Health Watch -- The Cold Season: Dry Air and Dandruff

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’re talking about colds and other cold-weather hazards. While we usually think of sniffling and sneezing when we think of winter health woes, there’s another side effect of cold weather: dandruff. Indoor heating and cold winter air make for a dry environment that saps moisture from the skin, including the skin on the scalp.

Dr. Paul Bergstresser, chairman of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says using a dandruff shampoo that contains tar can help restore the scalp’s moisture balance and reduce the itching, scaling and flaking of dandruff.

If you use a humidifier to increase indoor moisture levels, UT Southwestern doctors say you need to regularly clean and dry the humidifier so it doesn’t become contaminated. Cool mist humidifiers are less likely to become contaminated than hot water humidifiers.


January 2007

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