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What is dandruff?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Despite dandruff shampoo commercials that portray those tiny white flakes as a shameful secret, the truth is that as many as 1/3 of people have dandruff. It's common, easy to treat, and easy to prevent.

What happens A yeast called malessizia makes a meal of the oils in your scalp, causing your skin cells to die, flake off, and flutter down to your shoulders like snow.

What it looks and feels like Scales on your scalp that itch or telltale white specks on your shoulders.

How to treat and prevent it Try an over-the-counter zinc shampoo or make your own tea tree oil solution by mixing regular shampoo with 10 drops of tea tree oil in your palm. A diet lacking in B vitamins can make you more susceptible, so bone up on your Bs (try Tempeh, a protein made from fermented soy beans that has a nutty flavor and is rich in B12).
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
Mistakenly attributed to dryness because of the flaking it causes, dandruff is caused by inflammation in the scalp. The microscopic scales accumulate and then fall off in visible flakes.

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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.