DermTV – How to Soothe and Repair an Itchy and Flaky Scalp [DermTV.Com Epi #026]

DermTV – How to Soothe and Repair an Itchy and Flaky Scalp [DermTV.Com Epi #026]

Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] and welcome to DermTV. How do you fix a dry, flaky, itchy scalp?
Very simply, just shampoo it. What do flakes represent, whether they’re
on your face or on your scalp? Flakes represent large clumps of dead cells.
Normally, as your skin matures, and the dead cells fall off, they
fall off in very tiny, microscopic cells. You can’t see them. But
when they come off prematurely, before they have a chance to separate one
from the other, then they come off in clumps, and these clumps are recognized
as flakes. And flaking is actually usually caused by inflammation, not
by dryness, so what does flaking from the scalp represent? It’s actually
dandruff, and dandruff is the result of inflammation from excess oil.
The excess oil on the bottom of the scalp causes inflammation and that results
in a little bit of redness, a little bit of swelling, and actually the
skin is then shed prematurely in these flakes. How do we control this inflammation
and the oil imbalance? Very simply, by shampooing. Start with your
regular shampoo. Shampoo every day. Lather up for a minute, rinse it out.
Lather up for another minute. And don’t be concerned that you’re going
to cause dryness in your scalp because the flaking that you see, it’s not
dryness, it’s really inflammation. If your regular shampoo doesn’t
do the trick after about two weeks, then try a medicated shampoo. There
are many over-the-counter medicated shampoos that work. They are aesthetically
elegant. They often contain either tar, salicylic acid, selenium
or zinc. Again, give them two weeks and, if that doesn’t solve your problem
of dry, flaking or itching in your scalp, it’s time to see your dermatologist
who will prescribe topical medications to control your problem.


  • sharla Batangan says:

    Thanks this helped alot because I have this on my scalp too.

  • Stefan Sigfinnsson says:

    7 years ago or so a doctor advised me to use T/gel 1-2 times a week,Fungoral 1 time a week and something like Head and Shoulders other days. It cured the red sometimes hard and itchy scalp but the flakes increased like crazy. Then after less than a year I changed to only Head and Shoulders and it worked miracle. Only now and then tiny flakes and red scalp at the forehead. But now(been -4Β°C but not colder than other winters) the last month everything is coming back.

  • Stefan Sigfinnsson says:

    And I have just been using Head and Shoulders all these last 6 years for like 5 times a week. What method has worked for you ? Thanks. And also styling gel,wax and sprays just seem to cause itchy scalp if I don't rinse it off after before I go to sleep(like I want to do that coming home from partying late in the morning).

  • Temicka says:

    Im black, so i cant shampoo everyday or my hair will be stiff and dry. What about for African Amerian hair?

  • Ceci Rang says:

    This definitely doesn't work for most black people. I'm black also. I have seborrheic dermatitis (on face, ears, scalp) and found the best thing for it is sulfur. Try a sulfur shampoo like Sebulex. I make my own 10% sulfur shampoo and lotion. I was my hair 1-2 times a week. It has worked better than any prescribed medicine's I've used and I've had this condition for over 20 years. Good Luck. πŸ™‚

  • navylaks2 says:

    can you have both psoriasis and seborhoric dematitis?

  • moakleydakota says:


  • navylaks2 says:

    my skindoctor tells me that the treatment is allmost the same is that true?

  • dermTVdotcom says:

    @navylaks2: You can have each in different parts of your body, but not inο»Ώ the same area.

  • dermTVdotcom says:

    @navylaks2: If you are referring to Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis, then the treatment may be the same depending upon the severity of each condition.

  • LittleMissCheivious says:

    what if your hair is already dry?

  • Mohsin Yuznaii says:

    I've been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis; Can that affect the scalp as well?

  • bjrule211 says:

    Hey Dr iv been itching all over lately even my head i dont have lice or any thing in my room or bed but i get these bites on my neck and then i start to itch all over crazy is that a sign of anything? Mambey stress?

  • Gucci Del Taco says:

    @bbnne1–I would then get a good conditioner, but don't put it on the scalp, just the hair away from the scalp, esp. toward the ends. When you go to condition, leave it on for 2 or 3 min. before rinsing it off. I have heard this in several places, and it seems to work for me.

  • ICantBelieveitsNappy says:

    well ill b dam!!!

  • carguyswife says:

    @lasoreal hi there! what natural oils do u use on your skin?

  • Anton LaVey says:

    I've had really serious scalp flakes for years. I would control it by scraping them off before I got in the shower. This became routine for years. February of this year I hurt my lower back while playing football. I didn't have insurance, but I knew I had to do something about it. I bought an INVERSION TABLE at the local sporting goods store for $100 bucks. Not only did it help my back pain, but it unintentionally cured my scalp issues. Try it.

