Almost any adult is a candidate for dandruff, but certain factors can
make you more susceptible:
Dandruff usually begins at puberty — about the same time as
It's common throughout adolescence and young adulthood and peaks
around age 40. But older adults aren't immune, and for some people,
the problem can be lifelong.
Because far more men than women have dandruff, some researchers
think male hormones may play a role in dandruff. Men also have
larger sebaceous glands that produce an oil called sebum.
Oily hair and
Malassezia feeds on oils in your scalp. For that reason, having
excessively oily skin and hair makes you more prone to dandruff.
For reasons that aren't clear, adults with neurologic diseases such
as Parkinson's disease are more likely to develop seborrheic
dermatitis and dandruff. So are people recovering from stressful
conditions, particularly heart attack and stroke, and those with
immune systems compromised by HIV infection or AIDS.
When to seek medical advice
Most cases of dandruff don't require a doctor's care. But if you're
still scratching your head after several weeks of experimenting with
over-the-counter (OTC) dandruff shampoos, or if your scalp becomes red
or inflamed, see your doctor or dermatologist. You may have seborrheic
dermatitis or another condition that resembles dandruff. Most often,
your doctor can diagnose the problem simply by looking at your hair and