Dandruff

Dandruff is a condition marked by flaking, redness, and itching of the skin – which can vary in severity. The condition occurs in areas of the skin that are rich in oil glands, and is common along the hairline, ears, eyebrows, creases of the nose, and breasts.


Cause

The exact cause of dandruff is unknown, but it may be associated with genetic factors. Dandruff is more common in people with oily skin or hair, and may be linked to certain chronic conditions, including immune or nervous system disorders.


Symptoms

Dandruff can vary in severity, from mild or severe. It causes dry or oily looking flakes of dead skin, and sometimes patches of red and scaly skin on the forehead, eyebrows, creases of the nose, and cheeks.


Diagnosis

After asking about the symptoms and any previous treatments, the doctor will perform a physical examination. In some cases, the doctor may send samples to a lab to be tested for confirmation of the diagnosis.


Treatment

  • Solutions and shampoos containing coal tar, steroids, antifungals, or topical calcineurin inhibitors for the treatment of rashes.
  • Solutions containing coal tar, steroids, antifungals, or calcineurin inhibitors for the treatment of affected skin.
  • Oral medications (must be prescribed by the doctor).


Prevention

Since the exact cause of dandruff is unknown, there are no definite means of preventing the condition from developing. However, patients should avoid scratching affected areas, as this may cause the rashes to spread.

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