  • 5:35 says:

    THeres so many different ways ive seen to cure it! what should i do! im a dude and i usually have long hair and i got it cut at the beginning of the school year. i use this styling wax to spike it and now that its almost winter ive notice that its becoming itchy and i have some flakes but not many. i know it not dandruff but i want to know the BEST way to get rid of it. i also dont know if its cause of winter, not cleaning the wax out all the way or too much shampoo. ive been using lukewarm

  • 5:35 says:

    water now and Aussie shampoo but im gonna stop that cause i read the ingredients. i honestly dont know what to do and i really need help. thanks

  • piggiesmalls4 says:

    i used Selsun Blue "Normal to oily" (turquoise cap), and it smells HORRIBLE!! Although, I was determined to get rid of my dandruff so I used it for 4 months, in the beginning using it every time I washed my hair (which was every day or every other day) then gradually using it every other shampoo. Now my scalp is pretty much dandruff free, but the stench of the Selsun Blue still lurks in my hair even though I haven't used it for a couple of weeks now. What can i do to get rid of it? Any products?

  • CBlabsxxx says:

    hi im a 15 y/o girl and i think i may have dandruff. my hair is very VERY itchy but its ONLY at my hairline then as a result of frustrated itching becomes red and WHITE flakes fall but der not oily.i also noticed as you briefly mentioned, i also have it on my EYEBROWS and NOSE (which i thought was only dry skin but obv not?) what is this then?? im using t-gel by nurtrogena but no major results. please PLEASE please explaine as best you can what i have and what i should do about it πŸ™‚

  • Kedra Starr,. says:

    my hair doesnt have dandruff or flaking but it itches and idk why

  • Derek Zephaniah says:

    i find you helpful but i couldn't stop laughing at "Your Problem"

  • Mkj says:

    Use Selsun Blue. for 2 weeks, everyday. and really scrub. it should start going away. I use to do it and it started going away then i got lazy -___-'

  • Big Jon says:

    i am a 44 y.o. african american woman, who can't b washing my hair every day. i do not have the time.not to mention the fact that i do not have long flowing beautiful hair that can just wash and go. i need alot of styling products, flat irons, blow dryers etc. and so the most i could do is maybe twice a week. so how can i treat my scalp?

  • Angel Masters says:

    Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Monica Hernandez says:

    I have tried so many shampoos and visited several dermatologists. NOTHING has stopped my dandruff. I don't shampoo everyday, though, but every other day. If I shampoo everyday, the ends of my hair are going to look horrible.
    Tea tree shampoo does any good to dandruff? I just started using one I bought at wholefoods.

  • Jalen Rice says:

    @temickab after washing your hair you put grease in it

  • Temicka says:

    @mofohofo grease is torture to my scalp! It has mineral oil and petrolatum that will clog my scalp and make it worse. So grease doesnt work for me.

  • Jalen Rice says:

    @temickab oh well… try olive oil since its all natural idk what else u can use

  • N Yvette C says:

    umm what about african american hair that is relaxed. We can't wash our hair everyday!

  • KeyMrLock says:

    can you use conditioner as well as the shampoo?

  • Angela Womack says:

    Help me with my hair

  • Aman D says:

    @dermTVdotcom Would the shampoo TRESemme work????

  • Amy Jo Torbett says:

    Sorry but not for girls with long hair.We wash every other day…

  • laffy claff says:

    That is untrue. Water is the staff of life and necessary for afro textured hair (or any hair) to thrive and retain moisture. Cleaning your scalp often whether with shampoo, ayurvedic powders, rinses or conditioners is crucial to proper scalp health and hair growth. How often you clean your scalp and hair is dependent on the products you use and your lifestyle (maybe you're an athlete who sweats a lot & need to wash your hair often), not what texture your hair is.

  • averywright says:

    it is true.. black people cant wash there hair everyday, i think we should know, we are black!!

  • J White says:

    Thank you

  • M Kungkagete says:

    i don't know if these are the flakes in my hair

  • Chief Redfern says:

    I shampoo every day but my scalp is still itchy and I have lots of dandruff.

  • Will smith says:

    i wash my hair daily, and i scrub my scalp with my fingers so as to remove the dandruff. it stops itching for a while after i shampoo it, but it started again after 1/2 hr. what can i do. pls help….!! its been tormenting me for quite some time now… thanks..

  • TehProject Isolate says:

    omfg I thought Putiing johndons baby oil would help

  • Corbin Dallas says:

    Thnx for the information. I just remembered I heard how well u rinse out the shampoo also matters.

  • Corbin Dallas says:


  • Corbin Dallas says:

    Why do ppl keep saying what do i do? He said if this doesn't help see a doctor.. thas all he can do……..unless u want him to come to your house. ~_O

  • Noba Egy says:

    Mitt Romany 00:10

  • Kapil Kumar says:

    Itchy scalp is caused due to constipation/ irritable bowel syndrome

  • peekaboo says:

    i'm out to buy kerastase super expensive shampoo for my itchy flaky scalp

  • peekaboo says:

    btw my hair is dryish my scalp is not oily at all … i washed it last on wednesday and now saturday it's dry flaky.

  • Cruz Troop says:

    Wow i thought it was the opposite!

  • Sarah Longoria says:

    What if your scalp is itchy but there's no flakes or anything? It's been a week and I'm tired of the itchiness!! πŸ™

  • MOMMYkillest says:

    But I don't know what shampoo I wanna use. There's too many and especially new ones with cones in them which just coat the scalp and clog the pores. Any recommendations?

  • Barack Obama says:

    I'm 12 years old and I have dreadlocks, I've been noticing a lot a this pre-mature flaking, what should I do?

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