Dandruff or known as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis is a common, chronic condition of an excessive skin cell turnover causing the shedding of large amounts of flakes from the scalp.
Dandruff is an uninflamed form of seborrhoeic dermatitis it presents as bran-like scaly patches scattered within hair-bearing areas of the scalp. The true cause of dandruff is not yet well understood.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis can also affect the face - creases around the nose, behind ears, eyebrows and the upper trunk.
Typical features include:
- Winter flares
- Improvement in summer due to sun exposure
- Minimal itch most of the time
- Combination oily and dry facial skin
- Non-defined localised scaly patches or diffuse scale in the scalp
- Scaly red eyelid margins
- Salmon-pink, thin, scaly, and non-defined plaques in skin folds on both sides of the face
- Petal or ring-shaped flaky patches on hair-line and on anterior chest
- Rash in armpits, under the breasts, in the groin folds, and genital creases
- Superficial folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles) on cheeks and upper trunk.
- Medicated shampoos containing ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, coal tar and salicylic acid, used twice weekly for at least a month and if necessary, indefinitely.
- Steroid scalp applications reduce itching, and should be applied daily for a few days every so often.
- Coal tar cream can be applied to scaling areas and removed several hours later by shampooing.
If you or anyone in your family is bothered by flaking scalp then consult your community pharmacist. They can help with treatment and advice for this condition, or refer you for further treatment if the condition becomes severe or appears to be unrelieved by treatment.