Excessive Dandruff

Dandruff occurs when scalp sheds dead skin cells, and while a small amount of flaking is considered normal, excessive dandruff is a problematic condition.

When the flaking is highly noticeable, chronic and accompanied by redness, irritation, or an itchy scalp, this is considered excessive dandruff. It can cause lowered self-esteem in those suffering with it, and requires dandruff treatment beyond the use of special shampoos or over-the-counter products.

Excessive dandruff occurs when scalp flaking is highly noticeable, chronic and accompanied by redness, irritation, or an itchy scalp

Causes can be seborrheic dermatitis, scalp ringworm and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis

If off the shelf dandruff treatments do not work, you should see a Dermatologist

A Dermatologist may advise the use of medicated shampoos including coal tar, zinc and salicylic acid

What causes Excessive Dandruff?

Excessive dandruff occurs when skin cells are renewing at too rapid a rate, causing them to shed at a high rate.

A number of things can cause this, including a common skin condition known as seborrhoeic dermatitis. When too much yeast develops in the skin, this can cause it become greasy and itchy, resulting in mild dandruff. Scalp ringworm (tinea capitis) can also lead to excessive dandruff, as can skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis.

Who is at risk of Excessive Dandruff?

Dandruff can affect anyone from adults to babies, but there are certain factors that are likely to increase the chances of it occurring.

Those with oily skin are prone to dandruff, and as such, the problem often begins in young adults.

Certain illnesses. For reasons that aren’t clear, adults with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, are more likely to develop seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. So are people with HIV infection, or those who have compromised immune systems from other conditions.

What are the symptoms of Excessive Dandruff?

Excessive dandruff is characterized by large, noticeable white flakes that appear on shoulders, and are visible on clothing.

You may also experience a dry and itchy scalp, and a possible rash around the hairline and ears. Those with serious cases may also experience skin irritation and a rash on the face as well. If you have tried common dandruff treatment such as the use of particular shampoos and creams and have not experienced any change, you may need to visit a dermatologist to receive further care.

Images of Excessive Dandruff

These images are kindly provided by DermNetNZ.org for non-commercial use, for the purpose of education and information. The images have not been modified and DermNetNZ do not endorse The London Skin and Hair Clinic. You can find a copy of the license at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/nz/.

How does a Dermatologist diagnose Excessive Dandruff?

A dermatologist will examine the skin on the scalp up close to confirm a diagnosis, and rule out other skin conditions.

How does a Dermatologist treat Excessive Dandruff?

The primary dandruff treatment is the use of anti-dandruff shampoo. These are available in most drugstores and supermarkets without a need for prescription. Ingredients like coal tar, zinc and salicylic acid can help alleviate the symptoms of itchy and dry scalp.

Excessive Dandruff

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