The skin on my child's scalp is scaling and flaking. Is this dandruff?

It's not likely, although it is possible. Dandruff is very uncommon in young children. Most often dandruff shows up at puberty, spikes in the teen years, and declines again in adulthood.

What causes dandruff?

An overproduction of skin oil or sebum is thought to be to blame. Dandruff is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.

In addition, the skin cells on the scalp are always shedding, but normally the process isn't visible. Experts believe that an overgrowth of a fungus called malassezia causes the shedding to occur too quickly. If this happens, you may notice white or gray flakes coming off your child's head.

Dandruff isn't contagious or dangerous, but it can be a bit itchy and unsightly.

What else might it be?

Your child may be peeling from a sunburn on his scalp. (Avoid this risk throughout the year by limiting sun exposure and having him wear a hat outdoors.)

You might be using too much shampoo and not rinsing well enough when you wash his hair. (The dried shampoo can come off in flakes that look like dandruff.) Try using only a dime-size dollop of shampoo or less, and spend twice as much time rinsing it out as you do lathering it in.

It's also possible – if you don’t shampoo often enough – that oils and skin cells have built up on the scalp, causing dandruff.

Other possibilities are conditions that can cause scales on the skin, such as eczema or psoriasis. Lice can also cause itching and flaking (from scratching). And if your child is younger than 12 months, it's quite likely that he has cradle cap, a very common condition in babies.

If your child's flaking is accompanied by hair loss in a particular spot and he has swollen glands, he may have ringworm, which is caused by a fungus.

How can I get rid of dandruff?

If you've ruled out other conditions and your child does have a mild case of dandruff, you might try brushing her hair before shampooing and washing it daily with a mild shampoo to remove the excess flakes.

If that doesn't do the trick, try using a medicated dandruff shampoo that contains tar or salicylic acid. (Talk with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure the product you choose is safe for use on your child at her age.) Use this twice a week or more.

You may want to use a gentle shampoo on the other days, at least until the condition has improved. Avoid greasy or oily hair conditioners and styling products – they'll make the dandruff worse.

Should I take my child to the doctor if he has dandruff?

Since dandruff is so unusual in children, it's a good idea to have the doctor take a look at it, especially your child also has severe itching or if you notice any scales, oozing, or very red areas.

Conditions other than dandruff will require a different approach. For ringworm, for example, your child will need medication to get rid of the fungus.

Watch the video: DANDRUFF - The Permanent Solution Naturally at Home Men u0026 Women (December 2021).