Medicated Shampoos to Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects parts of the head and torso. It manifests as red, flaky skin around the nose, eyebrows, forehead, ears and the scalp. Dandruff is considered a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, but it can be pretty embarrassing.

When seborrheic dermatitis affects the skin, a topical steroid will do the trick, but treating the scalp isn't that simple. You can't slather on medicated ointment; you can, however, use a medicated shampoo. Shampoos that contain coal tar, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithrione or salicylic acid are effective ways to treat and control seborrheic dermatitis. Some of these shampoos are only available with a prescription, but the following shampoos are available over-the-counter at your nearest drugstore.

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

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Dandruff is caused by a fungus known as plasmodium ovale. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is the only shampoo on this list that contains ketoconazole, a known anti-fungal medication. It also contains wheat protein and wheat germ oil. Using this shampoo just two times a week is enough to keep dandruff in check.

Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength

Head & Shoulders is an iconic brand that has been around for a long time, and deservedly so. This Clinical Strength shampoo contains 1 percent selenium sulfide, a medication that prevents itching, irritation, scaling and redness, and causes a tingling sensation. It's an effective treatment for even the most persistent, severe dandruff, but it's extremely gentle and pH balanced, making it safe for everyday use.

Head & Shoulders Extra Strength

Not everyone responds to medication the same way, which is why Head & Shoulders makes shampoos and conditioners with a range of formulations. Extra Strength contains 2 percent pyrithione zinc, another known medication. If you have stubborn dandruff, this shampoo might do the trick.

Zincon Medicated Dandruff Shampoo

This dandruff shampoo is made by Denorex, another brand that has been around for a while. Zincon Medicated Dandruff Shampoo contains pyrithione zinc. Unlike a lot of medicated shampoos, this one doesn't have an unpleasant, medicated scent. It's also gentle enough for everyday use.

Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo

Selsun Blue is another standby. The Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo contains 1 percent selenium sulfide and menthol, which gets dandruff levels under control and gives the scalp a tingling sensation. It's really tough on dandruff, but it's also very gentle. In addition to zapping dandruff, it also makes hair softer and more manageable.

Sebulex Medicated Dandruff Shampoo

Sebulex Medicated Dandruff Shampoo treats seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. It contains 2 percent sulfur and 2 percent salicylic acid that control dandruff and provide major scalp relief. Although it does contain sulfur it, fortunately, doesn't smell like sulfur. It makes hair clean and manageable.

Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo

Another standby is the Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo. It contains 3 percent salicylic acid as the active ingredient, which helps break down flaky skin. It doesn't contain any added colors, preservatives or fragrance. This shampoo doesn't slow down excessive skin turnover, so if you have moderate to severe seborrhea, you might want to use this shampoo in conjunction with another product included in this list.

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