A Comprehensive Look at Dandruff in Pakistan’s Army

Public knowledge about dandruff in Pakistan‘s army comes mainly from a study called Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Regarding Dandruff Among Soldiers, written by Naeem Raza, Amer Ejaz and Muhammad Khurram Ahmed, published in 2007 in the Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan.

Raza, Ejaz and Ahmed surveyed 800 male soldiers of all ranks, ascertaining each soldier’s knowledge about, and personal experience with, dandruff. The survey was “designed keeping in mind the general taboos of our region about dandruff, which included visits to doctors, homeopathic physicians or ‘hakims’, use of oils, any home-made remedies or commercial products”. If this sampling of soldiers was truly representative, we now know that approximately 65% of Pakistani soldiers have, or have had, dandruff “either permanently or periodically”….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian

BONUS: Procter & Gamble’s 2006 press release from Karachi announcing a “Breakthrough in Dandruff Treatment“. (The photo reproduced here is from that press release.)

BONUS (thanks to investigator Ivan Oransky): The Scientist‘s 2008 profile of Procter & Gamble’s dandruff genetics researcher Thomas Dawson.