Health Watch - Winter Skin: 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 how winter can affect your skin. Previously, we discussed the way cold weather is rough on your hands. Winter can also be rough on your scalp.

Indoor heating and cold, dry weather rob skin of moisture, which makes dandruff worse. 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. There’s no cure for it, but the condition can usually be controlled with over-the-counter dandruff shampoos containing tar. Tar helps restore the moisture balance to the scalp so there’s less flaking. If the flaking persists in spite of using dandruff shampoo or if you develop red, scaly patches on your face or eyebrows, you should see a dermatologist.

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


January 2010

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