Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp. If you have dark hair or you’re wearing dark colors, you may notice the flakes in your hair or on your shoulders. Dandruff may also make your scalp itch.
Many people believe that dandruff is caused by poor hygiene, but this is not true. Although infrequent shampooing can make dandruff more obvious, researchers are still studying the causes, which appear to be complex.
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:
- Follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle
- If you are Caucasian or Asian, shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week
- If you are African-American, only shampoo once a week using a dandruff shampoo
- Be careful when using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar
For most people, dandruff does not require medical attention. However, sometimes the flaking and itching that appears like dandruff is actually a medical condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema.
If you continue to have symptoms after using a dandruff shampoo, consult a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can properly diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan that best meets your needs.