dandruff

Dandruff can be caused by various factors, including dry skin, sensitivity to hair care products, overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, seborrheic dermatitis, and certain medical conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.

Get effective treatments to reduce dandruff, redness, itch and to restore healthier looking skin.

dandruff treatment singapore
Dandruff may be due to an underlying cause.

WHAT IS DANDRUFF?

Dandruff is a common scalp condition where white flakes may be noticed on your shirt or by others. While it is harmless in most instances, there may be an underlying dermatological condition in some cases

what causes DANDRUFF?

You should see a doctor to assess your scalp if your dandruff is not responding to off the shelf shampoos, the scalp is red and itchy, the dandruff is severe or if there are rashes on other parts of your body. Possible causes of dandruff include:

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition that primarily affects the scalp, face, and upper body. It’s characterized by red, greasy skin covered with flaky white or yellow scales. While it’s not contagious or harmful, it can be uncomfortable and persistent.

Tinea capitis, also known as scalp ringworm, is a fungal infection of the scalp and hair follicles. There may be associated patchy hair loss. Despite the name, it’s not caused by a worm but rather by various species of fungi called dermatophytes. This condition is more common in children than adults, but it can affect people of any age.

Atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. Common areas include the front of the elbows, back of knees, ankles and neck. It is one of the most common types of eczema and often occurs in individuals with a personal or family history of allergies, asthma, or hay fever (allergic rhinitis).

Scalp contact dermatitis is a type of contact dermatitis that affects the scalp. Contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition caused by contact with a substance that irritates the skin or triggers an allergic reaction. In the case of scalp contact dermatitis, the irritation or allergic reaction occurs specifically on the scalp. Common substances include hair dye, gels and sprays.

Scalp psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells on the scalp, resulting in thick, red patches covered with silvery-white scales. It is a subtype of psoriasis, a condition that can affect various parts of the body, including the scalp.

Cradle cap, also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is a common and harmless condition that affects infants, typically within the first few months of life. It manifests as thick, yellow, greasy or crusty patches on a baby’s scalp. While cradle cap can look unsightly, it’s usually not itchy or uncomfortable for the baby.

How do you treat DANDRUFF?

The treatment of dandruff depends on the underlying cause. 

  • Oils and moisturizers such as petroleum jelly can soften the crust on infant’s scalp (Cradle cap) before washing.
  • Medicated shampoos containing ingredients like zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, coal tar, or salicylic acid can reduce dandruff and inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory sprays e.g. steroids can be used to address scalp redness and itchiness thereby relieving symptoms. 
  • Vitamin D ointments are useful to reduce inflammation and excessive skin cell turn over in Psoriasis.
  • Anti-fungal therapy is effective for seborrhoeic dermatitis and tinea capitis.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dandruff?

No, dandruff is not contagious. It’s a common scalp condition caused by various factors, but it cannot be spread from person to person like a contagious illness.

While dandruff itself is not a direct cause of hair loss, excessive scratching of the scalp due to itching can damage hair follicles and lead to temporary hair loss. It’s important to treat dandruff promptly to avoid further irritation and potential hair loss.

Washing your hair regularly with a gentle shampoo can help prevent dandruff. However, washing too frequently or using harsh shampoos can strip the scalp of its natural oils and may exacerbate dandruff. It’s generally recommended to wash your hair every 2-3 days or as needed.

Some people find relief from dandruff by using home remedies such as tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel. While these remedies may help reduce symptoms for some individuals, they may not be effective for everyone, and it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dandruff may be more prevalent during colder months when the air is drier, as this can lead to dry scalp and increased flaking. However, dandruff can occur year-round and is influenced by various factors beyond seasonal changes.

Stress is believed to be a contributing factor to dandruff in some individuals. High stress levels can weaken the immune system and disrupt the balance of microorganisms on the scalp, potentially leading to an increase in dandruff symptoms. Practicing stress management techniques may help reduce the likelihood of dandruff flare-ups.

schedule a consultation for dandruff treatment in singapore

While dandruff is a fairly common and harmless scalp condition, there may be an underlying dermatological condition that needs to be addressed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, so Dr. Ng can develop a personalized treatment approach for resolving your skin concerns and helping you to achieve long-term improvements in the health and appearance of your skin.

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References:
  1. Limbu SL, Purba TS, Harries M, Wikramanayake TC, Miteva M, Bhogal RK, O’Neill CA, Paus R. A folliculocentric perspective of dandruff pathogenesis: Could a troublesome condition be caused by changes to a natural secretory mechanism?. BioEssays. 2021 Oct;43(10):2100005.
  2. National Health Service. Dandruff. 2022 dec.