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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Severe Dandruff
November 2002

Q. I am a 23-years-old adult Indian and have a severe dandruff problem, I have adopted many remedies to prevent it but all in vain. I am hopeless now, because it is causing hair loss. Is their any prevention to dandruff?

A. Dandruff is a common condition usually considered to be a form of seborrheic dermatitis. It is characterized by dry, scaly scalp, sometimes accompanied by itching and redness. At times, similar skin conditions can be found on the face and arms. There may be a genetic component, and the condition can be aggravated by using skin care products that are too drying.

A variety of shampoo products are available that are helpful in many, but not all, cases. These contain one of the following ingredients: selenium, zinc, salicylic acid, or coal tar. Prescription medications contain cortisone or anti-fungal compounds. Difficult cases are usually managed by dermatologists.



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