Dermatology/sebum of the scalp

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Question
Hi there, I have a question about my girl teenager's scalp.  she had a lot of tiny dried white stuff all over her scalp, most of them were appear on top part of the scalp.  my family doctor told us they are call sebum.Sometime these sebum fall out along with her tiny, baby hair too. Can you tell me is normal to have that much sebum on the scalp?  is need to get treatment.  Can you also tell me why her tiny, new hair always fall out with the sebum?  Is too much sebum will cause hair loss?  So, will she had new hair coming back? thank you.

Answer
Your daughter has what is called seborrheic dermatitis, common name dandruff.  This condition does not cause hair loss. Sebum which is part of this skin condition does not cause hair loss. Causes of hair loss include: Thyroid Disease, anemia, hormonal abnormalities, stress, surgery, infections, oral medications, systemic diseases like lupus, genetics. Workup for your daughter would include blood work and a good physical exam and a possible scalp biopsy.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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