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Dandruff / Seborrheic Dermatitis

Dandruff is a common term for Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Seborrheic is derived from the word ‘sebum’, which is nothing but the oil in the skin. Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic eczema involving oil gland rich areas of the body such as scalp, face, chest and back. It causes scaly patches and redness over the skin and also presents as dandruff. It can be due to the overgrowth of a harmless yeast known as malassezia that lives on the skin and the subsequent reaction of the skin immune system to the yeast. Dandruff can also be genetic or due to stress. This condition is neither contagious nor is it a sign of poor personal hygiene.

It is mostly seen in newborns and in adults between 30 and 60 years of age.  Seborrheic dermatitis when present on new born kids is known as cradle cap.

Dandruff treatment / Seborrheic Dermatitis treatment:

In severe Seborrheic dermatitis, a short course of mild topical steroid may be prescribed to reduce the irritation and itching. For long term use, shampoos containing ketoconazole or selenium sulphide may be given.