My teenage son has developed dandruff. Is it contagious, and what can we do about it?

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My teenage son has developed dandruff. Is it contagious, and what can we do about it?

By Debra Jaliman

My teenage son had developed dandruff. Is it contagious and what can we do about it? Although it can be distressing to see signs of dandruff — especially for teens, who are so conscious of their looks — it’s no cause for alarm. The telltale white flakes often show up in adolescence as a result of hormonal changes in the body, so your son is far from alone.

Assure your child that dandruff is not contagious — you can’t “catch” it by sharing a hairbrush or sitting next to someone with flakes — and that it’s very treatable when caught early. At the first sign of white flakes, have your child wash his hair daily with dandruff shampoo containing zinc pyrithione, making sure to let it stay on for five minutes before rinsing out. You should see results in about a week.

If your teen has an itchy scalp along with the dandruff, he can try a shampoo formulation that soothes the itch too. Cutting down on styling products can also help. Untreated, dandruff can become thicker and scaly; if that occurs, a hot-oil treatment will loosen the flakes and make them easier to shampoo away.

 
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