If you’re dealing with a flaky and/or itchy scalp, you've probably got dandruff, a common skin condition that's caused by low-grade inflammation. Treating it can be tricky, though — so, to find out how to get rid of dandruff, I spoke with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Candace Spann.
Dr. Spann explains that there are a variety of over-the-counter products available to help you get rid of dandruff and prevent it from returning. But first, a little bit of background on the (many) reasons someone might experience dandruff. “Many people start to show signs of dandruff around puberty as the scalp and hair become more oily. Heavy, occlusive oils and pomades in the scalp can make dandruff worse for people who have a tendency to develop dandruff, and overgrowth of yeast has recently been shown to be a major contributing factor.” Finally, she adds, “Diets high in sugar seem to contribute to dandruff. Remember: sugars feed yeast.”
The good news is that most people can treat their dandruff with over-the-counter medicated shampoos containing one of the following ingredients: zinc pyrithione, tar, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, or salicylic acid. Try one of the shampoos listed ahead, suggested by Dr. Spann. Over time, if it doesn’t maintain its effectiveness, swap it out for a shampoo that contains a different ingredient. Frequent use may be required initially, Dr. Spann says, then most people find they can use their dandruff shampoo once or twice per week for maintenance.
Below are seven doctor-recommended shampoos, hair treatments, and natural remedies to treat and prevent dandruff on your own. If they don’t work, talk to your dermatologist about prescription products, which might be a better option for you.
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