Dandruff or Flaky Scalp

Head | Dermatology | Dandruff or Flaky Scalp (Symptom)


Dandruff is a quite harmless condition which manifests when dead skin is shed from the scalp, often producing white flakes. The usual cause is the rash seborrhoeic dermatitis. Frequent exposure to extreme heat and cold can cause sometimes dandruff, this condition is not to be confused with a simple dry scalp. Dandruff is most often caused by a yeast organism that grows in the scalp. Extensive dandruff is known as seborrhoeic dermatitis, a disorder that causes inflammation and scaling of the skin in other areas of the body, such as the face, chest, and back.


Dandruff has been proven to be the result of three required factors: skin oil often referred to as sebum or sebaceous secretions; the metabolic by-products of skin micro-organisms; individual susceptibility. Dandruff can also manifest as an allergic reaction to chemicals in hair gels, sprays, and shampoos, hair oils, or sometimes even dandruff medications like ketoconazole. Excessive perspiration and climate have also significant roles in the pathogenesis of dandruff. Dandruff can also be a sign of eczema or psoriasis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

You can treat dandruff by washing your hair three to four times a week with a tar-based shampoo or a shampoo that contains an antiyeast agent.