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This is crazy. For perhaps 2 months now I have terrible flaking on my scalp, under hair, and whole bits just peeling off. I know dandruff, but this is a whole new story, very severe and whole patches of skin come off, can see them underneath my hair when I lift it. It is also very obvious to anybody who sees my hair closeup and make me very self conscious. I am desperate for solutions but don't even know what is the name of this condition, so how to begin to find answers? 

Anyone else had this? What is it, do you know, and what to do next?

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Hi,
It does sound like what you have is a very severe form of dandruff. Look "severe dandruff" up online and see if the pictures look anything like what you have. My guess is that they will look exactly like that. I would look into a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione, and if that doesn't work after a few weeks of trying, then see your doctor about a prescription treatment for dandruff, which do exist and can be very effective.

Good luck! That sounds incredibly frustrating!
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Dandruff is actually caused by a fungus, something most people aren't aware of. You may like to try Selsun Blue, which helped me with my dandruff. I also started using Omega 3 fatty acids around the same time as I read somewhere that a lack of them causes the fungus behind dandruff to flourish. I'm now dandruff free and I still take the omega 3 fatty acids, though I cannot be sure they helped with the dandruff they are generally good for you anyway.
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When I had terrible dandruff, I read that tea tree oil may be the right treatment. I tried it, and it helped me enormously! You just rub a small amount of the oil, neat, into the scalier areas of your scalp. It does tingle a bit and can be irritating, but it worked really well. Another thing I did, which was a tip I got when my son had cradle cap as a baby, is to rub olive oil straight into the scalp in generous amounts, let it soak, and gently peel the scaly bits off.

The thing with anti-dandruff shampoos is you develop resistance to them over time, so the trick is to switch them up very often and to have several kinds on hand at any one time.
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When I had a bout of dandruff, nowhere near as severe as yours mind you, just so that it was barely noticeable, funnily enough one of the tips most often mentioned was that brushing your hair more could make it go away, as well as carrying the flakes off. Ha! Like I didn't brush my hair enough already, yeah? Anyways, shampoos are mostly the way to go. There's different types. The coal tar one worked well for me, but there's also salicylic acid, ketoconazole, selenium sulfide and many others. As mentioned upthread, the real deal is to make sure you don't use the same one for too long 'cause your scalp kinda becomes immune after a while. While looking into this, yeah, I also read that prescription treatments work no better than OTC ones, so I stuck with what I could find at the chemists. Mind you, yours sounds so bad that you may wanna check it out with your GP anyways...

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Honestly, it might not be dandruff, though everyone here seems to think so. You can have eczema, psoriasis, or even damage from using the wrong products, for instance. I would see a dermatologist about this myself, as your scalp is such a prominent place and the way it looks will affect your whole appearance. These problems can ruin your self confidence! And let's face it - unless you know exactly what is wrong with your scalp, you will never be able to solve the problem. If it isn't dandruff, using anti-dandruff shampoos can even be detrimental.
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Hello,

It's very difficult for people to tell you the cause behind your skin problems, never mind tell you what to do about them, on the internet without seeing as much as a picture! I'll join those who say you should see a doctor about it. Having said that, I do have a pointer for you. It sounds like there is a real possibility that you are suffering from seborrheic dermatitis, AKA facial dandruff. Could you Google that and see if the pictures you get match your own skin? That would give you a starting idea.

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Hey,

Some things that you could try include:

- Aspirin! Really. It's a form of salicylic acid, which is a popular skincare ingredient that is also frequently used in dandruff shampoos. You just need to crush a few tablets completely, mix with water and then add that to your normal shampoo. 

- Tea tree oil. Already mentioned, I know, but why not get an organic bottle and just add a few drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo and see how you get on with that? This is a better option than buying medicated shampoos with tea tree, since you just need to add a few drops. 

- Baking soda, again, weird but true. It reduces the fungi that are behind dandruff and helps ease many other generic skin issues. Just add some to water and massage it into your scalp.

No matter what the real issue behind your scalp problem is, I don't see how these home remedies that are also for dandruff will do you any harm, with the possible exception of tea tree, which is potent and can tingle a little. You should be fine if you simply add it to your shampoo though, and you will certainly get relief from itching that way. 

Rosie

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That is exactly what I was thinking! Seborrheic dermatitis is a pain to deal with. It seems that different kinds of dandruff shampoos are still the best option around, not only for the scalp but even for people who have seborrheic dermatitis on their face and the rest of their body. Prescription products are also available but they do not always work any better. Still, if OTC products are not doing the trick, it is definitely time to see a doctor.
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