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Dandruff (Seborrheic Dermatitis)

  • Flaking in the scalp is most often due to seborrheic dermatitis (seborrhoeic dermatitis) and the scientific term for dandruff is Pityriasis simplex capitis.
  • It is associated with the presence of a yeast called Malassezia.



  • On the scalp it creates redness and flaking.
  • The redness (erythema) can be severe enough to cause itching.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis can present in other areas of the body (as erythema and/or flaking) such as the face, and torso.



  • There are other causes or redness and itching in the scalp and the dermatologist (skin doctor) will examine the scalp and body to exclude other conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections…



  • When the diagnosis is made, the dermatologist will prescribe medication. Sometimes, washing the hair more often will solve the problem – however it can make the problem worse if the flaking is not due to seborrheic dermatitis.



General information on inflammatory skin conditions of the scalp