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What causes dandruff and dry scalp: The request could not be satisfied


5 Causes Of Dandruff (And How To Treat Them)

Let’s state the obvious: Dandruff is annoying, frustrating and even embarrassing. And while dandruff doesn’t necessarily come and go, it can get worse during the winter months (as if freezing temperatures weren’t enough to make us miserable).

Jungho Kwon, M.D., a dermatologist at Henry Ford Health System, is an expert on the causes of this condition and on what you can do to treat dandruff – or in some cases, even eliminate it all together.

Here are some common reasons why you may be experiencing an itchy scalp and those telltale white flakes:

  1. You have dry skin. Dry skin is one of the most common causes of dandruff. And unfortunately, if this is the root of your dandruff, you might see it get worse this time of year.“If dry skin is causing your dandruff, it’s easier to tell as other places of your body are most likely dry as well,” Dr. Kwon says. “And during cold months, skin becomes drier – which is why people tend to notice more dandruff at this time.” The remedy: You know the drill: moisturize. There are many shampoos (both medicated and not) that replenish moisture into your scalp and can alleviate — or even completely get rid of — dandruff.
  2. You aren’t shampooing enough. While it sounds unhygienic, not shampooing enough could be the cause of your dandruff.“When you don’t shampoo enough, oil accumulates and builds up on the skin and can cause dandruff,” Dr. Kwon explains.Before you freak out, this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t clean yourself enough. It could be that you don’t use enough shampoo, or that the shampoo you use isn’t strong enough to break down the oil barrier that is contributing to your dandruff. The remedy: While the fix could be as simple as shampooing more frequently, you might need to take it one step further. Using a medicated over-the-counter shampoo a few times a week can help prevent any build up.
  3. You are allergic. From grass to peanuts, people are allergic to a wide variety of substances. Could an allergy to your hair care products be to blame for your flakes? It definitely can, says Dr. Kwon. If you notice any sort of scalp irritation such as itchiness or soreness after using a certain product, it could be because of a sensitivity you have. The remedy: First, stop using the suspected product. Aren’t sure what exactly it could be? Try using a process of elimination method to determine the culprit.
  4. You have a medical condition. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic medical condition that not only affects the scalp but also other areas of the body where oil glands are present. This condition is characterized by dandruff as well as redness of the scalp. It looks similar to other common skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema or even an allergic reaction. The remedy: If you can relate to these symptoms, talk with a doctor. Some tar-based shampoos work well to stop skin cells from overturning too quickly. Other medications and following a good skin care routine can also help. One thing to note: Tar-based shampoos may not be a great option for people with lighter-colored hair, as this type of shampoo can discolor hair, Dr. Kwon says.
  5. You have a yeast overgrowth. Malassezia is a fungus that lives on the scalp and skin of all people. For some, a sensitivity develops which can result in dandruff. Like seborrheic dermatitis, other skin conditions aggravated by malassezia include psoriasis and other types of dermatitis. The remedy: This is another condition that doctor-prescribed medication can help treat. Other over-the-counter shampoos and following a good skin care routine are also beneficial.

Treating dandruff is sometimes a matter of trial and error, Dr. Kwon says. And while not contagious, nor, in most cases, painful, dandruff can be a burden – especially during the winter months.

“Skin is prone to drying out during the winter months which can make dandruff worse,” Dr. Kwon says. “It’s important, regardless of the cause of your dandruff, to maintain a healthy skin care routine.”

To find a dermatologist, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).

Dr. Jungho Kwon specializes in general dermatology, skin cancer prevention and cosmetic dermatology. She sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Centers in West Bloomfield (on Farmington Road) and Troy.

Dandruff vs Dry Scalp – How Are They Different?

1. So, what is dandruff?
2. What is dry scalp?
3. What are the causes of dandruff and dry scalp?
4. Symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp
5. How to treat dandruff and dry scalp?
6. When to see a doctor?

When you get a sudden urge to scratch your scalp and see flakes falling on your shoulders, the first thing most of us think of is Dandruff! But it could also be a dry scalp. Wait, did you think dandruff and dry scalp are the same? Because these two terms are used interchangeably and share similar symptoms like white flakes and itchy scalp, people often confuse between dandruff vs dry scalp.

Irrespective of sharing similar symptoms, dry scalp and dandruff are two different conditions. Dry scalp occurs when the skin on your head is dry and cannot produce or retain enough natural oils to keep your scalp moisturised. Result? dry skin falling off as flakes. Dandruff, on the other hand, is linked to an imbalance in scalp conditions that results in the overproduction of skin cells. Considering the overlapping symptoms, it can get difficult to tell dry scalp and dandruff apart. Fret not! Your hair squad is here to help. Let’s get to the bottom of this now!

So, what is dandruff?

It’s natural for humans (and animals) to shed hair and skin. Known as ‘dander’, this process is probably where ‘dandruff’ got its name from! Though we shed skin, these tiny skin cells are usually invisible and vanish into thin air. In the case of dandruff, these dead skin cells start building upon the surface of the skin and start clustering. Eventually, these large, white flakes accumulated on your scalp fall off and settle along the lengths of your tresses. Give your hair a subtle shake, and it will be raining white flakes on your shoulders.

What is dry scalp?

When it comes to dandruff vs dry scalp, the origins of these conditions will help you differentiate between the two. Moreover, this will allow you to find the right dry scalp cures that will help you manage and nourish it. When it comes to dry scalp, it is dry skin that is the culprit. Dry skin is characterised by its inability to produce or retain moisture. This type of skin does not produce enough sebum and natural oils to keep the scalp moisturised. This, in turn, causes the top-most layer of the skin to dry out, crack, and eventually shed in the form of fine flakes. 

Is dandruff the same as dry scalp? Now that you know the answer to this, let’s look at what causes these conditions and the best ways to treat them. 

What are the causes of dandruff and dry scalp?

Dandruff is a mild form of seborrhoeic dermatitis, a condition that causes the skin to become red, oily, and flaky. It’s more than a build-up caused by dry skin. It is caused by the presence of, Malassezia globosa, a naturally occurring fungus that lives on the scalp surface, to break down the sebum or natural oils, and releases a by-product known as oleic acid. Usually, this by-product is harmless, but to a scalp that suffers from a skin condition, this by-product can wreak havoc, which is known as dandruff. 

Dry scalp is usually caused by some hormonal conditions, or it can also be a side-effect of medications. Do you know how a dry scalp feels? It feels tight, like your skin is stretching and feels highly uncomfortable. The result? Dull hair that is frizzy as well. What differentiates dry scalp from dandruff is that the former feels like dry skin that causes flaking, while the latter can occur in hair that looks oily but is still flaky.

Symptoms of dandruff and dry scalp

Both dandruff and dry scalp have flakes as a common symptom. However, on a closer look, the flakes caused by dry scalp are whiter and smaller, whereas dandruff flakes are larger and yellow-tinged or oily. 

While dry scalp can be taken care of by shampooing less frequently, dandruff that occurs due to fungal infection is highly unlikely to get better without any treatment. 

Dandruff and dry scalp can make your skin surface itchy and irritated. If these symptoms get severe, people with both these conditions might give in to the temptation to scratch their scalp frequently, and end up with redness on the surface, or even develops small sores. 

How to treat dandruff and dry scalp?

Whether you have a dry scalp or mild dandruff, there are several hair products created to offer immediate relief from both these conditions. Let’s look at ways to treat dandruff and dry scalp.

• For dandruff

Some shampoos are quite effective at controlling dandruff. Such anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners are formulated to treat the root cause of dandruff, with the visible difference from the first wash. If that’s what you are looking for, try the anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners from Head & Shoulders. These shampoos make use of anti-dandruff active that works wonders for controlling dandruff. 

You can try Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven Solutions Scalp Relief Shampoo, which is formulated using selenium sulphide. This shampoo targets severe dandruff and is clinically proven to control itching and flaking.

For mild dandruff, opt for Head & Shoulders Clean & Balanced Shampoo and Conditioner. This shampoo fights dandruff and offers seven benefits—fights dry scalp, calms itchy scalp, relieves irritation, great scent, controls flaky scalp, reduces redness, and leaves your hair looking great. This anti-dandruff conditioner locks in the dandruff-fighting power and leaves you with a healthy scalp and great hair that have a classic, clean scent. 

