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Dandruff

aka Seborrheic Dermatitis or Seborrhea

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects area with of the skin with increased oil production such as the scalp, eyebrows, side of the nose, bearded areas, behind and inside the ears and the central chest in men.  Dandruff refers to seborrheic dermatitis affecting the scalp. 


What causes dandruff? 

Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff is an allergic reaction to the normal yeast, p ovale, that lives on our skin.  


How do I treat dandruff?

Treatments are aimed at decreasing the allergic, inflammatory reaction to the yeast and/or decreasing the amount of yeast on the skin.  Topical agents include mid to low potency steroid creams, solutions or ointments and anti fungal shampoos and creams.  In recalcitrant or severe cases, oral anti fungals may be prescribed by Dr. Campbell.


Are there over the counter treatment options available for dandruff?

Dandruff of the scalp and central chest in men does well with prescription strength anti fungal shampoos and liquid steroid solutions, but good over-the-counter options do exists.  Dr. Campbell recommends shampoos with zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole like DHS with Zinc or Nizoral.  

For seborrheic dermatitis of the face, hydrocortisone cream or clotrimazole cream are both readily available over-the-counter and can be applied to scaly, red areas.  Oftentimes, prescription strength treatments are required, so if you are failing to respond to these over-the-counter suggestions, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Campbell for further evaluation.  

 

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