Font Size

Dandruff (cont.)

Dandruff Home Remedies

Proper home care often includes daily scalp shampooing with over-the-counter cleansers. The best shampoos for heavy adult dandruff include:

  • Tar-based shampoo
  • Zinc pyrithione shampoo (Head and Shoulders and others)
  • Selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue Shampoo)

All affected areas including the scalp, ears, face, and chest should also be washed with the therapeutic shampoo.

People who shampoo less often (once or twice a week) are usually much more prone to dandruff. Simply increasing shampooing frequency often helps clear mild dandruff. Getting rid of dandruff permanently is not possible.

Skin inflammation may be treated with topical applications of mild over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% over two to four weeks. Apply the cortisone cream sparingly one to two times a day to the affected skin areas to help decrease inflammation.

For face and ear dandruff, washing the areas with a dandruff shampoo may be very helpful. Avoid oily or heavily oiled hair and skin products. Avoid closely fitted hats, caps, head wraps, or helmets.

Eyelid dandruff may be treated with gentle daily applications of baby shampoo. A cotton tip applicator may be used to clean the lash margin while avoiding getting the shampoo directly into the eyes.

"Cradle cap" in babies may be treated with more frequent scalp washing using baby shampoo. For really thick, stuck-on scalp flakes, a small soft toothbrush dipped in warm olive oil can be used to very gently massage away some of the flakes daily or every other day. Care should be taken not to scrub or aggressively rub the fragile scalp skin.

Since dandruff tends to be chronic, the person should not expect an overnight cure or quick response. Dandruff control may require long-term skin and hair care for best results.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/13/2015

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Dandruff (Seborrhea):

Dandruff - Experience

Please describe your experience with dandruff.

Dandruff - Treatment

What was the treatment for your dandruff?

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 »

Medical Dictionary