Dandruff is a frequent condition of the scalp that causes flaking of the skin and an itchy scalp.
What are the signs and symptoms of dandruff?
The most common signs and symptoms of dandruff include the following:
– white scales of dead skin in hair and on shoulders
– red, crusted, or raw areas on the scalp
– itchy scalp
Dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, but it’s most likely a combination of several things:
Stress, cold, dry winter weather, and some hair products can make dandruff worse.
Dandruff is not contagious. No one can pass it on to you, and you cannot pass it on to someone else.
Health professionals can diagnose dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis based on its symptoms (such as an itchy scalp and skin flakes on the shoulders) and a physical examination.
The itching and flaking of dandruff can almost always be controlled. For mild dandruff, first, try daily cleansing with a gentle shampoo to reduce oil and skin cell buildup. If that doesn’t help, try a medicated dandruff shampoo. You may need to try more than one shampoo to find the hair care routine that works for you. And you’ll likely need repeated or long-term treatment.
If you develop itching, stinging, redness, or burning from any product, stop using it. If you develop an allergic reaction — such as a rash, hives, or difficulty breathing — seek immediate medical attention.