when people think they have a dry scalp it’s usually because they see white flakes. but did you know there’s virtually no suchthing as a dry scalp? let me tell you what it really is and howto fix it. in the dermtv episode on dry facial skin,

fucidin, i explained that flaking on the face, whichcan look like dry skin, is often dandruff. sure, the skin on your face can be dry andtherefore flaky, especially on your cheeks, but in other placesit’s often actually dandruff.

but what about flaking on your scalp? is that a dry scalp, or is it dandruff again? this one’s easy, because 99% of the timeit’s not dry skin on your scalp… it’s almost always dandruff. you see, if you’re not bald, if you havehair on your scalp, it’s almost impossible to have dry skinthere. so if you see flaking on your scalp, it’s actually dandruff even if you see flaking that looks just like the flaking from dryskin.

here, it’s the result of excess oil, not on the surface of the scalp, but underneathit. that excess oil causes inflammation which results in a little bit of redness,a little bit of swelling, and then causes the skin to be shed prematurely... while on the other hand, normal skin cellsfall off on time and invisibly. but when the skin cells fall off early, they don’t have a chance to separate fromeach other completely so they fall off in tiny mini sheets whichare the flakes that you see.

well that’s really good news, because ifit were dry skin, how could you ever apply a moisturizer toyour scalp without really messing up your hair? fortunately, the treatment of dandruff-inducedscalp flaking is easily accomplished with shampoos, so we usually don’t need to apply lotionsor creams to your scalp. instead, buy an over-the-counter shampoo whose active ingredient is either tar, salicylicacid, zinc, or selenium and use it daily for 5-7 days.

to use it, lather it up for a minute, thenrinse out, and then lather up again for a half a minutebefore rinsing a final time. that will usually control the dandruff


so you can then use the shampoo less frequently. and since the flaking isn’t dry skin, you don’t have to worry about drying outyour scalp from shampooing every day!

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