What is Dandruff? Dandruff is a common chronic condition of the scalp characterized by an increase in scaling. It is considered to be a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis. A majority of the world’s population has been affected by dandruff at some point, primarily in adolescence. The incidence has been found to be greater in men.

The pathophysiology of dandruff suggests the involvement of the yeast Malassezia, which has been found in nearly double levels in this condition. In terms of non-microbial etiologies, exposure to sunlight has been implicated in the desquamation of the scalp.


Management of Dandruff

There is no cure for dandruff and current treatments are focused on the management of symptoms or controlling Malassezia.  

  • Topical antifungals- ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, terbinafine, and ciclopirox.
  • Keratolytic agents- selenium sulfide, tar.
  • Topical corticosteroids.
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors- tacrolimus and pimecrolimus.
  • Anti-sebum agents

Source: Sheth, U., & Dande, P. (2020). Pityriasis capitis : Causes, pathophysiology, current modalities, and future approach. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 20(1), 35–47. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.1348