Is your scalp itchy? Do you find white flakes on your shoulders when you wear dark t-shirts? If so, you are most likely experiencing dandruff. Not to worry, dandruff is not dangerous and is very treatable.
Dandruff (medically referred to as seborrheic dermatitis) is a common scalp condition characterized by small bits of dry skin that form on your scalp and flake off.
While it can be bothersome, there is no evidence that dandruff is harmful or leads to hair loss. However, while your scalp might be itchy, scratching it can cause harm. Not only can scratching and picking cause more flakes and result in more visible dandruff, it can also weaken the hair which will make it more prone to breaking and potentially cause noticeable hair loss.
Shampooing daily can help keep dandruff under control. Remember, your scalp needs to be shampooed as much as your hair. Gently massaging your scalp in the shower will promote circulation, just be careful not to scrub hard which can be harmful to your scalp.
Your best bet for treating dandruff is using a shampoo that’s formulated with one of these active ingredients, about twice a week:
- Zinc pyrithione
- Salicylic acid and sulfur
- Selenium sulfide
You can purchase a dandruff shampoo over the counter at your local drug store. When washing with a medicated shampoo, it’s important to follow the directions on the bottle. Some shampoos should be left on the scalp for around five minutes, while others should not.
If you’re not seeing results, try alternating dandruff shampoos. Dermatologists often recommend using one dandruff shampoo for two consecutive days and then using another dandruff shampoo for two consecutive days. Make sure each of the two dandruff shampoos contain a different active ingredient from the list above by reading the label on the bottles.
You may need to experiment with different shampoos and the amount of days of week you use them based on the results you get. If a dandruff shampoo is not providing relief, seek help from a dermatologist.