What are the treatment options for dandruff?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Mild cases of dandruff do not generally require medical evaluation. These cases can usually be managed effectively by cleaning the affected area on a daily basis with a mild shampoo. If this proves insufficient, there are a variety of over-the-counter treatment options that can be tried. More severe forms of dandruff, particularly when associated with other symptoms, should be treated by a qualified healthcare professional and may require prescription medication.

Medicated shampoos containing coal tar (Ionil T, T/Gel, Pentrax), salicylic acid (X-Seb T Plus, Meted), selenium (Selsun Blue), zinc (Head & Shoulders, ZNP) or sulfur (Sebulex) can help control dandruff. For best results, buy two or three types and alternate them. Prescription shampoos and topical steroid medications may be necessary in difficult-to-treat cases.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.