DANDRUFF

Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common skin disorder of unknown cause but believed to be inherited.

It is common in infants and may involve most areas of the body. Cradle cap is a form of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

It is uncommon in childhood, but again makes its appearance in middle and late adolescence when there is great activity in the skin’s sebaceous or oil glands. This is also why acne is common at this age.

Dandruff is a form of this dermatitis. There is little inflammation and the skin of the scalp is rarely reddened but there is an increased turnover in the number of skin cells. More dead cells or scales are shed, flakes of dandruff may be combed or brushed out or may drop on to the shoulders and the scalp is often itchy. There are available from the chemist or even the supermarket a number of shampoos, lotions and creams which are effective in controlling many cases of dandruff.

The doctor can usually rapidly control the more severe cases by the use of cortisone applied to the scalp in the form of creams, ointments, lotions or a gel. Once the scaling is under control, a weaker cortisone or non-cortisone preparation may continue to keep it at bay.

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