July 19, 2020

What’s Best for Dandruff That Won’t Go Away?

The short answer from a dermatologist

Dandruff in hair

Q: What do you recommend for resistant dandruff?

A: Skin or scalp dandruff (also called seborrheic dermatitis) is very common. In fact, about 11% of the population has this condition. We see it not just on the scalp, but also on the eyebrows, around the nose, on the ears and chest and around the mouth. Having dandruff doesn’t mean the skin is dirty or infected.

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Typically, we first treat seborrheic dermatitis with anti-dandruff shampoos that you can buy over the counter. For resistant cases, however, we may prescribe an antifungal product called ketoconazole (Nizoral®), available in a 2% formulation as a shampoo or cream. We may also prescribe you medicated foam, cream or solution.

What’s most important is to realize that this condition is intermittent and chronic — meaning it comes and goes over long periods of time. Continuing to use the medications recommended to you will help minimize the recurrence of this otherwise chronic condition.

— Dermatologist Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD

Advertisement

Related Articles

Smiling person holding small container of moisturizer close to face, with product applied to face
February 1, 2024
What Does Vitamin B5 Do for Your Hair and Skin?

Pantothenol is a powerful moisturizer and can help repair damaged skin and hair

woman dyeing her hair
October 24, 2023
Can Hair Dye Increase Cancer Risk?

Research shows some associations and concerns, but no definitive connections

bowl of jojoba oil next to jojoba fruit pods and leaves
July 25, 2023
How Jojoba Oil Benefits Your Hair and Skin

The powerhouse oil fights fine lines and wrinkles, soothes sunburn and a whole lot more

person holding 2 containers of collagen
May 30, 2023
Collagen Won’t Hurt Hair Growth, But It Probably Won’t Help Either

Try limiting heat styling and eating a healthy diet instead

Rosemary oil in an essentials oil vial with rosemary clippings in the background.
March 30, 2023
Growth Market: How Rosemary Oil Can Help Your Hair

Studies show that the herby oil can lead to longer, healthier hair

Person using electric razer to trim mustache and beard on face.
January 10, 2023
Will Shaving Make Your Hair Grow Back Thicker?

Though this is a myth, the ‘stubble stage’ struggle is real, but moisturizing can help

Person applying hair oil to scalp.
August 30, 2022
Hair Oiling: Should You Try It?

Hair type, medical conditions, age and ethnicity all might play a role

Bottle of argan oil with eye dropper for hair.
July 31, 2022
5 Skin and Hair Benefits of Argan Oil

Get a hydration boost from this liquid gold

Trending Topics

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try

Exercise and diet over three months is hard to accomplish.
Everything You Need To Know About the 75 Hard Challenge

Following five critical rules daily for 75 days may not be sustainable

Person in foreground standing in front of many presents with person in background holding gift bags.
What Is Love Bombing?

This form of psychological and emotional abuse is often disguised as excessive flattery

Ad