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What is the best way to stop beard dandruff?

I wash my face regularly with Detol anti-bacterial soap, and for my hair and beard, I use a wide range of Pantene Pro-V products for my hair and beard (such as Repair and Protect, Sleek and Smooth) and conditioner. However, after a day or so I get itchy skin and dandruff.

Am I possibly using the wrong conditioner/shampoo for my beard and is there an alternative?

  • 2
    It might help if you added what type of shampoo/conditioner you use, and what your facial skin care regimen is. The more information you provide, the better any possible answers will be. – JohnP Apr 30 '15 at 15:54
  • @JohnP thanks John that Edit is up there for you now – ThunderToes May 4 '15 at 9:35
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    It entirely depends on trial and error process I guess. But I think the skin on the scalp and face are different so we need to experiment more with the products out there. See, if this could help you. But I'm afraid its not from a standard site. I donno. – azam May 7 '15 at 12:28
  • Have you tried a facial moisturizer? Do you have a dandruff problem on the scalp as well? Completely non-medical science note, but I used to use this when I had a hefty beard (no affiliation with the company). I'd be curious to hear a formal derm opinion on the mater. – Atl LED May 27 '15 at 3:23
  • @AtlLED Yeah from time to time I get scalp dandruff but not as frequent as my beard and I will look into moisturisers. Thanks for this :) – ThunderToes May 27 '15 at 8:09
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There are a few other active ingredients you could try for dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis), if that's what's causing your problem. Keep in mind that it might actually be a different problem, such as eczema or scalp psoriasis. From a quick internet search, the active ingredient in "Dettol Anti-bacterial Soap" is cholroxylenol, is that correct? If so, here are some others you might want to try (i.e. read the product label and look for one of the active ingredients below).

Note, these are "over-the-counter" options only (avaliable without a prescription). A doctor can prescribe other treatments that might not be listed below, or in a stronger formulation than what's available over-the-counter.

  1. pyrithione zinc: usually found in dandruff shampoos like Head & Shoulders; also available in a soap/cleanser form.

  2. selenium sulfide: usually found in dandruff shampoos like Selsun Blue; it's also available in topical forms, but that may require a prescription.

  3. ketoconazole: this is an antifungal ingredient found in anti-dandruff shampoos such as Nizoral shampoo (and generic store-brand equivalents) containing 2% ketoconazole. Stronger formulations are available by prescription.

  4. coal tar: usually found in dandruff shampoos like Neutrogena T-Gel or Denorex; also available in soap form; >> NOTE: this stuff has a strong "unique" smell... make sure you can tolerate the smell before using it. :)

  5. salicylic acid: usually in found in certain facial cleansers (often with the term "oil-free acne cleanser"); it's also found in some dandruff shampoos for "flaky scalp" (like Neutrogena T-Sal), so it's not necessarily just for acne.

You might also consider taking a break from using the Pantene products in contact with your face, and switch to something <<without>> a lot of moisturizers, and not containing silicone (that's usually what the "shine" ingredient is).

This might sound silly, but you could also try "baby shampoo" (fragrance/moisturizer free) for a while, particularly if you're alternating with the medicated shampoos as directed on their label.

One "last resort" option in this case might be to shave your beard (omg!), and see if that helps. You may be reluctant to try that, but remember you can always grow it back later. Howecer, if you do shave the beard and the condition resolves itself, it may be time to rethink the beard. :(

If none of those work, it's probably best to see a doctor about it. They would be able to prescribe something more specific. They may end up prescribing something with one of those ingredients above, but in a higher strength. Alternatively, they might prescribe a topical steroid anti-inflammatory for you to use for a period of time, in case it's not dandruff and is actually something like eczema.

Hope that helps!!

Here's a helpful reference (from the Mayo Clinic website) on seborrheic dermatitis/dandruff. It also includes the topic of facial (beard) dandruff:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seborrheic-dermatitis/basics/definition/con-20031872

More details on "over-the-counter" treatments listed above are included in the section called "home remedies":
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seborrheic-dermatitis/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20031872

  • There is some great information in this answer, but it would be improved significantly if backed up with reliable references, which are strongly encouraged here. Welcome to the site :-) – Lucky Sep 10 '15 at 10:36
  • This would fall under the category of the "common knowledge" exception for citing references. This information is very well known. I literally didn't have to look any of this up, except to look up the active ingredient in the "Detol anti-bacterial soap" that was mentioned in the original question... – Beth R. Sep 11 '15 at 23:53
  • I'm not familiar with the particular soap, and I admit that I didn't look it up myself, but if you only listed the ingredients in a product that the OP already knows about and some other products that contain it, or just wrote some general knowledge, how does that help the OP? The common knowledge exception refers more to some information in an answer (i.e. you don't have to have a reference for every single sentence), but it isn't meant to support whole answers without references: meta.health.stackexchange.com/questions/112/… – Lucky Sep 12 '15 at 1:29
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    Okay. I'll look for some references that include and/or expand on the information above. Will add it soon... Thx. – Beth R. Sep 12 '15 at 19:36
  • I just added some references to the Mayo Clinic website page for "Seborrheic Dermatitis" (dandruff). It includes a discussion of the over-the-counter options described above, and also contains a lot of other helpful information. – Beth R. Sep 12 '15 at 20:36

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