What is it?
Dandruff is the result of an overgrowth of a type of yeast called Pityrosporum ovale (also called Malassezia furfur when it occurs in a different form) together with a strong reaction of the scalp to this yeast.
Dandruff is part of a medical condition called seborrhoeic dermatitis which also affects other parts of the body especially those that produce a lot of oil.
What are the symptoms?
Dandruff occurs as flaky skin on the scalp. The flakes tend to be oily and may have a whitish or yellowish colour. The scalp may also get itchy or reddish as a result of the inflammation going on.
What treatments work?
Just washing your hair will help to remove flakes, but anti-dandruff shampoos also contain chemicals to control yeasts or reduce inflammation on your scalp. Most of these treatments are available over the counter, and your local pharmacist can help you with some effective ones. However, some require a prescription from a doctor, usually when the dandruff is quite marked and higher doses are required.
If the dandruff becomes severe and doesn’t respond well to other treatments, the doctor may then prescribe a corticosteroid like betamethasone in the form of a shampoo or lotion. These can have side effects especially if used for a long time.
Dandruff often comes back even after successful treatment. Regular use of a shampoo to help stop it from coming back.
Find great products and e-books for dandruff treatment:
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