Dandruff is a form of dermatitis in which the shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp flake and fall off at faster than normal rate. Although a small amount of flaking and shedding of epidermis skin cells is normal and common, approximately 1/3 of the population experiences this condition in chronic or excessive amounts due to certain triggers and/or conditions. It is important to note that dry scalp and dandruff are not the same condition.
Dandruff is a chronic but harmless condition by which dead skin cells are shed from the scalp at a faster rate and in larger quantities than normal hair. These flakes get trapped with oil, clump together and become noticable. The exact causes of dandruff are not completely known but the latest research suggests that it may in fact be caused by a yeast like fungus which has 2 names:
* Anti-dandruff shampoos containing the antimicrobials selenium sulphide (eg Selsun ) or zinc pyrithione are helpful for mild dandruff. * Shampoos with coal tar (some brand names: DHS Tar, Neutrogena T/Gel, Polytar) may be used 3 times a week.
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