HIV Prevention Community
53.2k Members
Avatar universal

Dandruff sign of HIV ARS?

I had a unprotected vaginal sex 3 weeks ago with whom I believe to be very low risk. She got tested 6 months ago and her only other partner was her boyfriend whom she has been with for 2 years.

I have never really had dandruff, or at least not enough to ever notice it. Today I look at my chair, which is black, and noticed quite a bit. I have also noticed the back of my head seems to itch / burn. To my knowledge I have not had fever, enlarged lymphnodes, etc.

Is excessive dandruff a sign of HIV? I read that dandruff can be a sign of a viral infection since it can be caused by bacteria on the scalp. Is this true?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Research suggests weakened immunity triggers the bacteria which cause dandruff to grow out of control, swell and irritate the top of the head.

This is really freaking me out, as I have never had dandruff before and dandruff is a sign of a weakened immune system.

Lastly, I do not feel as if I have been that stressed. I've been a little anxious but not enough to cause excessive dandruff. I have not been under EXTREME stress or anxiety.
Avatar universal
Your problem is dandruff not HIV.
Use a good anti-dandruff shampoo and it will all be gone.


Avatar universal
Switch to a different shampoo, or get seen by a dermatologist.  There are other signs of ARS, none of which you remember presenting with.
Avatar universal
Dandruff is by far more common than HIV.  There are an estimated 6 million people with psoriasis in the US.  Psoriasis in the scalp also causes dandruff or something like it, not sure of the exact terminology.  You can't get psoriasis from anyone and if you have it there is no cure but plenty of meds and therapy.  Not sure of your situation but see a dermatologist regardless.
Avatar universal
I have never had it before and this is crazy. The only explanation is something that would lower my immune system. 6 million people is not that many compared to the million that have HIV in the US. I am really freaking out here. Would it be possible that this would be my only sign of HIV?
79258 tn?1190630410
The fact that you've never had dandruff before means nothing. Everything has to start somewhere... Do you think people are just born with dandruff?

The chances of you having HIV are just astronomical. But hey, clearly the only thing that will reassure you is a negative test at three months. While you're waiting for the time to pass, talk to your doctor about medication for your anxiety and irrational thoughts, and seek therapy.
Avatar universal
Here is what I found:

"A sudden, strong tendency to flaking or seborrhoeic dermatitis in a middle-aged person who has never had such problems before can be a sign of HIV infection."



"HIV-positive people are 10 times more prone to excessive dandruff and it could be treated as an early sign of the diseas"



"Seborrhoeic Dermatitis among HIV-positive people is as high as 30 percent as against three percent among general population," he said.



I have never had dandruff before. Why in the world would it all of a sudden get so bad out of nowhere?!?! This is really freaking me out.
172023 tn?1334672284
This is one of the most bizarre questions ever.  Really.  You win the prize for linking a completely benign and ridiculous "symptom" to HIV.   I've heard it all now.

Dandruff.  For Gods sake.  

I'll think of some sort of prize, and send it to you.  

*shakes head*
Avatar universal
Anxiety can suppress your immune system - which apparently causes dandruff.  I've had this my whole life BEFORE I started having sex.  Go to the shampoo section of Wal-Mart and look at all of the dandruff shampoos.  Dandruff is incredibly common and yes you have to start somewhere.  Especially if it's psoriasis related which can occur at any point in your life.  I was 22 years old before it hit me.  My mom had it in her 20s, it went away for 30 years and came back.  This forum and the Dr. HHH forum are good places for info but no substitute for testing or a real doctor.  Searching the internet will net you 5 different answers for every question.
Have an Answer?
Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544695265
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1428176748
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
These tips can help HIV-positive women live a long, healthy life.
Despite the drop in new infections, black women are still at a high risk for HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
What are your HIV treatment options, and how do you choose the right one? Our panel of experts weighs in.
Learn the truth behind 14 common misconceptions about HIV.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.