• For dry scalp

The dry scalp needs nourishment and hydration since it is mostly dryness that causes the skin to flake and fall off. You need something that will gently cleanse your hair and scalp, and nourish it to keep dryness at bay. Enter Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care 2-in-1. This 2-in-1 solution locks in moisture 75% better than any regular moisturising shampoo alone. Plus, it is proven to restore your scalp’s natural moisture. Go 100% dandruff-free*. 

Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo is another effective option for flake-free hair. With regular use, you’ll notice improved scalp health in 2 weeks. The dual-action formula with almond oil does an incredible job of relieving dry scalp and itch while providing your tresses with extra conditioners. 

When to see a doctor? 

It is advisable to consult a doctor if the condition doesn’t improve, despite using anti-dandruff hair products. If it keeps getting worse or the skin on your scalp appears red or swollen, visit a dermatologist.

Understanding the nuances of dandruff vs dry scalp is what you need to find the right hair care product that will give you the much-needed relief from flakes and the incessant itching that follows. Nourish and care for your hair with Head & Shoulders and keep an eye out for any signs of dandruff or dry flakes before these conditions cause severe problems. 

(*visible flakes, with regular use)

Dandruff – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis

The Facts

Dandruff is a harmless, chronic condition that occurs when the scalp becomes dry or greasy and produces white flakes of dead skin that appear in the hair or on the shoulders.

Although it is harmless, dandruff can be embarrassing for those who have it. Dandruff usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and affects up to 40% of people over the age of 30.


Skin cells are formed continuously on the scalp, so the shedding of dead skin cells is a normal process. Sometimes with dandruff, however, skin cells are shed at a faster rate than normal. Oil from the scalp causes the skin cells to clump together and appear as white flakes.

Dandruff can be caused by a number of things, including dry skin; sensitivity to hair products; and skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis or eczema.

The overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus can also cause dandruff. This overgrowth can be caused by stress, hormones, too much oil on the scalp, or problems with the immune system.

Symptoms and Complications

The symptoms of dandruff include white flakes of dead skin in the hair and on the shoulders, as well as an itchy, red, or scaly scalp. Dandruff flakes are usually scattered throughout the scalp.

If seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of dandruff, the symptoms usually appear gradually. The scalp becomes dry or greasy, is red, and feels itchy. As skin cells die, they turn to yellowish scales. A bad case of seborrheic dermatitis can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body. Yellowish or reddish scaling can appear on the hairline, in and around the ears, or on the nose and chest. Affected newborn babies may get a thick, yellowish, crusty rash on the scalp, called cradle cap.

Making the Diagnosis

Dandruff is a condition that people can pretty much self-diagnose from the symptoms of an itchy, dry, and scaly scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis appears as reddish-looking skin with mild, greasy, yellow scales and plaques with indistinct margins.

Treatment and Prevention

Dandruff can often be a chronic condition, but it can be controlled with the proper treatment. First, try shampooing with a non-medicated shampoo, massaging the scalp firmly, and then rinsing well.

Frequent shampooing removes flakes, reduces oiliness, and prevents dead skin cell buildup. If this fails to help, special antidandruff shampoos are usually helpful. Instructions for use depend on the specific shampoo used. Some are used on a daily basis, while other are used only once or twice weekly.

When selecting an over-the-counter shampoo, look for antidandruff ingredients such as ketoconazole*, selenium sulfide, salicylic acid, sulfur, coal tar, or zinc pyrithione. You may need to try a few products before you find the one that works for you.

If non-prescription preparations are not successful in providing some improvement after 2 weeks, or if the condition worsens, you should consider seeing a doctor. A doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid lotion to be applied to the scalp. Never use corticosteroids for a long period of time without advice from a doctor. They can thin out the skin and cause other side effects.

For an infant with cradle cap, apply a small amount of mineral oil to the dry areas of the scalp to soften the scales. Then remove the scales by gentle brushing. You can then wash the infant’s hair with mild baby shampoo. If these measures do not help, try applying a small amount of warmed mineral oil at bedtime and then shampooing it out in the morning. If this isn’t effective, talk to your child’s doctor about next steps.

In general, corticosteroid shampoos and lotions are not used on infants, as infants absorb them much more easily through the skin than adults do. The good news is that cradle cap usually disappears eventually without any treatment within the first year of a baby’s life.

To help keep dandruff under control, shampoo frequently, reduce your stress levels, try reducing or stopping your use of hair products (e.g., gels and sprays), and eat a healthy diet.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Dandruff

Dandruff VS Dry Scalp: The Difference, Causes, Prevention & Treatment – U.S. Dermatology Partners

Many patients don’t think of caring for their scalp as being a part of their daily skincare routine, but if you’ve ever had to deal with dry scalp or dandruff, you know the importance of proper scalp care. These two common skin conditions are very similar, but they actually have different underlying causes. This means you may need to take different steps to treat your dry skin or dandruff. Keep reading to hear more about Dandruff vs Dry Scalp, the differences, causes, and how to prevent both.

What is Dry Scalp?

As the name suggests, dry scalp is actually just overly dry skin on the scalp. Like dry skin on other parts of the body, dry scalp occurs when there is not enough moisture in the skin. Because of the dense hair cover protecting the scalp from drying conditions, the scalp does not become dry as often as other parts of the body. Additionally, the hair follicles produce larger amounts of sebum (oil) than is present in other parts of the body, making it less likely the scalp will dry out. Due to the oil production in hair follicles, dry scalp is actually much rarer than other conditions like dandruff and psoriasis that may lead to itching and flaking. However, if you are struggling with dry scalp, it is usually easily treated at home.

What Causes Dry Scalp?

There can be many underlying causes for dry scalp, including:

  • Dry skin – if you struggle with dry skin, your scalp is more likely to become dry.
  • Cold air – cold temperatures and dry air during the winter months or due to air conditioner use can strip moisture from the skin, including the scalp.
  • Sunburn – like sunburns on other parts of the body, skin on the scalp may dry out and flake after sunburn.
  • Allergies – reaction to new hair care products can lead to irritated and dry skin.
  • Aging – as we get older, less sebum oil is produced, making it more likely that the scalp will be dry.

What is Dandruff?

The word dandruff is actually a portmanteau of the words “dander” and “scurfy.” Dander is a term referring to skin cells shed from animal fur. Scurfy is a descriptive word meaning scaly. As this name suggests, dandruff is a skin condition that produces large, scaly flakes shed from the scalp.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff is most often caused by excess oil production in the scalp. This is usually due to a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis that causes oily, red, and scaly skin. You can develop seborrheic dermatitis anywhere with oil glands. This is a common condition in infants and is sometimes referred to as cradle cap. An infection caused by Malassezia fungus, which naturally grows on the scalp, can also cause the skin to multiply more quickly, leading to dandruff.

Is it Dandruff or Dry Scalp?

The easiest way to tell the difference between dandruff and dry scalp is to look at the specific symptoms, including:

  • Scalp condition – if your scalp feels oily rather than dry, you likely have dandruff.
  • Dry Skin – if you have dry skin on other parts of your body, you are likely dealing with dry scalp.
  • Size, Shape & Color of Flakes – dandruff flakes are usually large, oily, and off white or yellow in color. Flakes from dry scalp are small and white.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Your treatment recommendations will depend on whether you’re dealing with dry scalp or dandruff. Both conditions are usually treatable at home. If your condition doesn’t improve or it worsens with at-home care or you aren’t sure which condition you’re dealing with, a dermatologist can help. There are great professional treatment options available to improve the health of your scalp.

At-Home Dry Scalp Treatments

If you’re dealing with dry scalp, the first step may be changing your shampoo and washing your hair less frequently. You want to allow your hair’s natural moisture levels to increase. Before going to sleep, apply a mild moisturizer to your scalp. You can use something as simple as vitamin E oil or coconut oil. Then, place a shower cap to keep the moisturizer in place as you sleep. In the morning, cleanse your hair with a gentle shampoo followed by a deep moisture conditioner. For extreme dryness, you may want to skip the shampooing altogether and head straight to conditioning. In general, those who struggle with dry scalp should only shampoo their hair a few times each week. Repeat this process daily for about a week. If your scalp is still very dry or flaky, you may want to consider visiting a dermatologist to create a more advanced treatment plan.

