Dandruff Symptoms and Signs on Face and Ear


Dandruff is always an embarrassing situation. This is more so when it occurs on any other part of the body other than the scalp. In this post, we explore the various dandruff symptoms and signs with a focus on dandruff symptoms on face and ear dandruff symptoms. We also help you tell when the condition is serious by exploring severe dandruff symptoms.

Dandruff can manifest itself in various ways. In some people, it will tend to be mild while in others it will be severe. While some people may have it all through the better part of their life, there are those to whom it will be seasonal.

Ear Dandruff Symptoms
Ear Dandruff Symptoms

Dandruff Symptoms

When a person goes to a doctor because they are sick, there are always some descriptive characteristics they use to tell how they feel. Likewise, there are various ways through which one can tell and describe their dandruff condition. In case you observe the signs given below, you know you have dandruff.

When it occurs in kids, the dandruff symptoms will be a thick oily patch that is either brown or yellow in color. It could be as thick as a centimeter or two and is known as cradle cap. This is caused by an overproduction of sebum by the baby. It appears on a baby’s scalp in the first days of life and could last up to 12 months. It is normally harmless.

Adults tend to have some greasy red flaky skin when they are suffering from dandruffs. These range from small and large, yellow to white. Other distinctive dandruff symptoms can be described as follows:

  • The presence of white flakes on a person’s skin or scalp and which may spread to the hair.
  • The areas around where the skin is flaking can either be dry or oily.
  • The head feels tight, itchy and tingly.
  • There may be some soreness on the head following scratching.
  • For adults, there are some greasy patches that are red and flaky.
  • For infants there is some scaly crust or rash on the scalp.
    Dandruff conditions rarely require one to visit the doctor. There are various ways through which one can deal with them. One could make use of over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos to alleviate dandruff symptoms. There are also some home remedies that could help. In case after home treatment for a few weeks there is no improvement, one can see a doctor. Where there is severe itching accompanied by bleeding, one should always see a doctor immediately as these are signs of severe dandruff.

Ear Dandruff Symptoms

Dandruff is not only limited to the scalp. It could affect other parts of the body as well. There is a possibility of suffering dandruff in the ears. To tell if this is so, below are some ear dandruff symptoms.

  • The skin around the ear will appear dry. Dry white flakes may be found both inside and outside the ear.
  • One may experience extreme itching as another of the ear dandruff symptoms. There is an uncontrollable and constant urge to scratch. This may become embarrassing when in the presence of people.
  • Due to the constant scratching, the inner skin of the ear canal may tear. As a result, there may be a secondary bacterial infection.
  • When satisfying the itch caused by the dandruff, ear tenderness may be experienced.
  • Ear dandruff is most likely to be accompanied by scalp and eyebrow dandruff.

When there are ear dandruff symptoms, one should take extra care especially of the ear canal. One can use an ear bud to apply some anti-fungal solution inside the ear. Ensure that a different tip is used for each ear to avoid cross contamination. Also be cautious not to go too deep as this could rapture the eardrums. In case this does not help, the doctor may prescribe some low strength steroid solution or cream for application.

Severe Dandruff Symptoms

At times, the dandruff condition that one has is beyond the normal level. It manifests itself in severe dandruff symptoms. Below are some observations that one can use to tell whether the dandruff is severe.

Severe Dandruff Symptoms
Severe Dandruff
  • A dry itchy scalp.
  • Presence of excessive flakes on the skin.
  • An attachment to the hair shaft that is white or yellow.
  • Some reddish brown bumps that are small in size.
  • A burning sensation in the eyes
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Falling off of the eyelashes or experiencing an abnormal growth of eyelashes
  • Crusted or flaky eyelids
  • Hives
  • An increased sensitivity to lighting
  • Itch in the eyes.
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Blood shot eyes

Severe dandruff symptoms do not respond to the traditional home treatment methods. In case one suffering from it tries dandruff shampoos, a change in their diet and stress reduction and none works for some time, there is a probability that the condition is severe and one should see a dermatologist about it. It is also likely that it will have spread all over the body to the eyebrows, ear canals, on the nose and behind the ears. In most severe cases, the armpits and groin area will be affected as well.

The dermatologist may then prescribe a stronger medicated shampoo brand. If these fail, they will opt for more drastic measures which include administration of mild steroidal treatments such as hydrocortisone cream and anti-fungus medication or shampoos. These will help alleviate itching, flaking and scaling as well.

Though the symptoms get eliminated, the underlying causes remain not dealt with. Steroidal creams can only be used for a short time as overuse could lead to thinning of the skin. This could create more medical complications.

Severe dandruff is often chronic. Though it can be controlled, at times it can never be cured. As such, a person may have to take control measures for the rest of their life.

Dandruff Symptoms on Face

People who suffer from dandruff symptoms on the face are likely to suffer from dandruff on the scalp, ears and other parts of the body. This is mostly caused by an overstimulation of the oil glands. Individuals will notice red patches on their brows, behind the ears, nose and ear canals.

Other dandruff symptoms on the face include:

  • A dry skin that is white and flaky
  • Itchy skin
  • Oily yellow scales that adhere to the skin
  • Redness on the face
  • Presence of abnormal skin tissue

While dandruff is a common condition, it is important to learn when it has grown out of control. By using the symptoms given above, you get to know when it is time to see the dermatologist.

Read More on Dandruff Causes & Types:

Recommended: Getting Rid of Dandruff, Itchy Scalp & Best Dandruff Shampoo.