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Doctor insights on: Dandruff Vs Dry Scalp

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Dandruff and dry scalp?

Dandruff and dry scalp?

Controlling dandruff: Dandruff (seborrhea) is common. Shampoos with zinc, salicylic acid, selenium, or coal tar are sold in many stores. Nizoral shampoo (contains anti-fungal) is also available. Doctors may also recommend cortisone or kenalog (triamcinolone) sprays. Prevent dryness (don't wash hair too often). A primary doctor or dermatologist can look for psoriasis, eczema, or fungal infections if unusual or worrisome scalp symptoms. ...Read more

Scalp (Definition)

Scalp is the part of the skin on the skull, deeply attached to the skull and has the hair shafts from it. Rest of the skin in the head like facial skin (beard) has only 2 layers -epidermis and dermis. Scalp has 5 different layers unlike facial skin/rest of skin all over body. Scalp-s-epidermis, c-conn. Tissue, a-aponeurosis, l-loose areolar conn. Tissue and p- pericranium attached ...Read more


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How to know if I have dry scalp or dandruff?

How to know if I have dry scalp or dandruff?

Treat for Dandruff: See Dermatologist.
Dandruff is associated with malassezia fungus infection.
Try over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, and look for one that contains zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the fungus; selenium sulfide, which can limit cell turnover and decrease the amount of fungus; salicylic acid, which works as a scrub to slough off dead skin; or ketoconazole, which works against a broad array of fungi. ...Read more

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From the last 3 months I have severe dandruff problem or dry scalp, which I am not sure of. I have flakes on my scalp.

Dandruff: This is very likely dandruff. We call this seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp. Sometimes this is associated with a rash around the eyebrows / sides of the nose or chin. Best treated with selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione shampoos. Please ask your pharmacist for one of these and use as directed - see someone if not improving after a month or two. ...Read more

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What should I do to treat dandruff, dry scalp, and scabs on scalp?

What should I do to treat dandruff, dry scalp, and scabs on scalp?

Dandruff: Dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis, is a common disorder that is believed to be caused by a yeast. Most treatments are geared at reducing the yeast. Such treatments include nizoral, (ketoconazole) head and shoulders, and selsun blue. Tar shampoos and corticosteroids can be used as well. This condition rarely results in hair loss. ...Read more

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How can I get rid of dandruff/dry scalp?

How can I get rid of dandruff/dry scalp?

Anti-dandruff 'poos: Dandruff is associated with malassezia fungus infection.
Buy over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, and look for one that contains zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the fungus; selenium sulfide, which can limit cell turnover and decrease the amount of fungus; salicylic acid, which works as a sort of scrub to slough off dead skin; or ketoconazole, which works against a broad array of fungi. ...Read more

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How can I get rid of a dry scalp/dandruff?

Anti-dandruff 'poos: Dandruff is associated with malassezia fungus infection.
Buy over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, and look for one that contains zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the fungus; selenium sulfide, which can limit cell turnover and decrease the amount of fungus; salicylic acid, which works as a sort of scrub to slough off dead skin; or ketoconazole, which works against a broad array of fungi. ...Read more

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How can I get rid of very bad dandruff/dry scalp?

DANDRUFF SHAMPOO: You need to use a anti dandruff shampoo like head and shoulder with conditioner or selson blue. ...Read more

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I have very dry scalp what to do? Flakes like dandruff in hair

I have very dry scalp what to do? Flakes like dandruff in hair

Dandruff: Antifungal shampoo like sebizole can be tried. You can get them from chemist or through your GP. ...Read more

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My 2 mo old has very dry scalp, and she is always scratching it so she looks like she has dandruff. What could it be? Her dr. Says nothing...

My 2 mo old has very dry scalp, and she is always scratching it so she looks like she has dandruff. What could it be? Her dr. Says nothing...

Cradlecap: Initially you may try using baby oil and let it soak for a couple of hours on your babies head, and then scrub it off.
You may also use head and shoulders or selsum blue, 3 x a week to see if helps (just don't get in eyes),
if not helping a prescription of Nizoral (ketoconazole) shampoo, 2-3x a week for a month and then periodically. ...Read more

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What to do about dry scalp with dandruff problems and acne?

What to do about dry scalp with dandruff problems and acne?