At-Home Dandruff Treatments

Because dandruff is most often caused by an excess of oil on the scalp, washing hair more frequently with a gentle shampoo may be enough to correct the problem. You should also cut out any styling products that may be adding oil or irritating the scalp. If more frequent washing and changes to your hair care products and routine don’t do the trick, you may want to use an anti-dandruff shampoo. The ingredients in each type of dandruff shampoo are targeted to address specific underlying causes of dandruff, so you need to take care to find a shampoo with the best ingredients for your situation. Some common anti-dandruff shampoo ingredients include the following:

  • Salicylic acid – removes scale from the skin before it flakes and prevents excess oil from accumulating on the scalp.
  • Coal tar – slows the development of new skin cells.
  • Pyrithione zinc – gentle enough for daily use to prevent dandruff, these shampoos are also effective in treating dandruff caused by a fungal infection.
  • Selenium sulfide – prevents skin cells from dying off too rapidly and slows cell regrowth.
  • Ketoconazole – specifically formulated to kill excess fungal growth on the scalp. It’s available in over the counter shampoos as well as prescription-strength hair care products.

Treatments from Your Dermatologist

Almost all patients will see noted improvement with at-home treatments. However, if you don’t notice an improvement within a few weeks of at-home care, you may be dealing with a condition that requires more advanced treatment from your dermatologist. Some conditions like psoriasis and eczema may closely resemble dry scalp or dandruff but they are not likely to respond to treatments with over the counter products.

Can I Prevent Dry Scalp & Dandruff?

Preventing dry scalp and dandruff will typically require that you take opposite steps, so it’s important that you know which condition you’re dealing with. Specifically, those with dry scalp will usually need to wash hair less often and use intense moisturizing products to restore moisture levels to the scalp. Those with dandruff need to wash hair more frequently to remove the excess oils and scaly skin cells. For those who struggle with chronic dandruff, you may want to consider incorporating a gentle, daily use anti-dandruff shampoo into your hair care routine.

When Should I Visit a Dermatologist?

If your dry scalp or dandruff is persistent and not responsive to at-home treatment or you want to start improving your overall skin health, U.S. Dermatology Partners is here to help. We offer premier dermatology services for patients of all ages, including virtual dermatology visits for our North Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri patients. Simply fill in our online form or give one of our local teams a call. We look forward to hearing from you soon.



Dandruff or a dry scalp? Causes, treatment, and prevention

Suffering from a dry, itchy and flaking scalp? When your head starts to itch it’s normal to assume you have dandruff, but you could in fact have a dry scalp. From white flakes to an extremely itchy scalp, dandruff and dry scalp can share the symptoms, but they are two different conditions that require separate treatments. So what’s the difference?

If you find yourself scratching or seeing flakes in your hair line, Dr Roger Henderson explains how to tell the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp, and the best course of treatment:

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a common skin condition that results from dead skin on the scalp clumping together to form grey or white flakes, which are noticeable up close or if they fall on to your shoulders. You constantly produce new skin cells and sheds old cells and dandruff can occur when this cycle of skin renewal is sped up.

Dandruff is perfectly harmless and not contagious, but it may be unsightly if you have white flakes on your clothes and it can be difficult to treat. If your scalp feels dry and itchy it may be because of dandruff. Dirty hair does not cause dandruff but if hair is not washed often enough then oil can build up on it and contribute to flaking. There are several causes of dandruff including:

1. Fungal infections

Fungal infections can cause excess growth of skin cells. One of the most common is called malassezia, which normally lives on the scalp and is harmless but can be present in excess in young people and cause skin cells to multiply too quickly.

2. Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that mainly affects oily areas of the body (i.e. anywhere you have oil glands such as the scalp, groin, along the nose and armpits) and causes the skin to become red and scaly before flaking off as dandruff.

3. Eczema

Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become inflamed and itchy.

However, a dry itchy scalp that is not responding to treatment with a dandruff shampoo may be due to loss of natural moisture, so alternative treatments should be considered.

The difference between dandruff and a dry scalp

If you have tried anti-dandruff shampoo with no luck, there is a difference between having a dry scalp and dandruff, so this may be the reason why the shampoo isn’t working. With a dry scalp, the skin becomes irritated and inflamed and flakes off whereas with dandruff the cause is too much oil produced on the scalp skin. This causes skin cells to build up and then shed, giving the typical dandruff appearance on the hair and clothing (usually on the shoulders) of people with it.

A dry itchy scalp can result if the natural moisture balance of the scalp is disturbed. A dry scalp can be caused by the following:

  • Skin conditions such as dermatitis/psoriasis
  • Hormonal changes, along with getting older in general
  • External factors such as changes in temperature or seasons
  • Environmental pollution
  • Certain hair treatments where there is a reaction to products such as gels, hairsprays and shampoos. This causes a condition called contact dermatitis.

    There are some key ways of telling the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp. With dandruff, there are oily, large skin flakes that are yellow or white, with an itchy scalp and red, oily skin on the scalp. With a dry scalp however, the skin flakes are smaller and dry, along with an itchy scalp and often dry skin on other parts of the body, with the flakes usually disappearing once you have applied a moisturising treatment (unlike dandruff).

    So if you do not have white or grey flakes of skin appearing in your hair but your scalp is itchy and dry, then it may be a good idea to try a scalp treatment to help restore the natural moisture balance.

    Try E45 Dry Scalp Shampoo or AVEENO® Skin Relief Soothing Shampoo – both of these can help treat a dry scalp and restore the moisture balance.

    When to see a doctor about dandruff

    If you have been using an anti-dandruff shampoo for at least a month with no improvement, if your scalp becomes painful and more red, or if the skin of the scalp becomes increasingly inflamed or the inflammation spreads then seek a medical opinion. This will allow an accurate diagnosis to be made as there may be a different skin condition present that needs to be treated such as eczema or psoriasis.

    Dandruff and dry scalp treatment

    Although dandruff is not curable and has to be managed over many years, for most people, following some simple tips can greatly help reduce the effect of both dandruff and a dry scalp:

    ✔️ Avoid oily hair products

    Try to avoid using harsh or strong hair products that contain alcohol or bleach as these rapidly dry out the scalp. Always avoid oily hair products too to help prevent a build up of excess oil.

    ✔️ Use anti-dandruff shampoo daily

    If you have dandruff, use an anti-dandruff shampoo every day, making sure you rinse you hair very well afterwards. Most of these shampoos contain medication to kill any fungus and remove flaky skin – look for products containing some of the following:

    • Pyrithione zinc
    • Salicylic acid
    • Coal tar
    • Ketaconazole
    • Seleium sulfide
      ✔️ Try tea tree oil

      If you want to use a natural product for dandruff try shampoos containing tea tree oil. These can cause an allergic reaction in a very small number of people who use them so stop them if you develop any redness or irritation of the scalp.

      ✔️ Get some sun

      There is some evidence that exposure to sunlight is helpful if you have dandruff so try to spend a little time in the sun every day, but also being careful not to get too much sun exposure on your skin.

      ✔️ De-stress

      Anxiety and stress may make things worse in some people so practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation.

      Last updated: 18-06-2021

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      Dandruff | Young Men’s Health

      What is dandruff?

      Dandruff is the name of a chronic scalp condition and it is also the name of the fine, white flakes that are visible on the scalp. Dandruff may be white or light yellow.

      What are the symptoms of dandruff?

      The symptoms of dandruff are itching and lots of flakes from a person’s scalp. Dandruff tends to fall off a person’s head when the hair is touched, rubbed, or brushed. It isn’t a serious condition and it’s not contagious. There are many effective and available treatments without a prescription and for severe cases, prescription medicines may be ordered by a health care provider.

      What causes Dandruff?

