How to Deal with Dandruff?

10 minutes read

Causes of Dandruff:

The skin undergoes renewal approximately every 28 days, shedding transparent cells through keratinization. Dandruff occurs when scalp cells undergo excessive metabolism, leading to incomplete keratinization and visible white or yellow flakes. Various factors, such as dry or oily scalp, can contribute to dandruff. Common pathological reasons for dandruff formation include:

Seborrheic Dermatitis:

Characterized by large flakes, inflammation, severe itching, and sometimes redness or peeling. Excessive sebum secretion leads to abnormal keratinization, damaging scalp follicles and potentially causing hair loss.


About 80% of psoriasis patients experience dandruff. Similar to seborrheic dermatitis, it presents with significant flaking, redness, peeling, and potential hair loss.


External stimuli cause bacterial or fungal overgrowth, leading to inflammation and infection. Inflammation disrupts the normal shedding of aging keratin, resulting in large flakes.

Scaly Scalp:

Irregular lifestyle, spicy and oily diet, work stress, and seasonal changes can weaken the immune system. Intense stimulation of the sebaceous glands leads to excessive sebum production, causing an abnormal increase in the yeast Malassezia, accompanied by increased itching, commonly known as scaly scalp.

Sensitive Scalp:

Over-cleansing, chemical hair product irritation, and excessive exfoliation weaken sebum production, compromise bacterial resistance, and reduce resistance to external stimuli. This often results in contact dermatitis or localized redness.

Types of Dandruff and Solutions

Dandruff can be categorized into primary and secondary types.

Primary Dandruff:
Common causes related to lifestyle and climate changes. Improved with regular use of anti-dandruff shampoos.
Secondary Dandruff:
Caused by inflammatory conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis. Requires medical treatment.

Improving Dandruff: How to Choose Anti-Dandruff Shampoo?

Dry Scalp or Oily Scalp?

Just like facial skin, the scalp can be categorized as dry or oily. Self-assess your scalp type and choose hair care products accordingly.

Dry Scalp

Produces less oil, even after two days without washing, the scalp and hair remain non-greasy. Dryness may cause tightness and itching, leading to sensitivity and flakiness.

➡️ Choose a gentle, moisturizing shampoo to alleviate dryness and itching.

Oily Scalp

Excess oil production can result in greasy roots, oily hair, and even oil
stains on pillowcases within a day. Oily scalp is prone to itching and may develop folliculitis, along with yellowish, oily flakes.

➡️ Select shampoos with oil control properties and effective anti-dandruff ingredients. If there's inflammation, seek professional dermatological treatment.

What are the Active Ingredients in Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoos?

Before purchasing, consider shampoos containing the following ingredients: Tar, Zinc pyrithione, Selenium sulfide, Ciclopirox olamine, Piroctone olamine, Salicylic acid, Ketoconazole. However, frequent use of shampoos with these ingredients may lead to scalp dryness, deteriorating hair quality, and discoloration.
For general consumers, it's advisable to use medicated anti-dandruff shampoos 2-3 times a week, along with milder regular shampoos. If dandruff is caused by conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema, the purpose of using medicated shampoos becomes part of the treatment plan. In such cases, daily use may be recommended under the guidance of a dermatologist until symptoms improve.

Proper Washing Technique for Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo:

Step 1

Start by rinsing your scalp and hair with lukewarm water to remove any dirt and impurities.

Step 2

Pour the medicated shampoo onto your palm, lather it, and apply it to the scalp. Gently massage the scalp with your fingertips for 2-3 minutes. Avoid using your nails, as this can cause irritation.


After the massage, let the shampoo sit on the scalp for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water to prevent further irritation to an inflamed scalp.

In the initial stages, you can use the medicated shampoo daily. As symptoms improve, reduce usage to every 2-3 days.

How to Care for Your Scalp?

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle:

- Follow a regular sleep schedule, avoiding late nights.
- Reduce consumption of spicy, greasy, and sugary foods that stimulate sebum secretion.

Regular Exercise and Stress Relief:

- Exercise promotes normal metabolism and hormonal balance, helping to reduce stress.
- Engage in activities that help relieve stress for a balanced and healthy scalp.

Establish Good Hygiene Habits:

- Clean your scalp and hair regularly to remove oil, sweat, dirt, and inflammatory substances.
- Maintain a balanced environment to prevent overgrowth of dandruff-causing microorganisms.

Avoid Excessive Chemical Stimuli:

- Chemical agents used in hair dyeing and perming can harm the scalp.
- Minimize the frequency of chemical treatments to preserve a healthy scalp.

For scalp issues like dandruff, allergies, and inflammation, it's crucial not to completely eliminate all fungi and molds causing scalp inflammation. These microorganisms naturally exist on your skin. Indiscriminate use of antibacterial agents is not a long-term solution. The key is to gradually reduce irritation, allowing the scalp to recover its natural immune response.

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