Dandruff is the normal shedding of the scalp. Skin is constantly regenerating itself. On most of the body's surface the flakes of dead skin fall to the ground without fanfare, but in the hair they may accumulate. Some children shed skin faster than others and that makes dandruff more noticeable.
The key to fighting dandruff is removing the flakes as fast as they form by washing the hair every day. A regular shampoo usually works fine. Eventually you may be able to wash your child's hair every other day without seeing dandruff, but you will probably never be able to wash it less often than that.
If your child's scalp is red and irritated, use a medicated shampoo for 3 days. Your pharmacist can help you select one. These shampoos don't require a prescription. They will remove the dandruff and also cut down on the rate of shedding. After lathering the hair with a medicated shampoo, let it soak in for 3 minutes before rinsing.
That should take care of it, but if your youngster is still troubled by dandruff, talk to you healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.