      Dandruff (or itchy, flaky skin) is caused by:

      • Dry skin: This can happen during the winter when the air is dry and it may disappear during the summer. The flakes are generally small and very dry. You may also notice similar dryness on other parts of your body, such as your legs and arms.
      • Irritated, oily skin: This is sometimes called seborrheic dermatitis. It affects not only your scalp, but also may affect areas in your body with many oil glands. For example: the eyebrows, sides of the nose, back of the ears, breastbone, armpits, or even your groin area. In men, seborrheic dermatitis can affect the skin under the beard, mustache, or sideburns. The areas on the scalp tend to be red (inflamed) and greasy with flaky, white or yellow scales.
      • Sensitivity to a scalp fungus: A fungus called malassezia naturally lives on healthy scalps without causing problems. However in certain people, this fungus can irritate the scalp causing redness and and an oily patch of white flaky scales that resemble seborrheic dermatitis.
      • Not shampooing enough: Your scalp skin cells naturally die and shed. Sometimes they can get trapped in oily clumps. If you don’t shampoo often enough, these clumps may build up, causing dandruff.
      • Reaction to certain hair products (contact dermatitis): Certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes can cause irritation of the skin, which results in a red, itchy, and scaling scalp. This is especially common to those with sensitive skin.

      How do I know if I have dandruff?

      There’s no specific test used to diagnose dandruff, but flaking skin and itchiness are the main symptoms. Your health care provider or dermatologist can tell if you have dandruff by looking at your scalp and skin.

      How common is dandruff?

      Dandruff is very common. It can start anytime but it is especially common during the pre-teen and teen years and may continue throughout adulthood. In fact, babies develop dandruff after birth, a condition called “cradle cap.” Also, some medical conditions are likely to cause dandruff. For example, people with scalp psoriasis or eczema (other skin conditions) may notice worsening of dandruff during a flare-up.

      How can I get rid of my dandruff?

      Unfortunately, there’s no magic treatment to cure dandruff, but it can be effectively controlled. People often make a mistake and believe that over shampooing or over brushing the hair can remedy the dandruff, but it can actually be damaging to the hair. Instead, use dandruff shampoo and scalp treatments—these will usually improve mild to moderate dandruff. If your dandruff doesn’t get better in a few weeks after trying the over-the-counter products, then you should see your primary care provider (PCP) or dermatologist. If your dandruff is severe, then your PCP will likely give you a prescription for stronger dandruff shampoos and other dandruff products such as creams and lotions.

      What shampoos can I use to help get rid of my dandruff?

      There are five types of active ingredients that are found in over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. In general, dandruff shampoos are classified according to the medication they contain.

      • Tar-based shampoo (ex. T-Gel®, DHS tar®, and Pentrax®)
      • Sulfur shampoo (such as Scalpicin®, X-seb®)
      • Selenium shampoo (such as Selsun Blue®)
      • Zinc pyrithione shampoo (ex. Head & Shoulders®, Zincon® and DHS zinc®)
      • Ketoconazole shampoos (ex. Nizoral 1%®)

      Antifungal shampoos kill any scalp fungus that may be causing dandruff.  Some shampoos (such as Head & Shoulders®) contain an antifungal agent called zinc pyrithione. Ketoconazole containing shampoo (such as Nizoral 1%®) is also antifungal and is best used for treating seborrheic dermatitis of the face. Tar-based shampoos (such as Neutrogena T/Gel®) slow down the rate by which skin cells on your scalp die and flake off. Selenium sulfide shampoos (such as Selsun Blue®) have both antifungal activity and they also slow the rate of shedding skin.

      How often should I shampoo to get rid of my dandruff?

      Each dandruff shampoo is different so make sure to follow the instructions on the product before washing your hair. You should shampoo daily and use the dandruff shampoos 2-3 times a week until your dandruff is controlled. Be sure to massage it in well and rinse it out completely.

      If you’ve tried the over-the-counter dandruff shampoos for several weeks but you don’t see any improvement, make an appointment with your PCP or dermatologist.

      How effective is dandruff treatment?

      Dandruff treatment can be very effective. But it may take a while to find the best treatment for you and get the results you want. The good news is that there are many different types of treatments so if one doesn’t work, another one may help!

      I find it so embarrassing when dandruff flakes show up on my clothes. What should I do?

      Although flaking should get better with treatment, you may want to wear light colored clothing until you notice a difference on your scalp. The white and yellow flakes tend to be noticed more on dark clothing. Keeping your hair up in a ponytail or bun may help because your hair will move less, which may help stop flakes from falling from your head.

      If you’re concerned about dandruff, here’s a tip on how to bring it up with your health care provider: “My scalp is really itchy and flaky. Is there anything I can do?”

      Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: How Can You Know the Difference?

      Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For any medical concerns, always contact your doctor.

      If you can’t, for the life of you, differentiate between dandruff vs. dry scalp (wait, they aren’t the same thing?), welcome to the club.

      Many of us mistake dandruff for dry scalp and vice versa. In our defense, both of these scalp issues exhibit almost the same symptoms — hello, flaking and itchiness. But once you pause and look closely, you’ll realize that each scalp problem is unique, from the causes right down to the treatment options.

      In this guide, we’ll decode the differences between dandruff and dry scalp once and for all. You’ll come away armed with facts so that dandruff and dry scalp will no longer pull a fast one on you.

      Dandruff: What It’s Really All About

      Let’s start with the first half of the dandruff vs. dry scalp debate. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, dandruff is “a common scalp condition in which small pieces of dry skin flake off of the scalp.” Medically speaking, dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. Where seborrheic dermatitis affects body areas that produce high amounts of sebum (such as the face and upper chest), dandruff is solely restricted to the scalp region.

      As a chronic, inflammatory scalp condition that comes and goes, dandruff — and by extension, seborrheic dermatitis — is actually pretty common. In fact, roughly 50% of all adults globally experience dandruff.

      Many people might assume the root cause of dandruff is a dirty scalp. Although infrequent hair washing can build up more sebum and worsen dandruff, the reality is that dandruff isn’t a mark of poor personal hygiene. Rather, sebum overproduction and yeast fungal infection are the two most likely causes for this scalp problem.

      Here’s how it works:

      • Many people with dandruff have higher-than-normal sebum levels. Research indicates that these natural oils contain fewer triglycerides and squalene, and comparatively, more free fatty acids and cholesterol. The excess oil makes it easier for dead skin cells to build up, clump together, and create distinctive dandruff flakes.
      • Malassezia, a fat-loving yeast, feeds on sebum and is present in everybody. But this yeast can grow rapidly on dandruff-affected scalps, mostly due to sebum overproduction.

      As you can imagine, the vicious cycle of more oil and fungal activity allows dandruff to persist and possibly worsen into more severe seborrheic dermatitis. Other possible causes of dandruff also include chronic stress and harsh hair care products.

      This leads to common symptoms of dandruff such as:

      • White to yellow dandruff flakes that look greasy; sometimes they appear as scaly flakes of skin
      • An oily, itchy scalp — the itchiness may sometimes extend to the brows 
      • Red, inflamed patches (usually a sign that dandruff has progressed into the more serious seborrheic dermatitis)

      The good news is that there are scalp treatments for these conditions. More than that, you can take steps to prevent unwanted symptoms of dandruff from making an appearance, which we’ll talk about later.

      Dry Scalp: Not What It Seems

      Now, let’s look at the causes and symptoms of dry scalp to show you why it’s different from dandruff.

      When talking about dry scalp, take note that it isn’t a medical condition. Rather, it’s simply a result of your scalp not being able to maintain a balanced moisture level. For all intents and purposes, you’re dealing with skin dehydration in the scalp area.

      The common causes of dry scalp include:

      • A genetic predisposition to dry skin
      • Excessive hair washing, which can strip away your scalp’s natural oils
      • Contact dermatitis (an allergic reaction to certain haircare products)
      • Low humidity due to cold weather conditions

      People with dry scalp usually experience:

      • Itching
      • Small, white flakes that are less visible than dandruff flakes
      • Dried-out strands

      Thankfully, a dry scalp can resolve on its own with subtle changes to your haircare routine and the right products.

      How to Treat and Prevent Dandruff

      It goes without saying that the treatment and prevention methods for dandruff vs. dry scalp will differ for each issue. Here are some general do’s and don’ts that can address uncomfortable dandruff symptoms. As always, see a dermatologist if your condition doesn’t improve.

      Use an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

      The best defense is a good offense, which is why you need to add an anti-dandruff shampoo to your haircare routine ASAP.

      Anti-dandruff shampoos are available over the counter and specially formulated to reduce sebum and fungal overgrowth to promote a healthy scalp microflora.

