Health Watch -- It's in the Air: Flakes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we've been talking about how the indoor environment can affect your health. Most of the air-related problems we think of affect your breathing, but there are ways that the indoor air can affect your skin. Dry indoor air, such as is often the case in winter, increases your chances of developing dandruff.

Dandruff is caused by excessive shedding of skin cells from the scalp, and dry air makes it worse. Dr. Paul Bergstresser, chairman of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says there's no cure for dandruff, but there are ways of treating it, such as specialized shampoos that restore the scalp's moisture balance. If using a dandruff shampoo doesn't clear up the problem, or if you see redness and greasy scaling on the face, eyebrows or eyelashes, you should see a dermatologist.

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February 2006

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