Health Watch - Valentine's Day: Avoiding 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’re talking about getting ready for Valentine’s Day. If you’ve got a big date planned, you’ll want to make sure your hair looks its best, but don’t forget about your scalp. The last thing you want is tell-tale white flakes gathering on the shoulders of your suit or your little black dress.

Dr. Paul Bergstresser, professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says dandruff tends to get worse at this time of year, thanks to indoor heating and cold weather that combine to dry out the scalp. When the scalp sheds excessive skin cells, you get the distinctive itching and flaking of dandruff. To control dandruff, wash your hair with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. Look for one containing tar, which helps restore the scalp’s moisture balance. If the flakes persist or if you also have redness and greasy scaling on your face, eyebrows or eyelashes, see a dermatologist for treatment.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.


February 2009

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