ZocdocAnswersWhat's the best way to get rid of dandruff?

Question

What's the best way to get rid of dandruff?

Hello, I am trying to get rid off this dandruff and i am tired of trying a lot of things. I noticed it few moths ago and I started using head and shoulders so that it reduces but i found no improvement and my friend recommended using selsun blue as it is a tough shampoo. I used selsun blue and my dandruff was reduced but i can see my scalp infected still. It just reduced my dandruff but didn't eliminate completely. I have a busy schedule and i cannot fix an appointment with a dermatologist. Any help will be appreciated...

Answer

Dandruff is the result of a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. The exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis is not quite known, but it is thought to be related to the sebaceous (oil-secreting) glands of the scalp creating a favorable environment for the growth of a fungus called Malassezia that causes the skin to scale and flake off. That being said, there can be other skin conditions of the scalp that also cause scaly, flaky skin including psoriasis, ringworm, other fungal infections, and lupus. If you are noticing discrete lesions on your scalp, I would strongly recommend you have a doctor take a look and make sure that something else isn't going on that is causing your scalp to flake. In terms of treatments for dandruff, you want a shampoo that has anti-fungal activity. Look for shampoos that contain selenium sulfide 2.5%, zinc pyrithione 1-2%, coal tar, or salicylic acid. There are other shampoos that contain ketoconazole or ciclopirox, most likely available by prescription, that are even stronger and can help if you have areas that are inflamed and red in addition to flaking off. If the over the counter shampoos are not working for you the most helpful thing would be to schedule a quick 15 minute appointment with a dermatologist to have someone take a look at your scalp and see if a prescription shampoo would be more likely to help. Some clinics may have more flexible hours and might be able to squeeze you in at a time that's more convenient for you.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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