Dandruff is just as common in children as it is in adults, although there are a handful of causes that are more prevalent in children. Dandruff in children may be caused simply by their lack of personal hygiene and you may be able to clear up dandruff issues simply by teaching them to wash their hair on a regular basis. If dandruff persists, the use of medicated dandruff shampoos should be sufficient to manage the problem.
Go to your local grocery store or pharmacy and buy a bottle of dandruff shampoo. You may want to experiment with a few different brands until you find the right one for your child. Shampoos containing ketoconazole are considered to be among the most effective dandruff treatments.
Follow the directions for use on the label. Apply a small amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand and massage it into your child’s scalp and hair. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You will need to repeat this process about twice per week to treat your child’s dandruff.
Teach your child to use the anti dandruff shampoo herself. Make sure she uses it regularly. Children need to be educated on how to use these products and their importance. Watch to make sure your child actually uses shampoo instead of just wetting her hair.
Minimize the amount of hair product your children use. Dermatitis, or “contact dandruff,” is often the result of over use of styling products. Hair sprays, mousse and gels contain harsh chemicals and oils that can have a negative impact on the health of your child’s scalp, and too much use of these types of products is a common cause of dandruff.
Check for ringworm of the scalp. Scalp ringworm is a type of fungal infection known as tinea capitis and is very common in children. Dandruff caused by ringworm will lead to a highly irritated scalp that may crack or even bleed. Hair loss may occur. Check your child’s scalp closely. Look for a ringlike pattern of irritation that begins at a hair follicle and works outward. You may need a special antifungal ointment from your doctor to treat this condition.
Talk to your family physician about how to treat “cradle scalp,” a common type of dandruff that affects very young children. Don’t panic, it sounds serious but like most types of dandruff, it can be managed quite easily.