      Usually, these shampoos include ingredients such as:

      • Salicylic acid: One study shows that combining salicylic acid with ciclopirox olamine led to more effective itch relief than the standard dandruff treatment Nizoral (which contains ketoconazole, an antifungal medication).
      • Zinc pyrithione (or pyrithione zinc): At a shampoo frequency of twice per week, test subjects who washed their hair with a zinc pyrithione-infused shampoo witnessed a significant reduction in dandruff than those who did not.
      • Tea tree oil: In one study of 126 participants, 5% tea tree oil shampoo remarkably improved dandruff severity, itchiness, and greasiness. The antifungal properties of the oil also helped with scalp scaliness.

      During your search for the right anti-dandruff shampoo, you may come across other ingredients like coal tar and selenium sulfide. While these are common ingredients to treat dandruff, you should note their less-than-desirable side effects:

      Shampoo More Frequently, If Possible

      As mentioned earlier, dandruff is the product of sebum buildup and fungal activity. To get the most out of your anti-dandruff shampoo, wash your hair more often to clear out the buildup.

      That said, you should keep your hair type in mind before upping the frequency. For example, fine-haired folks can probably get away with daily shampooing, but curly-haired types may only do well with hair washing once or twice a week. Experiment and see what works best for you.

      When shampooing your hair, remember to work the product from the roots to the tips. Gently scrub your scalp to slough away dead skin cells more effectively. It’s also a great way to relieve the itch without going overboard. (Ahh…)

      P.S. Check out our tell-all guide on how often to wash your hair. 

      Play Less With Styling Products

      To bring the scalp buildup under control, apply styling products less often. Gels, mousses, and creams can trap skin cells and sebum, likely worsening the dandruff situation.

      Instead, go au natural. Ease off the blow-dryer and air-dry (or towel-dry) your mane. Try heat-free hairstyles for the perfect ‘do without breaking out the hot styling tools. For more inspiration, hop over to our full list of no-heat hairstyles.

      How to Aid and Prevent Dry Scalp

      The treatments for dandruff vs. dry scalp differ in various ways. This section is reserved for those battling scalp dryness. Below, we share tips and tricks on how to keep dehydration at bay.

      Choose Gentle, Moisturizing Haircare Products

      Given that a lack of moisture is the root cause of dry scalp, revamp your haircare routine to focus on shampoos and conditioners that can hydrate your dried-out scalp.

      When analyzing product claims, look for ultra-moisturizing ingredients such as:

      At the same time, be sure to avoid potentially irritating and drying ingredients such as:

      • Sulfates
      • Parabens
      • Mineral Oil
      • Drying alcohols

      Take a look at our comprehensive “no” list of ingredients that you will never find in any Function of Beauty products.

      Dial Down the Hair Washing

      One key difference regarding the treatment options for dandruff vs. dry scalp lies in the frequency of hair washing. For dry scalp, less is more when it comes to shampooing your locks.

      If you’re currently washing your hair every day, tone it down to once every other day and see if it helps with your dry, flaky scalp. Use cool to lukewarm water in place of hot water, which has an affinity for removing scalp sebum. Switch to baths instead of hot showers on self-care nights, and pull your mane into a toweled updo to avoid the oh-so-warm water — your scalp will thank you for it.

      Add a Humidifier to Your Shopping List

      There are times when you have done all you can to save your moisture-ravaged strands but still bow down to the mercy of the heavens (aka cold weather). But a humidifier could be just what you need to combat the dry air and winter hair issues. Your options are endless here. A portable humidifier is the perfect desk accessory, especially if you’re working from home. Meanwhile, larger units ensure even more warm, hair-friendly air.

      Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: They Aren’t That Hard to Differentiate

      Now that you’re all caught up on the ins and outs of dandruff vs. dry scalp, the next time your bestie poses a question about the difference, you can easily tell her which scalp issue she’s experiencing.

      As a chronic skin condition, dandruff requires proper scalp treatment to completely eradicate the symptoms. Start with over-the-counter products before working your way up to prescription-strength ones under the close eye of a licensed dermatologist.

      On the flip side, dry scalp is usually the result of insufficient moisture, which may be easier to resolve. Moisturizing hair products are your best bet, coupled with less frequent hair washing. And depending on the weather conditions you live in, a humidifier could help. Take our hair quiz to create your own 100% customized shampoo and conditioner that can help you achieve your personal hair goals.

      Dry and oily dandruff – Jennys Beauty

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      The problem of dandruff is now familiar to each of us, it entails a number of inconveniences in the form of itching, burning, skin irritation and, of course, aesthetic discomfort.

      What is dandruff?
      Dandruff is a common skin condition caused by the fungus Pityrosporum ovale. According to statistics, this microorganism is present in about 90% of the population. The fungus “wakes up” only when there is a violation in the activity of the sebaceous glands, the fungus leads to dandruff. As a result of this process, we notice with the naked eye an abundance of scales that cover the scalp like white snow. Over time, dandruff can develop into a more severe form – seborrhea.Dead skin cells (scales) in humans cause itching and irritation of the nerve endings. Each time it becomes more difficult to style the hair, because the scales make them very greasy and spoil the appearance.

      Main types:
      There are two types of dandruff – dry and oily.

      Dry dandruff has a low sebum production. When dry, the scales completely cover the scalp and hair. Dandruff occurs due to the fact that the immune system does not cope with its functions.Then the fungus “wakes up” and affects the scalp. Hair changes its structure – it becomes dry and brittle.

      Oily dandruff , unlike dry, has a high sebum secretion, because the sebaceous glands are working too actively. As a result, sticky and oily scales form on the scalp, which can lead to irritation and itching.

      Causes of dandruff:

      • Metabolic disorder;
      • Any hormonal changes;
      • Incorrect food;
      • Weakened immunity;
      • Allergic reactions;
      • Incorrect hair and scalp care.

      Treatment from Orising, aimed at the result – the elimination of the problem of dry and oily dandruff.

      The main active components of the anti-dandruff line:

      Icelandic lichen (moss) – antibacterial properties / natural antibiotic.

      Peppermint – disinfectant, tonic effect. Helps soothe itching.

      Burdock extract – anti-allergic, antiseborrheic, antibacterial properties.

      Birch – helps restore moisture balance and prevent dandruff. Possesses bactericidal, anti-allergic and sedative effect.

      The procedure “Against dry and oily hair dandruff” includes the following steps:

      Stage 1 – is intended for deep and complete cleansing of the scalp with the help of Energetic composition D. Removes excess sebum, opens pores, thereby preparing the scalp for subsequent stages.

      Stage 2 – Phyto-essence anti-dandruff shampoo – exfoliates dead cells, normalizes the pH balance of the scalp, eliminates itching and irritation. Prevents dandruff.

      Stage 3 – is aimed at eliminating microorganisms and normalizing cellular activity using a mask and essential oil.

      Stage 4 – Phyto-essential anti-dandruff lotion – completely eliminates the lipophilic fungi responsible for the appearance of dandruff.

      90,000 Difference between dry scalp and dandruff – Rambler / female

      Photo: Flickr / theilr Difference between dry scalp and dandruff Dandruff is manifested by the flaking of the scalp and scaly skin particles. In some cases, this is due to a fungal or other scalp infection. A dry scalp, in contrast, occurs when the scalp does not produce or retain enough moisture. Understanding the difference between dandruff and dry scalp can help you choose the right treatment.

      Causes of dandruff and dry scalp

      Dry scalp occurs when the skin does not produce enough oil. Dry skin can cause itching, flaking and irritation, and hair looks dry.

      Cause of dry skin

      dry air, especially in winter;

      frequent shampooing;

      skin diseases such as eczema.

      Cause of dandruff

      Dandruff is dead skin cells. Scientists don’t fully understand what causes dandruff.Potential causes of dandruff include:

      fungal infections of the scalp;

      oily scalp;

      Sensitivity to certain substances such as hair products.

      These three factors can work together to increase dandruff. For most people, a fungus called Malassezia lives on the scalp and does not cause any problems. However, in people with dandruff, this fungus leads to irritation and flaking. This could be due to how the fungus interacts with other factors.

      Dry skin or dandruff?

      People with dry scalp may notice dandruff on their hair. Unlike true dandruff, the flakes are usually small and white on dry scalp.

      Dandruff flakes are larger, with a yellowish tinge and look greasy. While dandruff and dry scalp can go away, dandruff caused by a fungal infection is unlikely to go away without treatment. Dry scalp can go away on its own if you shampoo less frequently.

