How to Treat Dandruff?

July 1, 2001

It’s not the nicest topic in the world to talk about but it doesn’t have to be an embarrassing situation! Here’s how to get it under control.

Dandruff is a particular condition of the scalp that needs a specific treatment to control it. Often it is confused with many of the other conditions of the scalp, so you might find yourself treating it with the wrong thing. Therefore we suggest that you check that whatever you have conforms to this description:

More often it is associated with an oily scalp than a dry one. Flakes are whitish in colour and may be spread over the entire scalp. The scalp may be itchy, but if you examine it closely it should not be red or inflamed. Scaly skin on other parts of the body is not associated with dandruff.

If you’re not 100 percent convinced that this description fits with your condition then read the following definitions to find which one most closely matches with your symptoms so that we can recommend the right treatment.

  • Flakiness that is dry and often confined to the top of the head, hairline or nape with tiny, if not dust like flakes, that are white in colour. The patches which may or may not be itchy can often be worse at certain times of the year. For example with the change of seasons. Also ask youself if this dry area is the same spot that you always apply your shampoo to or that the hot shower hits? This is simple dry flakiness and is easily treated by using a number of different products.
  • Flakiness accompanying slight swelling, redness and small blisters that may weep could mean either contact dermatitis or eczema. These two conditions are very similar and only differ in how deep they penetrate into the layers of the skin. They are produced when you come into contact with something that you are allergic to an initially the symptoms are confined to that area. You need to go to you local GP for more advice on this one.
  • Flakes that are more yellow than white in colour, greasty with red itchy skin and in the most severe cases spreading of the condition to the eyebrows, bear and around the nose. This could be seborrhoeic dermatitis. Treatment of this severe form of dandruff should be prescribed by a doctor.

Don’t feel shy or embarrassed when you’re with your hairdresser though. Dandruff is a very common hair disorder and if you are still concerned about it please go and see your doctor.

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