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Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What can I do about my scalp itch and dandruff?"


I'm a 19 year old girl and I've been dealing with dandruff issues for almost a year now. It runs in my family and special shampoos haven't seemed to help so far. I'm wondering if I should see a specialist or if it's as simple as a food allergy. Are there any natural remedies or dietary recommendations for sufferers of scalp itch and dandruff?


I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor, because if the symptoms have been going on for a year now there is a chance that you need a stronger medication. Dandruff is a dryness and flaking of the skin of the scalp. It is a mild form of something called seborrheic dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the scalp and other oily parts of the skin such as the facial creases and eyebrows resulting in redness, itching, and flaking, greasy areas of skin.

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If you are having a lot of itching, it is likely that what you have is more advanced than simple dandruff, especially if typical over the counter anti dandruff shampoos are not working for you. Many cases of seborrheic dermatitis actually need some steroid medication creams to get them calmed down and, because many cases are associated with fungus living on the skin, many doctors will also use an antifungal lotion or shampoo. It is also important to rule out that something other than dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis is going on. Sometimes for example, a fungal infection of the scalp is the cause or psoriasis. I suggest setting up a visit with your primary care doctor as soon as possible!

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