probably from dand- (origin unknown) + -ruff, from Middle English rove scabby condition, from Old Norse hrūfa scab; akin to Old High German hruf scurf, Lithuanian kraupus rough
First Known Use: 1545
Medical Definition of DANDRUFF
: scaly white or grayish flakes of dead skin cells especially of the scalp; also: the condition marked by excessive shedding of such flakes and usually accompanied by itching
Skin disorder of the scalp, a mild form of dermatitis. It affects most people at some time, when the scalp, which normally sheds its dead outer skin cells continuously, starts to shed them intermittently, causing a scaly buildup before shedding and noticeable flakes of skin when shedding occurs. Dandruff is not contagious and often goes away spontaneously; special shampoos can control it.