Quantitative microbiology of the scalp in non-dandruff, dandruff, and seborrheic dermatitis.J Invest Dermatol. 1975 Jun; 64(6):401-5.JI
The composition of the scalp microflora was assessed quantitatively in normal individuals and in patients with dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, disorders characterized by increasing scaling. Three organisms were constantly found: (1) Pityrosporum, (2) aerobic cocci, and (3) Corynebacterium acnes. Pityrosporum (mainly Pityrosporum ovale) made up 46% of the total microflora in normals, 74% in dandruff, and 83% in seborvheic dermatitis. The geometric mean number of organisms per cm-2 in non-dandruff subjects was 5.04 times 10-5; 9.22 times 10-5 in dandruff subjects; and 6.45 times 10-5 in those with seborrheic dermatitis. The cocci were dominantly Baird-Parker type SII and no quantitative or qualitative change occurred in the scaling disorders. C. acnes comprised 26% of the flora on the normal scalp, 6% in dandruff, and only 1% in seborrheic dermatitis. These results differ significantly from previous reports which describe a much more complex microflora and suggest an etiologic role for microorganisms in dandruff.