Ask the doctors

Q. I have terrible dandruff that just doesn’t seem to ever clear up. What can I do to treat it?

A. For most people, using a dandruff shampoo once or twice a week can control this annoying condition, in which the skin on the scalp becomes dry and flakes off. But in some cases, the condition doesn’t clear up and actually requires medical attention.

This may be the case when dandruff is the symptom of another medical problem, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, or a fungal infection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

So, if you’ve treated your scalp regularly with a dandruff shampoo and aren’t seeing results, it may be worth paying a visit to your dermatologist. She or he can determine if you’re dealing with simple dandruff or something else that requires another treatment.

— by Hope Ricciotti, M.D., and Toni Golen, M.D.
Editors in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Image: Irina Griskova/Getty Images

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