Even among the Japanese, dandruff and flaking is very common. For those who wear business suits or dark clothes, the itching and flaking can be an embarrassing visual barrier to success.
Summary and Recommendations
Dandruff and Common Solutions
|hifu no isha|| skin
|脂漏性湿疹||shirou seishisshin||seborrhoeic dermatitis|
It is important to know that serious dandruff problems are caused by a number of factors, including genetics, fungi, or other irritants. Instead of using a harsh shampoo, try a milder shampoo. For people living in more remote areas, make sure the water is clean.
If using anti-dandruff shampoos, be aware that they often contain fungicides to kill the fungi, which may not treat the underlying irritant problem. The use of steroidal creams can be more effective than a ketaconazole shampoo.
Some over-the-counter products to treat dandruff include pyrithione zinc, coal tar, tea tree oil, and ketaconazole shampoos.
Dandruff Treatment Overview
- Ketaconazale – very effective anti-fungal, must leave in for 5 minutes before rinsing.
- Selenium sulfide – anti-fungal, can dry out hair and skin and may smell strongly.
- Tea tree oil – mild anti-fungal, expensive, gentle on hair and skin.
- Zinc pyrithione – mild anti-fungal, gentle on hair and skin.
- Steroid creams – anti-itch, reduces flaking and inflammation.
- Coal tar – anti-itch, reduces flaking by slowing skin cell growth, dries out hair, smells strongly, could be carcinogenic.
- Salicylic acid – softens skin and removes old skin cells, gentle on hair and skin.
Dandruff Products in Depth
Selenium sulfide products, such as Selsun Blue, are not sold in Japan. They can be found on Amazon, however.
In the US, Nizoral is a common brand of ketaconazole-based fungicidal shampoos. The Japanese counterpart is a topical ketaconazole cream with the same name, Nizooral, (ニゾーラル), similar to the Rinderon-VG lotion. Nizoral shampoo and cream are available online and in drugstores, as well as from the doctor.
Others include Mediquick H (shampoo and spray) and Muhi HD (spray), which may combine steroid creams with ketaconazole.
Those with serious dandruff, incurable through normal methods, should visit a 皮膚の医者 (hifu no isha), or skin doctor, and get a steroid-based cream. A common cream is Rinderon-VG (リンデロン ヴィー ジー), which is usually quite effective at getting rid of dandruff when caused by fungus. For very serious cases, a doctor may recommend a stronger corticosteriod, such as Dermovate. Long-term use is not recommended and can be damaging.