Dandruff( Seborrhea): You Can Deal With It!


Dandruff is one of the forms in which seborrhea can manifest itself. The literal meaning of the word ‘seborrhea’ is-A condition in which over activity of the sebaceous glands causes the skin to become oily. Seborrhea also goes by names such as seborrheic dermatitis or common dandruff. The variety of conditions in which seborrhea can present itself are dandruff, thick scales on the scalp, redness on the face or in the armpits, or raw, red patches below the breasts. Although in some of these conditions the skin may feel “dry”, moisturizing only makes it redder. There are cases when skin may seem oily or even oily and dry at the same time.


Seborrhea is a form of skin inflammation( dermatitis) that has no known cause. Seborrhea results from neither too little moisture nor too much oil. From infancy to old age, dandruff can appear at any time. Besides, it comes and goes randomly. Seborrhea is treated by fighting the skin inflammation. This can be done in two ways, either by using cortisone-based creams and lotions( which reduce inflammation), or by reducing yeast that builds up on scaly areas. However, it should be noted here that dandruff is not a form of yeast infection. Contrary to popular belief moisturizing lotions, switching brands of shampoo, changing hair care routines or switching antiperspirants do not cause seborrhea.


For treating dandruff one may use shampoos, creams,…


The ingredients in medicated shampoos that you should look for are tar, salicylic acid, zinc, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole,… These are available over-the-counter. The frequency of use of these shampoos depends on the severity of the problem. Once the problems subsides, you can switch-over to non-medicated shampoos. For dandruff that is very stubborn and refuses to go away, you can alternate two different types.


These can be of two types: cortisone and anti-fungal. Cortisone creams help reduce inflammation. These can be purchased over-the-counter in either 0.5% or 1% concentrations. These are to be applied twice a day and start showing results in a couple of days. These creams are also available as scalp lotions. The lotions are applied on damp hair after shampooing. One can use cortisone creams along with medicated shampoos. Antifungal creams fight yeast like organisms found in skin of affected people.

Even after being cured, seborrhea may stage a comeback. In such cases, one should take recourse to creams again.

If over-the-counter products fail, the physician or dermatologist can recommend shampoos or cortisone creams of higher concentrations. Dandruff of the eyelashes needs to be tackled very carefully. These may be treated by scrubbing eyelashes with baby shampoo on a cotton swab. However, doctors advise extreme care in this treatment as exposure of the eye to cortisone can lead to serious eye problems.