      Differences between dandruff and dry scalp

      For most people it is difficult to tell the difference between dandruff and dry scalp, but with dandruff:

      scalp and hair look oily;

      there is intense itching of the scalp.

      Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis?

      However, some scalp conditions can appear like dandruff.

      Scalp psoriasis, for example, causes redness, flaking and itching, but is caused by an autoimmune disorder. Seborrheic dermatitis leads to intense, painful inflammation and severe dandruff. Dandruff-like symptoms can be caused by another condition, and a weakened immune system can lead to a deterioration of the scalp.

      Treatment methods

      Both dandruff and dry scalp can be treated at home.

      People with dandruff should use anti-dandruff shampoo regularly. Many anti-dandruff shampoos contain pyrithione, which helps fight fungal infections. Another treatment for dandruff is coal tar shampoo. However, this shampoo can change the color of blonde hair. People who hate the smell of dandruff shampoo can try tea tree oil shampoo, which has antimicrobial properties.

      Photo: Flickr / Mike Mozart

      Dry scalp – what to do?

      Since scientists do not fully understand what causes dandruff, it is unclear if it can be prevented.But you can prevent dry scalp, for this you need to:

      Use less irritating shampoos;

      use a moisturizing shampoo;

      wash hair less often;

      use a humidifier;

      Drink more water.

      Dandruff remains a mystery to many doctors who do not understand how a harmless fungus can cause severe dandruff in some people. Both dandruff and dry scalp are irritating but not harmful. With home treatment, they usually go away.

      Satchell A. C. et al. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo // Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. – 2002. – T. 47. – No. 6. – S. 852-855.

      Xu Z. et al. Dandruff is associated with the conjoined interactions between host and microorganisms // Scientific reports. – 2016. – T. 6. – S. 24877.


      Seborrhea of ​​the scalp and seborrheic dermatitis, which often occurs on its background, are quite common skin diseases.They are not dangerous to humans, but they cause some discomfort – both physiological and psychological. Dandruff is often a manifestation of these conditions.

      Causes of scalp seborrhea 90 200

      “Seborrhea” is translated from Latin as “saline flow”, that is, excessive secretion of sebum, which occurs due to the peculiarities of the sebaceous glands. And if earlier seborrhea was considered a disease, then according to modern concepts it is a variant of the norm.Perhaps this is not the most convenient option, but nevertheless, if the active work of the sebaceous glands is not accompanied by any other complaints, then besides the need to wash your hair daily, the person does not experience any other inconveniences.

      However, in many people, seborrhea will contribute to the onset of seborrheic dermatitis – a really real disease and diagnosis. Let’s try to understand this process in more detail.

      Seborrhea or seborrheic dermatitis:

      Many people have fungi of the genus Malassezi on the surface of their skin.They are generally harmless and feed on exactly the same sebum. Their presence on the scalp does not manifest itself in any way and does not cause problems. However, with some individual characteristics of the scalp, their vital activity begins to irritate the skin and an inflammatory reaction occurs in the form of seborrheic dermatitis.

      Naturally, if such a person, who has a predisposition to irritation, also has seborrhea, then the severity of seborrheic dermatitis will be greater, since the abundance of sebum is an excellent environment for the development of fungi.

      The activity of the sebaceous glands depends on many components and the amount of sebum can vary throughout life.

      The most common causes of scalp seborrhea include:

      hormonal disorders. Hormones control all processes in our body, and even a small change in hormonal levels can lead to changes in the work of the sebaceous glands. Most often, hormonal disruptions occur during adolescence and menopause.

      stress. Stress is known to have a negative effect on the functioning of the whole organism. Unfortunately, hair and skin are no exception. The work of the sebaceous glands under stress significantly increases.

      weakening of the immune system. Weakened immunity leads to active growth of the Malassezi fungus, as seborrhea is provoked and, accordingly, the growth of the fungus

      taking certain medicines , which can also activate sebum production

      chronic diseases (disorders in the work of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous or endocrine system).

      – the main cause of seborrhea and seborrheic dermatitis – genetic predisposition . Often, the intensity of sebum production and scalp sensitivity are hereditary factors. If the activity of the microflora and fungus Malassezi does not cause a response inflammation, then even with intensive work of the sebaceous glands (i.e., with seborrhea), irritation and dermatitis will not occur.

      However, seborrheic dermatitis is still a fairly common problem in trichology and it occurs in people genetically predisposed to it, whose skin reacts painfully to the presence and activity of the fungus of the genus Malassezi.As we have already noted, in the presence of seborrhea, the manifestation of seborrheic dermatitis intensifies.

      Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis

      Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:

      • peeling of the scalp,
      • redness,
      • itching;

      if the disease is active, it can also be observed:

      • Oozing,
      • crusts,
      • Hair loss.

      Varieties of seborrhea of ​​the scalp with developed seborrheic dermatitis

      Seborrhea on the head has three varieties:

      1) Dry seborrhea.

      It is accompanied by profuse dandruff, the scalp becomes irritated and very sensitive, the hair becomes dry and brittle, and often begins to fall out. Visually, it seems that the scalp does not produce enough oil and many people mistakenly believe that they just have dry skin, although in fact it is a variant of seborrheic dermatitis.

      2) Oily seborrhea.

      Often occurs in adolescence, during a period of hormonal imbalance in the body, but can occur at any age. Depending on the composition of the sebum, oily seborrhea can be thin and thick.

      – liquid seborrhea is characterized by severe itching and hair loss. Hair acquires an unhealthy shine and becomes oily very quickly.

      – thick seborrhea. A characteristic feature is thick, oily dandruff, which can tightly clog the sebaceous ducts and thereby provoke inflammation.With a complication in the focus of inflammation, suppuration may occur.

      3) Mixed seborrhea.

      It is a manifestation of dry seborrhea on the head and oily seborrhea on the face.

      Diagnostics and treatment of scalp seborrhea

      To identify seborrheic dermatitis, a trichologist is helped, first of all, by a visual examination of the patient. In addition, trichoscopy is also an excellent aid in making a diagnosis.

      Make an appointment with the trichologist

      Treatment of hair and scalp seborrhea

      It is important to remember that seborrhea and seborrheic dermatitis are chronic conditions, most often due to genetic predisposition.Treatment consists, first of all, in reducing the activity of the process and the selection of regular care products to further control the condition of the scalp.

      Do not forget to use these funds constantly!

      For home care, the patient is usually prescribed a complex of shampoo, peeling mask and long-lasting liquid (tonics, serums that are applied and not washed off). One of the best remedies in the fight against hair seborrhea is the anti-seborrheic complex of Med Planta preparations, which helps to cope with any inflammatory processes of the scalp.

      Professional peels are also an excellent remedy – they have an exfoliating, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect. You can also use peeling at home – the cosmetics of the Spanish brand Divination Simone De Luxe offers in its line of antiseborrheic preparations & nbspPeeling Dixidox De Luxe No. 1.3. it thoroughly cleanses the scalp, relieving itching, flaking and dandruff, leaving a feeling of freshness for a long time.

      It is also important to know that if the disease is severe (with wetting of the scalp and discharge of crusts), a trichologist often prescribes professional peeling procedures based on glycolic acid.

      Normoderm procedure – recommended professional peeling for seborrheic dermatitis, results before and after

      In cases where seborrheic dermatitis is the cause of hair loss, the doctor may recommend injections of anti-inflammatory drugs and PRP therapy procedures.

      Remember that the more neglected the seborrhea of ​​the scalp, the more difficult, expensive and longer the treatment.

      Make an appointment with the trichologist

      We recommend contacting a trichologist at the first signs of hair seborrhea.The doctor’s specialization in diseases of the hair and scalp will make it possible to quickly and accurately diagnose and prescribe effective treatment.

      Important to know!

      Seborrheic dermatitis and seborrhea are chronic processes!

      Regular use of special home care products is a guarantee of the absence of complaints!

      In some cases and with exacerbations, medical procedures in the clinic may be required!

      90,000 10 reasons your scalp is itchy and how to get rid of them

      When the scalp itches a lot, it is difficult to think about anything other than this sensation.It seems to you that the itchy scalp will never end. However, relief is possible. Getting rid of itching begins with identifying its cause.

      Here are 10 causes of itchy scalp and doctor’s advice on how to relieve it.


