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Get treatment for your itchy, flaky scalp.

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What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a flaking of the skin that may make your scalp feel itchy. The white or yellow flakes can be annoying. Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a common skin condition that mainly affects the scalp, and may cause stubborn dandruff. Dandruff and SD affect about 50% of the population, most commonly men. For some people, the problem can be lifelong.

Get the Treatment you Need

Treatment for dandruff focuses on clearing signs of the disease, improving symptoms, and maintaining remission with long-term therapy. Alpha Providers may prescribe over-the-counter treatment, prescription medications, or a combination of both.

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  • topical antifungal shampoos containing ketoconazole, bifonazole, miconazole, ciclopirox olamine, selenium sulfide, or zinc pyrithione
  • coal tar 4% shampoos
Corticosteroid Lotions & Gels
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  • betamethasone dipropionate .05%
  • desonide .05%
  • fluocinolone .01%
Tea Tree Oil
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Tea tree oil's antifungal properties are great for helping treat dandruff and sooth inflammation in the scalp.

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Light treatment (phototherapy) with ultraviolet B is sometimes used in severe cases. Alpha does not offer phototherapy, but your Alpha Provider may refer you to a dermatologist for further treatment.

Suffering from dandruff? Alpha Providers can help.

Get Treated
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Learn About Dandruff

Do you have dandruff? What triggers dandruff and when does it happen? Follow tips from our Alpha Providers.

Symptoms and Triggers
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Signs and symptoms may be more severe if you're stressed, and they tend to flare in cold, dry seasons.


  • Skin flakes on your scalp, hair, eyebrows, beard or mustache, and shoulders
  • Itchy scalp


  • Irritated, oily skin
  • Not shampooing enough
  • Dry skin
  • A yeastlike fungus (malassezia) that feeds on oils on the scalps of most adults
  • Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis)
  • Other skin conditions, such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema
Tips & Advice
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Here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology. Sometimes, dandruff is a sign of a medical condition such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections of the scalp, or eczema. Contact your provider if these tips do not help your skin condition.


  • Follow the instructions on the dandruff shampoo bottle. For example, some dandruff shampoos require that you lather the shampoo into the hair and scalp and leave the shampoo in for about five minutes before rinsing. Others should not be left on the scalp
  • If you are Caucasian or Asian, shampoo daily and use dandruff shampoo twice a week. If using one dandruff shampoo does not bring relief, try alternating between dandruff shampoos with different active ingredients
  • If you are African-American, only shampoo once a week using a dandruff shampoo
  • Be careful when using a dandruff shampoo that contains coal tar. Tar shampoo can discolor blonde, grey or white hair, so if you have light-colored hair, you may want to choose a different dandruff shampoo. Tar shampoo also has the potential to make your scalp more sensitive to sunlight. If you use this type of dandruff shampoo, it’s important to protect your scalp from the sun by wearing a hat when outdoors and seeking shade whenever possible

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