Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does dandruff cause hair loss?"
I've had on and off dandruff since I was a teenager (I'm in my late 20s now), and I'm starting to see my hair thin out. Could the hair loss be caused by my scalp being so irritated? Or by the anti-dandruff shampoo I have to use? I've heard that you have to take care of your scalp to prevent hair loss.
Dandruff is a very common occurrence in many adults leading to scalp dryness and flaking of the scalp. The scalp becomes very dry which can lead to itchiness of the scalp. If the scalp is itched too often or too vigorously there is a risk of mechanical hair loss from the continued trauma to the hair and hair follicles as they are continuously itched. There are various over the counter remedies for dandruff including creams and shampoos which may help decrease the dryness and itchiness of your scalp and therefore decrease the itching and possible hair loss. If you note that these are not helping you, or if your symptoms continue to worsen, see your primary care physician to rule out other causes for hair loss that may be outside the scope of this discussion. The anti dandruff shampoo that you are using is unlikely to be the cause of your hairloss but again it is advisable to discuss this with your primary care physician. In terms of caring for your scalp to avoid hair loss, unfortunately there are some genetic associations with hair loss that may make you more likely to be effected by hair loss regardless of whether or not you are experiencing problems with dandruff.
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