      If your scalp is dry, itchy, and you see scales on your hair or clothing, it could be dandruff.

      How to get rid of it: dandruff shampoo and scalp treatment will help.

      Reaction to hair care product

      When your scalp is itchy, dry, and flaky, this may mean you need to rinse off the shampoo and other treatments from your hair more thoroughly. Shampoo residue on the scalp can cause irritation.

      If you not only experience an itchy scalp but also notice a rash, you may have allergic contact dermatitis. It is common in people who dye their hair. A common cause of dermatitis is a dye ingredient called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is found in black hair dyes.

      You may also be allergic to shampoo, conditioner, or other product that comes in contact with the scalp. In this case, a rash may appear anywhere on the skin of the body, including on the head.

      To stop itching, you must stop using the product that is causing the reaction. If you find it difficult to determine, a dermatologist can help.


      These are red, raised and severely itchy blisters that can form anywhere on the skin of the body, including the head.The hives usually go away within a few hours after they appear.

      However, sometimes it can disappear and then reappear. If the urticaria does not go away for more than 6 weeks, it is considered chronic.

      Sometimes hives go away on their own. But if the rash remains on the body for a long time, treatment is necessary.


      Itchy scalp is the most common symptom of head lice. It is a disease caused by the presence of lice on the body, in particular head (Pediculus humanus capitis) .

      If you suspect lice are causing itching, have someone check for these tiny insects on your hair and scalp.

      In this case, you will get rid of itching only together with lice. To remove them, use anti-lice preparations – shampoos, ointments, soaps, aerosols, etc.

      Not sure which product to choose? See your family doctor.

      Often, to get rid of lice, patients choose a radical way – a haircut to zero.If this method of dealing with head lice is acceptable to you, you can also resort to it.


      Itching is the most common symptom of scabies. And it can be so intense that it will keep you awake at night.

      Scabies is caused by a tiny itch mite (Sarcoptesscabiei). If this parasite gets on your scalp, it will most likely start to itch a lot. And it is at night, during the dormant period of the owner, that itch itch warmed up in bed becomes especially active.

      To begin treatment, first make sure you really have scabies. To do this, you need to contact your family doctor or dermatologist. They will find the medicines that are right for your situation.

      Ringworm of the head

      This is an infection caused by a fungus. If you get ringworm and it appears on your scalp, the affected area will most likely turn red and be covered with a rash.

      To alleviate this condition, first of all, you need an accurate diagnosis, which can only be established by a dermatologist.He will also prescribe a specific treatment for ringworm.

      Scalp psoriasis

      Approximately 50% of people with pustular psoriasis develop symptoms on the scalp at some point. Lesions may appear as red patches, dandruff-like scaling, silvery white scales. And the skin in such areas often becomes dry.

      Psoriasis of the head often itches. And this itching ranges from mild to intense.

      There are many ways to treat scalp psoriasis. Some people get relief from medicated shampoo or other formulations that can be bought without a prescription.

      Atopic dermatitis

      If you have a type of eczema known as atopic dermatitis, it can develop on the scalp as well, causing the epidermis to become red and scaly. Some people say that their head is “on fire” and that it itches very often.

      Relief will bring the treatment of atopic dermatitis in general.Since the skin on your head is different from skin elsewhere in your body, it is best to see a dermatologist to get the appropriate treatment.

      Nerve problems

      Severe itching of the scalp without signs of a rash or other skin reaction may indicate a problem with the nervous system. Your doctor may suggest that you have neuropathy.

      This is the general name for various degenerative-dystrophic changes in peripheral nerves. Diseases that can affect your nerves include shingles and diabetes.

      If you have experienced hair loss that causes deep scars or scalp injuries, the scars from them can damage the nerves. This lesion can cause an itchy scalp.

      Only treatment prescribed by a dermatologist will bring relief from symptoms.

      Skin cancer

      Skin cancer can cause itching. The itching caused by this disease will be confirmed by a dermatologist. Such specialists are experienced in diagnosing skin cancer and can tell you if you need to be examined for this disease, or if itching is caused by something else.

      Now you know about 10 conditions that can cause itchy scalp. But there are others. If you are having difficulty figuring out the cause of the itching, be sure to visit a dermatologist.

      This specialist will provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs.

      Difference between dry scalp and dandruff

      Dandruff is manifested by flaking of the scalp and scaly exfoliation of skin particles. In some cases, this is due to a fungal or other scalp infection.A dry scalp, in contrast, occurs when the scalp does not produce or retain enough moisture. Understanding the difference between dandruff and dry scalp can help you choose the right treatment.

      Photo: Flickr / theilr

      Causes of Dandruff and Dry Scalp

      Dry scalp occurs when the skin does not produce enough oil. Dry skin can cause itching, flaking and irritation, and hair looks dry.

      Cause of dry skin

      • dry air, especially in winter;
      • frequent shampooing;
      • Skin diseases such as eczema.

      Cause of Dandruff

      Dandruff is dead skin cells. Scientists don’t fully understand what causes dandruff. Potential causes of dandruff include:

      • fungal infections of the scalp;
      • oily scalp;
      • Sensitivity to certain substances such as hair products.

      These three factors can work together to increase dandruff. For most people, a fungus called Malassezia lives on the scalp and does not cause any problems.However, in people with dandruff, this fungus leads to irritation and flaking. This could be due to how the fungus interacts with other factors.

      Dry skin or dandruff?

      People with dry scalp may notice dandruff on their hair. Unlike true dandruff, the flakes are usually small and white on dry scalp.

      Dandruff flakes are larger, with a yellowish tinge and look greasy. While dandruff and dry scalp can go away, dandruff caused by a fungal infection is unlikely to go away without treatment.Dry scalp can go away on its own if you shampoo less frequently.

      Differences between dandruff and dry scalp

      For most people it is difficult to tell the difference between dandruff and dry scalp, but with dandruff:

      • scalp and hair look oily;
      • there is intense itching of the scalp.

      Dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis?

      However, some scalp conditions can appear like dandruff.

      Psoriasis of the scalp, for example, causes redness, scaling and itching, but is caused by an autoimmune disorder. Seborrheic dermatitis leads to intense, painful inflammation and severe dandruff. Dandruff-like symptoms can be caused by another condition, and a weakened immune system can lead to a deterioration of the scalp.


      Both dandruff and dry scalp can be treated at home.

      People with dandruff should use anti-dandruff shampoo regularly.Many anti-dandruff shampoos contain pyrithione, which helps fight fungal infections. Another treatment for dandruff is coal tar shampoo. However, this shampoo can change the color of blonde hair. People who hate the smell of dandruff shampoo can try tea tree oil shampoo, which has antimicrobial properties.

      Photo: Flickr / Mike Mozart

      Dry scalp – what to do?

      Since scientists do not fully understand what causes dandruff, it is unclear if it can be prevented.But you can prevent dry scalp, for this you need to:

      • Use less irritating shampoos;
      • Use a moisturizing shampoo;
      • wash your hair less often;
      • use a humidifier;
      • Drink more water.

      Dandruff remains a mystery to many doctors who do not understand how a harmless fungus can cause severe dandruff in some people. Both dandruff and dry scalp are irritating but not harmful.With home treatment, they usually go away.


      1. Satchell A. C. et al. Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo // Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. – 2002. – T. 47. – No. 6. – S. 852-855.
      2. Xu Z. et al. Dandruff is associated with the conjoined interactions between host and microorganisms // Scientific reports. – 2016. – T. 6. – P. 24877.

      Before using the advice and recommendations on the website “Medical Insider” , , be sure to consult your doctor!

      Why dandruff appears and how to get rid of it

      Peeling and itching of the scalp can be a sign of dandruff, an unpleasant skin condition that affects more than 50% of all people on the planet.

      The painful condition is characterized by the appearance of white or gray scales of the epidermis, peeling off the skin, which can often be seen on hair, in a comb and on clothing.

      What causes dandruff

      The naturally occurring microbe Malassezia Globosa lives on everyone’s scalp. It feeds on natural oils (sebum) that are present there to maintain good hydration of the hair and epidermis. When sebum breaks down, it forms a byproduct known as oleic acid.

      Many people are sensitive to oleic acid, so their skin reacts to it with irritation and inflammation. This inflammation leads to redness and itching, causing the body to signal the brain to remove skin cells more quickly. So, we can say that dandruff is a natural reaction of the body, which is an attempt to get rid of an irritant, and physically looks like visible white flakes that often fall on the shoulders.

