Health Watch - Itching: 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 itchy skin. If the itch is on your scalp and comes with white, scaly flakes, you may have dandruff.

Dr. Paul Bergstresser, professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says dandruff is caused by excessive shedding of dead skin cells from the scalp. It’s worse in climates or weather where dry air strips moisture from the scalp, and often flares up in winter when dry air and indoor heat cause dry skin, but it can be an irritant year-round. There isn’t a cure for dandruff, but it can be controlled. Regular use of a dandruff shampoo, especially one containing tar, helps restore moisture balance to the scalp and prevents flaking. If the condition persists, or if you also have redness and greasy scaling on the face, eyebrows or eyelashes, consult a dermatologist.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/dermatology to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.

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August 2009


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