Dandruff (Pityriasis capitis) is the excessive flaking of dead skin that form on the scalp. As it is normal for skin cells to die and flake off, a small amount of flaking is normal and in fact quite common.

Some people, however, either chronically or as a result of certain triggers, experience an unusually large amount of flaking, which can be not only a visual nuisance, but is also often accompanied by redness and irritation.

Dandruff can also be a symptom of a more serious condition. Care should be taken not to confuse a simple case of dandruff with other conditions that also cause flaking of the scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis.

With all forms of dandruff, as any other rash, excessive scratching should be avoided. Scratching to the point of causing breaks in the skin can increase the risk for infections, particularly from staph and strep bacteria.

Most cases of dandruff can be treated with the proper shampoo.

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