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3 questions to an expert

An anti-dandruff treatment must be adapted to the specific type of dandruff

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Dandruff is made up of clusters of dead skin cells that cover the scalp. Many people consult their doctors for this frequent disorder, which is associated with scalp irritation and itchiness. How can we get rid of dandruff? Here is the advice given by a dermatologist.

Are there different types of dandruff?

On dry scalps, dandruff is made up of dry, small, fine white flakes that easily shed

and are thus visible on dark clothing. On oilier scalps, the flakes are larger and thicker and tend to stick to the scalp at the base of the hair. Dandruff can also be accompanied by an itchy scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is dandruff at its worst, causing the skin around the hairline to become red and flaky.

What solutions do you recommend?

I first explain that the primary cause of dandruff :

is yeast called Pityrosporum ovale, which naturally lives in the hair follicles.  When it multiplies, it causes inflammation and desquamation. I recommend that my patients regularly use a keratolytic and antifungal shampoo (LHA™keratolytic lipophile, piroctone-olamine). For more severe forms of dandruff, I prescribe antifungal lotions (ketoconazole, ciclopiroxolamine) and sometimes I use a short term, topical treatment with dermocorticoids to relieve inflammation. In all cases, the treatment must be adapted to the specific type of dandruff.

What advice do you give your patients?

I explain that it is essential to choose an effective anti-dandruff shampoo,

which has good cosmetic qualities so that it doesn’t dry out the hair and is both gentle and effective. It must be specially formulated to prevent an increase in seborrhea, due to the elimination of sebum (reactive seborrhea). An anti-dandruff shampoo must be left on the hair for at least 5 minutes for the active ingredients to optimally work. In all cases, a hair care maintenance treatment is necessary to prevent dandruff from coming back.

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