Dandruff is a chronic skin condition characterised by itching and flaking of the skin on your scalp. White flakes on the scalp and in the hair suggest that one has dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp). The white flakes become even more noticeable on dark clothes as they fall on the person’s shoulder from head. Dandruff may make scalp itchy, tight or sore. The condition isn’t contagious and is rarely serious.
[Read: How to Get Rid of Dandruff]
The common signs of dandruff include:
- Adult individuals with seborrheic dermatitis may have red, flaky, greasy patches of skin.
- There are white flakes of skin on the scalp besides on the person's hair strands. The flakes can be oily as well.
- Dandruff is often accompanied by itchiness or the head may become sore.
- Crusting and scaling rash on scalp (babies with Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap) is another prominent sign of dandruff.
When should one seek medical advice?
When the scalp becomes greasy or yellow and does not respond to over-the-counter dandruff shampoos, lotions and other anti-dandruff products, you should see a doctor to relieve the redness, itching and flaking.
An individual must seek medical attention if the symptoms of dandruff persist or worsen (severe flaking, itching, scaling or redness). If one feels that dandruff is spreading rapidly or causing hair loss despite proper skin care and hair hygiene, you need to see a doctor to get to the root cause of it and get it treated. In case of doubt, it is better to consult a paediatrician, family physician or dermatologist.
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