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Dandruff (cont.)

Exams and Tests

Dandruff is generally fairly easy to diagnose. A medical professional can usually identify dandruff by looking at the rash and asking questions about how it appeared.

In rare instances, highly atypical cases may require more exams and tests including skin scrapings, microscopic evaluation, blood tests, and skin biopsies. A health care practitioner may scrape some scales off the rash and look at them under the microscope to make sure the rash is not caused by a fungus. A very small piece of skin may be taken (a biopsy) for microscopic examination to exclude other causes like psoriasis, lupus, and skin diseases.

Other possible conditions that may have similar signs and symptoms are:

  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Tinea Capitis (fungal scalp and hair infection)
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Xerosis
  • (dry skin)
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Sebopsoriasis
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • (acne like rash around the mouth and chin)
  • Acne
  • Lupus
  • Photodermatitis
  • (sunlight induced rash)

The four key features of dandruff are:

  • Dry, white skin flakes on any hair bearing parts of the body
  • Scaly skin by the eyebrows, ears, and nose
  • White flakes on clothes
  • Itchy or scaly scalp
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/29/2014

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Dandruff - Experience

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Seborrheic Dermatitis »

Seborrheic dermatitis is a papulosquamous disorder patterned on the sebum-rich areas of the scalp, face, and trunk.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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