What is dandruff?

One alternative therapy that seems to reduce dandruff is daily shampooing with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil, which comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), has been used for centuries as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal agent. It's now included in a number of shampoos found in natural foods stores. The oil may cause allergic reactions in some people.

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Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, flaky scalp, scurf, seborrheic eczema, pityriasis capitis
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dandruff information from trusted sources:

Flaky Scalp

Dandruff is a very common skin condition that nearly all people experience at one point in their lives regardless of age or ethnicity. It affects the not just the scalp, but also the ears, eyebrows, sides of the nose, beard, and less commonly the central (often hair-bearing) part of the chest. Dandruff can affect any hair-bearing area or an area with even very small hair follicles. Other names for dandruff are seborrheic dermatitis or seborrhea.


Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition, which is marked by itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. Although dandruff isn't contagious and is rarely serious, it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat.

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Dandruff is a common condition that affects the scalp and causes flakes of skin to appear. Dandruff can vary in severity. It can be mild, moderate or severe.

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Dandruff, also known as seborrhea, is a common non-contagious condition of skin areas rich in oil glands (the face, scalp, and upper trunk), marked by flaking (overproduction of skin cells) and sometimes redness and itching (inflammation) of the scalp, varying in severity from mild flaking of the scalp to scaly, red patches. The normal skin yeast, Pityrosporum ovale, lives in oil-rich skin regions and plays a role in this condition. Dandruff may be worse with stress, winter, and infrequent shampooing. Although there is no "cure" for dandruff, control is usually possible with medicated shampoos.

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Normal exfoliation of the epidermia of the scalp in the form of dry, white scales. May be worse in diseased condition. Sometimes due to seborrhea.

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Treats dandruff, fungus infections of the skin (tinea versicolor), and seborrhea of the scalp.

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Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition that causes flaky, white to yellowish scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp or inside the ear. It can occur with or without reddened skin. Cradle cap is the term used when seborrheic dermatitis affects the scalp of infants.

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Dandruff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dandruff (Latin: Pityriasis simplex capillitii) is the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp (not to be confused with a dry scalp). ...

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Dandruff (Seborrhea) Causes, Symptoms and Treatment by MedicineNet.com

Mar 11, 2011 ... Dandruff is a form of skin inflammation which has no known cause and can appear at any time, from infancy to old age.

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Dandruff Treatments and Remedies

Oct 27, 2010 ... Get tips for treating dandruff from the experts at WebMD.

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Dandruff can have several causes, including: Dry skin. Simple dry skin the kind you get during winter when the air is cold and rooms are overheated is the most common cause of itchy, flaking skin. Flakes from dry skin are generally smaller and less oily than those from other causes of dandruff. Irritated, oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis). This condition, a frequent cause of dandruff, is marked by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. Seborrheic dermatitis affects not only your scalp but also other areas rich in oil glands, such as your eyebrows, the sides of your nose and the backs of your ears, your breastbone, your groin area, and sometimes your armpits. Not shampooing...

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It is very unusual for any complications to occur as a result of dandruff and seborrhoeic dermatitis. The most likely complication is an adverse reaction to any dandruff treatments that you may be using. If a product causes irritation to your scalp, you should stop using it immediately. Your pharmacist will be able to recommend a more suitable alternative for you.

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Dandruff, or seborrhoeic dermatitis of the scalp, can usually be diagnosed by you, at home. The characteristic white flakes on your scalp are typical of the condition.

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Lifestyle and home remedies
In addition to regular shampooing, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing dandruff: Learn to manage stress. Stress affects your overall health, making you susceptible to a number of conditions and diseases. It can even help trigger dandruff or worsen existing symptoms. Shampoo often. If you tend to have an oily scalp, daily shampooing may help prevent dandruff. Cut back on styling products. Hair sprays, styling gels, mousses and hair waxes can all build up on your hair and scalp, making them oilier. Eat a healthy diet. A diet that provides enough zinc, B vitamins and certain types of fats may help prevent dandruff. Get a little sun. Sunlight may be good for dandruff. But because...

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Preparing for your appointment
You don't need any special preparations for an appointment to diagnose dandruff. Your doctor should be able to diagnose your dandruff and its cause simply by looking at your scalp and skin. If you've started using any new hair care products, bring the bottles with you to your appointment or be prepared to tell your doctor about them, since the products may be causing your dandruff.

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In adults, dandruff is likely to reoccur several times during your life.

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Risk factors
Almost anyone can have dandruff, but certain factors can make you more susceptible: Age. Dandruff usually begins in young adulthood and continues through middle age. That doesn't mean older adults don't get dandruff, however. For some people, the problem can be lifelong. Being male. Because more men have dandruff, some researchers think male hormones may play a role in dandruff. Men also have larger oil-producing glands on their scalps, which can contribute to dandruff. Oily hair and scalp. Malassezia feeds on oils in your scalp. For that reason, having excessively oily skin and hair makes you more prone to dandruff. Poor diet. If your diet lacks foods high in zinc, B vitamins or certain...

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For most teens and adults, dandruff symptoms are easy to spot: white, oily looking flakes of dead skin that dot your hair and shoulders and an itchy, scaling scalp.

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There are various factors that need to be considered when treating dandruff, or seborrhoeic dermatitis of the scalp. These factors include...

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