Why Do I Have Dandruff And How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Published: August 05, 2013
Dear Why Do I Have Dandruff And How Do I Get Rid Of It?,

Why do I have dandruff and what can I do to get rid of it? It's really embarrassing!!

Dear Why Do I Have Dandruff And How Do I Get Rid Of It?,

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that can start in early adolescence and continue throughout adulthood. People with dandruff may experience an itchy scalp or dandruff flakes that rub off the head easily. It is not a serious medical condition – most people bothered by it just find it either a nuisance or embarrassing. There is no cure for dandruff, but there are ways of better controlling it.

What causes dandruff?

According to the Mayo Clinic, dandruff can be caused by dry skin, oily skin, not shampooing often enough, psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity to hair care products, or a yeast-like fungus known as malassezia.

How is dandruff treated?

Mild cases of dandruff often improve from daily shampooing with a gentle cleanser. Other cases of dandruff might require medicated shampoos for any improvement to occur. Start out with some over-the-counter dandruff shampoos to see if one improves the condition for you. If after several weeks, there is no improvement, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about a prescription-strength shampoo.

Mayo Clinic also recommends these lifestyle and home remedies to help with dandruff:

  • Find healthy ways of managing stress
  • Shampoo often
  • Do not overuse styling products
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get a little sun


For more information, read the article on Dandruff on the Young Men’s Health website through Boston Children’s Hospital. 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network primary care physicians or dermatologists.