Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Why Am I Scaly?!

Friday, 09 July 2010 11:14 AM

Question: I have a problem with white scaly patches on the skin in my beard and eyelashes with occasional occurrences in the scalp and in the creases on either side of my nose. I have tried medicated shampoos and using conditioner after washing my hair and beard. The problem sometimes disappears for some time but eventually comes back. It seems to be different from dandruff.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

The most obvious question is whether you have an infectious condition or not. Superficial scaling is common with seborrhea, often thickened with a slightly greasy consistency. Superficial fungal infection may be present and can be clearly defined by fungal stain or even culture of some of your scale. Atopic dermatitis, atypical psoriasis and many other skin disorders can look similar to untrained eyes, but all of their treatment differs. If incorrectly diagnosed, the treatment for one may cause a flare up of another. I recommend you seek a dermatology consultation before embarking on further self-diagnosis. You will feel better much faster with professional help than going it alone!

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