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How a Dermatologist Can Help You Fight Back Against Dry Scalp


Is your scalp dry, itchy, and flaky? Dry scalp affects about 15 percent of the population and has many causes.  If your scalp is dry, it means the top layer of skin cells on your scalp is compromised and is allowing moisture to escape. Once you know what’s causing the trouble, your dermatologist can help you find the solution and restore a healthy scalp.


  • Dandruff is the most common cause of dry scalp. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff can be caused by different factors. It could be fungus, scalp irritation, or a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema. Dandruff isn’t caused by poor hygiene. Sometimes it’s related to a medical condition, but stress can also aggravate it.
  • Cold weather can lead to a dry scalp. Even as the skin on the rest of your body can get too dry in cooler weather, lower temperatures can dry out your scalp. Lower humidity in the air causes low water content in the skin.
  • An allergy can cause a dry, itchy scalp. Ingredients in your hair products, including dyes, fragrances, sulfates, and parabens can all cause issues with your scalp. You might not see a red, rashy appearance like you’d notice on other parts of your body, but your scalp will manifest inflammation in flakes and dryness.
  • Some skin conditions cause scalp irritation. Ringworm creates itchy, scaly, or bald patches, eczema can come with dandruff and itching, and scalp psoriasis causes skin cells to build up into plaques and flake off. If psoriasis is the problem, you may experience other symptoms, like fatigue and joint pain.

What’s the solution for a dry scalp? If dandruff is the cause, start with an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. Apply the shampoo only to your scalp, and leave it on for about five minutes, so that the medication in it has a chance to work. Medicated shampoo can dry out hair, so if you feel like your hair isn’t clean enough, use your regular shampoo and conditioner. Conversely, if your scalp is dry but without dandruff, wash it less. Don’t take long, hot showers, and try a gentler shampoo. And while apple cider vinegar, CBD products, and witch hazel are all common home remedies, they’re not very effective. A better idea is a coconut oil mask, to reduce inflammation and restore moisture.

Whether you need help for your face, body, or scalp, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional care that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists, licensed cosmetic service providers, and friendly staff members is here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. For more information, contact us through our website or call (801) 682-4715 today.