Itchy, irritating and embarrassing, this is how we describe one of the most common scalp problems – Dandruff.  It is characterized by the flaking of the skin in your scalp with some itchiness. Causes of dandruff include dry skin, irritated and oily skin (seborrheic dermatitis), not shampooing often enough (at least once a day), psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis), and a yeast-like fungus (malassezia).

Most cases of dandruff can be treated with over the counter dandruff shampoos and proper hygiene. You may choose from the following recommended anti-dandruff shampoos to see which one would best suit your scalp.

  1. Clear, Head & Shoulders. These contain zinc pyrithione, an antibacterial and antifungal agent which can reduce the fungus on your scalp that causes dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
  2. Neutrogena T/Gel). A tar based shampoo which slows down the death of skin cells in your scalp and flaking.  Good for conditions with dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
  3. Selsun Blue.  It has selenium sulfide as an active ingredients which delays the death of skin cells and may lessen malassezia(yeast like-fungus) growth in your scalp. However, selenium sulfide shampoo may discolor blond, gray or chemically colored hair so users are directed to follow bottle instructions and rinse well after shampooing.
  4. Nizoral.  If you are having difficulties in finding the anti-dandruff shampoo that works for you, you can turn to
    Ketoconazole shampoos. Nizoral has Ketoconazole which is a known broad-spectrum antifungal agent that can treat most dandruff conditions.
  5. Avon Naturals Shampoo w/ tea tree oil. For those who prefer shampoo with natural ingredients they can try shampoo with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic, antibiotic and antifungal properties.  However, the oil may cause allergic reactions to some people.

In cases wherein dandruff is simply caused by dry skin, a regular moisturizing shampoo will do.  For those who have oily flakes, it’s most likely seborrheic dermatitis and regular use of anti-dandruff shampoo can help prevent recurrence.  If your condition does not improve after several weeks of homecare and dandruff shampoo treatment or if your scalp becomes red or swollen you need to see your doctor or dermatologist.