Do I Have Dandruff Of Just a Dry Scalp?

In commercials, dandruff is regularly depicted as a dramatic, horrifying, embarrassing experience – often caught due to an individual’s flaky shoulders. Those commercials typically end in a cheery party scene where the person is revealed to be flake-free after applying the proper dandruff shampoo. Those commercials have entered our collective zeitgeist, making people incredibly familiar with dandruff and its treatments. However, on the first site of flaky hair, many people now rush out and buy these shampoos, not realizing that they could simply have dry scalp and not dandruff!

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is a chronic condition that causes oily yellow or gray flakes to shed from your scalp, coupled with itching. It is typically caused by a fungal or bacterial infection. Improper shampooing or excessive hair products can cause dandruff as well. Often, medicated shampoo is needed to remove dandruff. Other remedies include tea tree oil, regular hair washing, or an improved diet.

What is dry scalp?

Many people who think that they have dandruff actually just have dry scalp. You’ll see small white flakes of skin from your scalp that are caused by a lack of moisture. It usually coincides with the changing of seasons or with the use of harsh hair products. The dry harsh winter conditions can bring this condition out for a lot of people. Dry scalp rarely requires medicated shampoo. Typically, better hydration can help. Avoiding overly hot showers and applying natural oils to the scalp can resolve the issue as well.

Hair issues can be embarrassing and unsightly. If your hair seems to be raining flakes and you’re not sure whether it’s dandruff or dry scalp, especially if you’ve already tried everything, it’s always best to consult with a dermatologist. Here at Old Bridge Dermatology, our dermatologist, Dr. Juan Vaillant, has over 30 years of experience to help assess and treat dry scalp or dandruff, or any other skin, nail, or hair problem that you may be experiencing. To schedule an appointment at our convenient Old Bridge, NJ office, call us today at 732-679-0222.