      Although the root cause of dandruff is always the same, other factors can make the condition worse.

      Factors that can make dandruff worse include:

      Irritated and oily skin

      It can be caused by a condition such as seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatosis is characterized by red and oily skin covered with scaly white or yellow scales. The disease can affect the scalp and other areas of the body that are rich in sebaceous glands, such as the folds around the nostrils, the back of the ears, groin, and underarms.

      Dry skin

      People with dry skin or eczema are more likely to suffer from dandruff as the main symptom.Dry skin can be exacerbated in cold climates and in winter due to dry weather conditions.

      Insufficient shampooing

      If your hair is not washed regularly, oils and skin cells can build up on the scalp, which inevitably leads to dandruff. However, washing too often with shampoo can, on the contrary, dry out the scalp and cause dandruff, so it is recommended to use the head once every 2 days to maintain a healthy balance.

      Irregular brushing of hair

      Increases the likelihood of dandruff as dead skin forms on the scalp.

      Warm and dry air

      May dry scalp and worsen dandruff.

      Air pollution

      May contribute to dandruff as airborne chemicals can affect the skin and cause irritation or allergic reactions to the skin and scalp, which can cause dandruff.

      Alkaline shampoos

      People suffering from dandruff should choose a shampoo with a neutral or slightly acidic pH.Hair products containing certain oils can also make the condition worse, as microbes can feed on these lipids and grow. Styling products can also build up on the scalp and make the skin look greasy.

      Unbalanced diet

      Eating foods rich in zinc, B vitamins and fats can help prevent dandruff.

      Also, do not forget to take care of your psychological state. Severe stress can worsen skin conditions and weaken the immune system.Although the microbe malassezia is already present on everyone’s scalp, it can thrive when the immune system is compromised or weakened, leading to the development of dandruff. It is important to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your daily routine to reduce stress levels and improve scalp health.

      How to find the right anti-dandruff shampoo

      © Source :.vichyconsult.ru

      02 Aug 2021, 23:09

      Women and men suffering from dandruff will confidently say that it is not just white flakes on hair and clothes, it is also significant scalp discomfort: irritation, itching, flaking.

      And without proper care, the problem can drag on for months and lead to hair loss. We decided to come to your aid and tell you in this article how to fight against dandruff and which shampoos are best to use.

      How to choose an effective anti-dandruff shampoo?

      It would seem that for a purchase it is enough that the hair shampoo has the inscription “anti-dandruff”. But not everything is so simple. It turns out that dandruff is dry and wet, and each has its own reason for the appearance:

      • The first one resembles small powdery flakes, usually arises from improper care – your shampoo dries the skin too much, change it to a more delicate one.
      • The second is oily seborrhea caused by the yeast Malassezia.In this case, the scales stick to the scalp and cause sebum to build up, causing irritation and itching. Here, one cannot do without a special antifungal shampoo. These are sold in pharmacies and professional salons.

      In addition, it is recommended to choose an anti-dandruff shampoo according to your hair type. The formula should effectively address the problem and meet the overall needs of curls.

      For dry

      Anti-dandruff shampoo for dry hair should be chosen with a moisturizing effect, so that the product does not dry out and does not cause a feeling of tightness of the scalp, maintains the optimal balance of moisture in the strands.Foods enriched with aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and nourishing oils work well.

      For fatty

      A powerful anti-dandruff shampoo for oily hair – an intensive cleanser that keeps the feeling of freshness and lightness at the roots for a long time. Look for salicylic acid, known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea extracts, tea tree extracts that reduce sebum production. Make sure that zinc pyrithione or piroctone olamine is also on the list of ingredients – they have antifungal effects.

      For normal

      An anti-dandruff shampoo for all hair types is suitable for daily use. Typically, all-in-one formulas can help you quickly get rid of the unpleasant symptoms associated with dandruff and prevent them from reoccurring. In such formulations, plant extracts are often included to provide hydration and antioxidant protection.

      For colored

      Anti-dandruff shampoo for colored stains is not recommended for use, as there is a risk of rapid fading of the color.But if such a need arises, then choose delicate formulas without sulfates. They act gently and do not wash out the pigment. The same shampoo is ideal for sensitive scalp – relieves irritation, restores comfort.

      Optimal composition of anti-dandruff hair shampoo

      A good anti-dandruff shampoo works in a complex way: it cleanses, reduces dandruff and soothes the scalp, so the list of its ingredients should include substances with just such functions.Most popular among active ingredients:

      • Antifungal – ketoconazole, ciclopirox, piroctone olamine. Effectively fight against the growth of fungi and prevent relapses.
      • Exfoliating agents – salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione. They cleanse the skin of dead cells, excess fat, reducing the breeding ground for fungi.
      • Moisturizers – hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera juice. Maintains the moisture balance of hair and scalp, protects against dryness.
      • Soothing – essential and natural oils, herbal extracts.For example, lavender oil, eucalyptus extract, relieve irritation, return a sense of comfort.

      It is also worth noting that women’s dandruff shampoo may differ from men’s. And the difference will not only be in the design and the more brutal scent. Increasingly, manufacturers are releasing separate anti-dandruff shampoos for men – the formulas are specially selected for the pH level and microbiome of male skin, and the more active work of the sebaceous glands is also taken into account. Women after using the product may experience increased dryness and tightness of the scalp.

      Additional products for dandruff control

      Severe dandruff shampoo will have to be found in the pharmacy or among professional products – they have richer formulations and better balanced formulas. In addition, you may need additional products, such as serums, ampoules. They tend to work intensively against dandruff-causing microorganisms, restoring and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier functions to prevent recurrence of the disease.It is necessary to apply such funds in a course within a month. After treatment, you can return to preventive care with an anti-dandruff shampoo.

      Review of 6 Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

      We have compiled an independent rating of anti-dandruff shampoos for different hair types. According to the reviews of experts and ordinary users, the TOP-6 includes both pharmaceutical products and products from the mass market with proven effectiveness.

      Dercos Vichy for normal to oily hair

      Intensive cleansing shampoo with unique selenium technology DS, which works to restore the normal microbiome of the scalp.Suitable for combating oily dandruff. The product deeply cleanses the skin and reduces the growth of Malassezia fungi and other bacteria that cause imbalance in the microbiome and, as a result, dandruff, itching, flaking. The shampoo helps to restore and strengthen the skin’s barrier functions and protects it from the reappearance of dandruff for up to 6 weeks. The result is noticeable from the first application.

      Dercos Vichy for dry hair

      Formula with unique technology with selenium DS, moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants.The product normalizes the bacterial balance of the skin, eliminates itching, flaking, and soothes the scalp. All visible dandruff is eliminated from the first application. The scalp is protected from its manifestations for up to 6 weeks.

      Dercos Vichy Peeling Shampoo

      Deep cleansing shampoo with an effective anti-dandruff formula – contains piroctone olamine and exfoliating particles. This combination of chemical and mechanical peels helps to eliminate oily, difficult-to-wash dandruff and restore the normal skin microbiome.Physiological pH 5.5 agents and powerful moisturizer glycerin relieve irritation and restore a feeling of comfort.

      Dercos Vichy for sensitive scalp

      Sulfate-free, synthetic dyes and parabens-free product with an active anti-dandruff formula. Contains Piroctone Olamine, effective against fungi, and antibacterial salicylic acid. Dermatologist-approved for sensitive scalp, removes visible dandruff the first time, reduces itching and soothes the skin.With it, your hair is protected from the recurrence of dandruff for up to 6 weeks.

      Shampoo with micro-exfoliating effect Kerium DS from La Roche-Posay

      Intensively cleansing shampoo to combat persistent and recurrent dandruff. A unique combination of salicylic and lipo-hydroxy acids and an active keratolytic has a mild exfoliating effect, eliminating dandruff flakes and flaking. Piroctone Olamine in the formula fights fungus. Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.Itching and discomfort are noticeably reduced after the first shampooing. The dandruff disappears completely within 3 weeks of use.

      Fructis Anti-Dandruff from Garnier

      A budget anti-dandruff shampoo with a caring formula. Designed for all hair types. Combines the properties of shampoo and conditioner: gently cleanses, moisturizes and softens hair.