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Fight Dandruff

It happens to most of us at some time or another and, in winter,  it is more common: dandruff!

There are a multitude of anti-dandruff products on the market and here are some tips to make the most of those over-the-counter shampoos:

1) Don’t rush the process. It’s important to lather and leave shampoos on for five minutes before rinsing.
2) Remember that anti-dandruff shampoos are treatments for the scalp, not your hair, so make sure you are getting the lather directly on the scalp skin.  If you don’t like how your hair smells or feels after using one of these shampoos, you can follow with your preferred shampoo or conditioner.
3) It can help to get two or three different anti-dandruff shampoos (with different main ingredients) and alternate between them (e.g. use two or three different shampoos in a given week). The reason this strategy can work is because the various ingredients target different aspects of dandruff:

  • Salicylic acid: helps to loosen flakes to reduce buildup
  • Zinc pyrithione: with anti-yeast, antifungal and antibacterial properties, zinc pyrithione also helps regulate oil production and control flakes.
  • Selenium sulfide: has anti-yeast properties and reduces flaking
  • Coal tar: helps decrease flaking and build-up
  • Antifungal shampoos: these reduce yeast and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Tea Tree Oil: has antifungal and antibacterial properties
  • Neem oil: has anti-fungal properties

4) Finally, apply a moisturizing scalp oil (such as jojoba oil) overnight or at least one hour before washing. The oil helps to moisturize the scalp and loosen flakes so they can be washed away.


Rehana Ahmed, MD, PhD

Rehana Ahmed, MD, PhD

Dr. Rehana Ahmed’s clinical expertise includes pediatric, general, surgical and cosmetic dermatology with special interests in skin cancer surgery/Mohs micrographic surgery, laser treatments and cosmetic procedures, including BOTOX®, Radiesse, Sculptra, Juvederm, Voluma, and CoolGlide laser hair removal.  Dr. Ahmed is available for appointments in our Minnetonka and Burnsville locations.

Dr. Ahmed attended the Johns Hopkins University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Behavioral Biology. She graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and her residency in Dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ahmed is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota, where she is active in research. Dr. Ahmed was born and raised in Minneapolis. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. She is married and is the proud mother of a sweet baby boy.