can be caused by psoriasis of the scalp. A similar type of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is cradle cap, which affects infants.

The cause of dandruff is generally not known, although it can run in families. The severity and occurrence of symptoms of dandruff vary between individuals. Dandruff is a chronic condition. Symptoms of dandruff can come and go.

Dandruff is generally not a serious condition, but there is a potential for complications in some people, such as a secondary bacterial infection or fungal infection. For additional symptoms and more details about complications, refer to symptoms of dandruff.

A diagnosis of dandruff can often be made by taking a thorough health history, including symptoms and performing a physical exam that focuses on the scalp. Many people are able to diagnose themselves by the typical symptoms of dandruff. People who have diagnosed themselves with dandruff and whose symptoms have not improved with dandruff shampoos should seek medical care.

In some cases a biopsy may be needed in order to diagnose the exact cause of symptoms. Because the symptoms of dandruff may be similar to other skin conditions, such as eczema and head lice, a misdiagnosis is possible. For more details about diseases and disorders that can mimic dandruff, refer to misdiagnosis of dandruff.

There is no cure for dandruff, but treatment can control symptoms. Treatment of dandruff includes medicated shampoos that are available over-the-counter. In severe cases prescription medication may be needed. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of dandruff. ...more »

Dandruff: White flaking and dryness of the scalp. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Dandruff is available below.

Dandruff: Symptoms

Symptoms of dandruff can differ in intensity, frequency, and duration amongst individuals. Dandruff is a chronic condition, and symptoms can come and go. Symptoms include itching and flaking of the skin on the scalp. Symptoms often occur in people who have oily or greasy hair. Flakes of skin can be whitish or yellowish and can become visible on the ...more symptoms »

Dandruff: Treatments

Dandruff is a chronic condition that comes and goes and is not curable. However, with a well integrated treatment plan, symptoms of dandruff can be effectively controlled and minimized.

Treatment of dandruff includes prevention of flare-ups by shampooing as directed with an over-the-counter shampoo that contains a special ingredient. These shampoos include formulas that ...more treatments »

Dandruff: Misdiagnosis

Many people are able to diagnose themselves with dandruff by its typical symptoms that include itching and flaking of the scalp. People who have diagnosed themselves with dandruff and whose symptoms have not improved with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos should seek medical care. A medical diagnosis of dandruff begins with taking a thorough health history, including ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Dandruff

Treatments for Dandruff

  • Ordinary shampoo - may be adequate for mild cases of dandruff.
  • Anti-dandruff shampoos - contains selenium, zinc, sulphur or tar.
  • Shampoo twice - often as directed on dandruff shampoo bottles.
  • Rotate different dandruff shampoos
  • Ketoconazole
  • more treatments...»

Wrongly Diagnosed with Dandruff?

Dandruff: Related Patient Stories

Dandruff: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Dandruff.

Alternative Treatments for Dandruff

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Dandruff may include:

Dandruff: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Dandruff:

Causes of Dandruff

More information about causes of Dandruff:

Disease Topics Related To Dandruff

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Dandruff:

Misdiagnosis and Dandruff

Psoriasis often undiagnosed cause of skin symptoms in children: Children who suffer from the skin disorder called psoriasis can often go undiagnosed. The main problem is that psoriasis is rare in children, and not often seen more »

Rare form of hair loss often misdiagnosed: a rare form of extreme hair loss called "Atrichia with papular lesions" (APL) is more »

Hair and scalp disorders misdiagnosed in African Americans: A higher than average percentage of misdiagnoses of hair or scalp disorders seem to occur in African Americans. Some of more »

Dandruff: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Dandruff: Animations

Prognosis for Dandruff

Prognosis for Dandruff: Excellent. Usually harmless. Some social embarrassment.

Statistics for Dandruff

Dandruff: Broader Related Topics

Dandruff Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Dandruff, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Definitions of Dandruff:

A chronic inflammatory disease of the skin of unknown etiology. It is characterized by moderate erythema, dry, moist, or greasy scaling, and yellow crusted patches on various areas, especially the scalp. On the scalp, it generally appears first as small patches of scales, progressing to involve the entire scalp with exfoliation of excessive amounts of dry scales (dandruff). - (Source - Diseases Database)

A condition in which white scales of dead skin are shed by the scalp - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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