Dandruff is seen as white or yellow flakes seen on your shoulders or in your hair.

Dandruff flakes are actually dead skin cells that fall off your scalp. When you have dandruff, your scalp may look scaly or red and feel itchy or raw. Scratching or rubbing your head loosens the flakes.

Does having dandruff mean dirty hair?

Dandruff doesn't mean you have dirty hair.

If you already have dandruff, not washing your hair enough can make your dandruff look worse because dead skin cells build up.

What Causes Dandruff?

Dandruff is believed to be caused by a fungus called Mallessezia furfur. This fungus usually lives on your skin, but too much fungus may lead to dandruff.

Being exposed to a lot of dry air can cause skin to dry out and flake, which can look like dandruff.

Dandruff tends to be worse during dry months. Cold, dry winter weather in particular can make dandruff worse.

Sensitivity to hair care products (contact dermatitis). Sometimes sensitivities to certain ingredients in hair care products or hair dyes, especially paraphenylenediamine, can cause a red, itchy, scaly scalp.

Shampooing too often or using too many styling products also may irritate your scalp, causing dandruff.

Stress or fatigue can trigger or aggravate it, too.

Dietary deficiency of zinc and a diet excess in saturated fats, refined sugars adds to the dandruff problem

Are there other conditions that lead to a flaky scalp?

Skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis can cause a buildup of dead skin cells on the scalp.

People with serious medical problems such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and HIV are prone to developing dandruff.

And, for unclear reasons, people recovering from a stroke, heart attack, or head injury are also more likely to have dandruff.

Can Dandruff occur on any other body parts?

Dandruff can also occur on forehead, eyebrows, eyelashes, or ears. Flaky skin on your chest -- or anywhere you have body hair -- could be a sign of dandruff, which is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.

Do babies also get dandruff?

When babies have seborrheic dermatitis, it's called cradle cap. The brown or yellow scales may be itchy.

You may find it on the skin of a baby's scalp, eyelids, nose, and groin area.

Cradle cap normally clears up on its own by the time the baby is 8 to 12 months old.

Try putting vegetable oil on the baby's scalp for 10 minutes, then washing with a mild baby shampoo.

Is dandruff harmful?

Although having dandruff can be embarrassing, it's harmless.

Can Dandruff cause hair fall?

Dandruff doesn't directly cause hair loss, but scratching your scalp a lot could cause temporary hair loss.

Is Dandruff contagious?

Dandruff is not contagious: You can't catch it or pass it along to someone else.

Does wearing a helmet or cap cause dandruff?

Wearing a hat will not cause dandruff but it will aggravate the dandruff condition by not allowing sweat to evaporate.

Can blow drying reduce dandruff?

Blow drying may make your hair look beautiful for sometime, but it only damages your hair in the long run.

It never contributes in the reduction of dandruff.

Will Dandruff treatment decolorize my colour- treated hair?

Most of the anti-dandruff shampoos available today are colour-friendly. They do not decolorize your perfectly coloured hair. You need not worry while treating dandruff about your coloured hair.

How do I use anti-dandruff shampoo?

Gently rub the shampoo into your scalp using the pads of your fingers. Leave the shampoo on your head for five minutes -- or as directed -- before you rinse. If you prefer the smell of your normal shampoo and conditioner, you can use those afterward. As your dandruff gets better, you may not need to use dandruff shampoo as often.

Do I need to visit a Dermatologist for dandruff?

Sometimes what seems like dandruff can be an entirely different condition.

Head lice are itchy and lay eggs that look like dandruff, but they're harder to shake off or brush out. Or your scalp could be itching from ringworm, a fungus that causes dandruff-like flakes.

With ringworm, you might also have round patches of hair loss and blistered, scaly areas on your scalp.

If you've been using a dandruff shampoo for several weeks but still have dandruff, visit a Dermatologist.

You should also see a doctor if your scalp is swollen or red, if your hair is falling out, or if you have a red, scaly rash on other parts of your body.