Keep oily hair: Away from forehead. Wash hair daily to prevent dandruff. Try anti-dandruff shampoos that contains zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the scalp fungus associated with dandruff; selenium sulfide, which can limit cell turnover and possibly even decrease the amount of fungus; salicylic acid, which works as a sort of scrub to slough off dead skin. ...Read more

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What to do if I have dry scalp with dandruff problems and acne?

What to do if I have dry scalp with dandruff problems and acne?

Keep oily hair: Away from forehead. Wash hair daily to prevent dandruff. Try anti-dandruff shampoos that contains zinc pyrithione, which can reduce the scalp fungus associated with dandruff; selenium sulfide, which can limit cell turnover and possibly even decrease the amount of fungus; salicylic acid, which works as a sort of scrub to slough off dead skin. ...Read more

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I have dandruff and a dry scalp that bleeds from scabs, do you have any solutions? Also I have dry skin around my hairline? Please help thanks

I have dandruff and a dry scalp that bleeds from scabs, do you have any solutions? Also I have dry skin around my hairline? Please help thanks

Try hydrocortisone: This sounds like you have what is called "seborrheic dermatitis". What a big word for something so common! It is in the eczema family. Shampoo with t-gel. Try over the counter Hydrocortisone cream, rub in for 30 seconds 2 times each day whenever the rash is present. There is no cure for this, it will almost always come back. Don't get discouraged, just keep the Hydrocortisone handy. ...Read more

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Someone said the dandruff I have might not be dandruff, but dry scalp. How do I tell which it is? Does either worsen when sweating, or when it's cold?

Best to see derm: For diagnosis. To be absolutely sure you would need a biopsy. But dandruff typcially also appears in eyebrows, around corners of nostrils and on the middle of your chest between the breasts or nipples. See derm for treatment, but temporarily you can use avocado oil overnight with shower cap for dry scalp ...Read more

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What does it mean when your head itches and you don't have lice/dry scalp or dandruff?

Itch: Itching scalp could be due to all the causes you listed, but it also could be due to a fungal infection. The type of shampoo you use can also cause this so I recommend switching to a hypoallergenic product if you haven't already. Also stress can sometime result in somatic symptoms such as itchiness, see your doctor soon to find the cause and get relief. ...Read more

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I have a really dry scalp that won't go away with dandruff shampoo, how do I get rid of it?

I have a really dry scalp that won't go away with dandruff shampoo, how do I get rid of it?

Seborrhea: You probably have seborrheic dermatitis; I'm an expert on that, because I have it too. Over-the-counter dandruff shampoos work on mild cases, but for more serious dryness you need a prescription shampoo such as loprox (ciclopirox) or clobex (there are many others). I often add an anti-inflammatory foam like Luxiq or olux, which can be aplied directly to the scalp and won't mess up your hair. ...Read more

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I have anxious habit to play in hair. Dry scalp, trying to quit. Picked dandruff, scab. Picked at scab & feels moist, what's that moistness?

I have anxious habit to play in hair. Dry scalp, trying to quit. Picked dandruff, scab. Picked at scab & feels moist, what's that moistness?

Manage it: You won't be able to stop, so don't be hard on yourself. Some folks are wired to do this kind of thing with scalp lesions. What you can do is manage any dandruff / seborrheic dermatitis aggressively; perhaps ketoconazole would be right for you in addition to a good dandruff shampoo, and you can ask your physician about coal tar, sulfur, selenium, and/or a bit of a glucocorticoid. ...Read more

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What causes scalp dryness and dandruff?

Dandruff: A yeast called malassezia. This fungus is one of the normal microscopic life forms that grow, along with certain bacteria, in your skin's oily secretion (sebum). Creams, foams or lotions containing an antifungal agent, such as ketoconazole (ketozole, extina), often help reduce flare-ups, supporting the idea that this yeast is a contributing factor. But seborrheic dermatitis is not contagious. ...Read more

Dr. Emily Altman
92 Doctors shared insights

Dry Scalp (Definition)

Dry scalp is simply the appearance of dry skin on your head. Causes may involve environment (dry climate, blowdryer use, certain hair products) or may be related to a skin condition which causes scalp irritation ...Read more


Dandruff (Definition)

Dandruff is when dead skin cells from the scalp shed. As skin cells die a small amount of flaking is normal. Some people experience an unusually large amount of flaking either chronically or as a ...Read more