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Dandruff (cont.)

What Are the Next Steps in Treating Dandruff?

The patient may consult a health care practitioner if the dandruff does not respond to over-the-counter therapies. In rare instances, severe dandruff may be a sign of underlying disease such as HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders. In such cases, further lab testing or medical work up may be required.

What Is the Follow-up for Treating Dandruff?

  • Use all shampoos and medications as prescribed and expect gradual improvement.
  • Keep in mind that many people have dandruff, and most individuals do require long-term changes in skin care and a commitment to proper hair and skin hygiene.
  • If prescription medications are not controlling the dandruff or prescription medications are running out, make an appointment with a health care practitioner.
  • See a health care practitioner once or twice a year for this condition. If the condition spreads or changes substantially, make an appointment with a health care practitioner to make sure there are no new conditions or diagnoses.

How Do You Prevent Dandruff?

Practicing good skin and hair hygiene may help prevent flares of dandruff. More regular or frequent shampooing is important during flares.

See self-care at home for other ideas on preventing dandruff flares.

What Is the Prognosis for Dandruff?

The outlook for dandruff is good. Although dandruff is not curable, it is controllable. While the exact cause remains unknown, typically dandruff is easy to control with medicated shampoos and topical cortisone products. Dandruff may spontaneously clear even without treatment. Babies frequently completely outgrow their dandruff or "cradle cap." Since most common dandruff tends to be chronic, this means an individual may have occasional flares and remissions of the symptoms, more at times of poor health or stress.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology


"Seborrheic dermatitis in adolescents and adults"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016

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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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