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What causes dandruff?

Despite what you may have heard, dandruff is actually not caused by dry skin but rather by a specific type of fungus or yeast. While dandruff does cause flaky scales of skin to shed off of the top of a person’s head, dandruff is actually due to the interplay between yeast organisms and natural oil glands. Unfortunately there is no genuine cure for dandruff, but it can be controlled by using special shampoos containing zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, coal tar, or ketoconazole. To be effective, these products typically need to remain on the skin for several minutes before being washed away. In fact, the scalp is not the only place that dandruff can occur! Dandruff can also manifest on a person’s eyebrows, mustache, and beard area, as well as the ears and the nose.


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