Monday, April 4, 2011

When Dandruff Shampoos Don't Work

By Melissa Colabella

No matter how amazing your haircut is, the noticeable flakes falling off of your scalp will unfortunately be the only thing that people notice. If you experience "the flakes", perhaps this post will help.

Dandruff is caused by a fungus called Tinea Versicolor, and most medicated shampoos, such as Head & Shoulders and Selsun Blue, are designed to treat this fungus. But what if you've used several "dandruff" shampoos and the flakes are still an issue? Perhaps it's not dandruff.

Scalp Psoriasis and Dermatitis of the Scalp are two very common skin conditions. Scalp Psoriasis is similar to psoriasis that would appear anywhere else on the skin although it's much more difficult to treat, seeing that you can't wear ointments and heavy creams on your scalp during the day. It can feel itchy or sore, appear white, crusty, or scaly, and can bleed when removed. Dermatitis of the Scalp is usually defined as red, greasy skin covered by white or yellow scales.

Treatments to these conditions are similar. Over the counter medicated shampoos, such as T-Gel or Nizoral, may relieve some of the inflammation. Look for products containing ketoconazole, tar, or salicylic acid. Also, your physician can prescribe an oral medication or steroids if needed.