Which Is The Best Shampoo For Seborrhoeic Dermatitis?

Red itchy patches on the skin, greasy and flaky areas on the face chest or back, dandruff that won’t go away – these are classic symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

This is a skin condition that mostly affects skin on areas with many sebaceous (oil-producing) glands. These include the scalp, face, chest and sometimes the back too.

This type of dermatitis can be tough to beat. It’s a long term skin condition. But certain self-care practices can help reduce the severity of the symptoms. One way you can manage the condition is using medicated shampoo.

These shampoos contain various anti-fungal and anti-bacterial ingredients, the most common being zinc pyrithione, that can help reduce the itching, redness and other symptoms. While they many not completely get rid of the demartitis, they will help a great deal to reduce its effect on your life and wellbeing.

Shampoos for Seborrhoeic dermatitis come with very specific usage instructions. Make sure you follow them to get the best results.

We’ve researched the best shampoos for Seborrhoeic dermatitis you can buy online. We focused mostly on what users have to say about how well specific brands work and how soon you can expect to see results.

Here are our top five picks.

Important: A shampoo, even a medicated one, is not a replacement for medical treatment. If you think you have Seborrhoeic dermatitis, see your doctor for a diagnosis. They will likely recommend a topical antifungal cream. If the condition is serious, the doctor may recommend topical corticosteroids or some other form of treatment.

1. Ducray Kelual DS Shampoo 100ml

Customers who used this shampoo say it works the first time you apply it. The itching subsides and you’ll have fewer flakes on your scalp and skin.

The shampoo contains zinc pyrithione, ciclopirox olamine, keluamide and β-glycyrrhetinic acid. They work together to combat the various symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis including irritation, itching, swelling and redness.

If you have been losing hair because of seborrhoeic dermatitis, this shampoo can also help.
In the beginning you are supposed to use it 3 times a week. After 2 weeks, switch to once a week for eight weeks.

What we like about it:

  • Fast acting. You’ll see results after just the first application. By the end of the initial two weeks, most of the symptoms should have drastically gone down in severity.
  • Effective on redness, itching, flaky skin and dandruff.
  • Clear usage instructions.

2. Nizoral Anti Dandruff Shampoo, 60 ml

Dandruff that won’t go away is one of the common symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis. This anti-dandruff shampoo helps get rid of it plus any other accompanying symptoms such as redness, flaky skin and itching.

The shampoo is fragrance free so it won’t leave an antiseptic smell on your hair. It’s also gentle on hair which makes it good for use with affected children.

It uses ketoconazole to protect your scalp from shampoos in between washes. This ingredient stops the lifecycle of the dandruff-causing fungus.

During the initial treatment phase (the first 2-4 weeks), apply the shampoo two to three times a week. After the intensive attack period, the dandruff should be gone (if it hasn’t, see a doctor). To keep it from recurring, use this shampoo just once every 1 or 2 weeks.

What we like about it:

  • Fragrance free and gentle on hair. It’s ideal for both adults and children.
  • Fast acting on dandruff and related seborrhoeic dermatitis symptoms.
  • Easy to apply; it comes with easy instructions.

3. Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo, 125ml

If you want a bigger bottle of this shampoo, there is a 250ml option available. The shampoo treats symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis as well as those of other skin conditions like scalp psoriasis.

The shampoo targets the fungus that causes dandruff and itchiness, stopping its lifecycle and effectively killing it off. It also treats inflammation that causes the redness and swelling common in people with seborrhoeic dermatitis.

The main ingredient is 2% solubilised coal tar extract which treats itchiness and dandruff on the scalp. The shampoo also contains a light pleasant fragrance.

You can use the shampoo daily until the symptoms fade away but the recommended frequency is 3 times a week.

What we like about it:

  • Easy to use.
  • Gentle on the hair, a plus if you are using it on damaged hair or sensitive scalp.
  • Effective and fast acting.

4. Oilatum Scalp Treatment Shampoo, 150ml

This shampoo is used to treat severe dandruff caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis or any other skin condition. It also treats any redness and itching of the scalp.

It contains Ciclopirox olamine which treats the root cause of itchiness and flaky skin. It targets the fungus ensuring that after treatment the dandruff does not recur. It also contains menthol which leaves a cooling effect on your scalp. This soothes away itchiness and irritation.

The shampoo is fragrance free and uses gentle ingredients. It does not alter the pH of your hair, making it great for kids and those with sensitive hair. Use it around 3 times a week until the symptoms go away.

What we like about it:

  • Easy to apply on hair.
  • Gentle and non-fragrant, making it safe for sensitive hair and children.
  • Effective against dandruff, itchiness and redness of the scalp.

5. Dead Sea Spa Magik Mineral Shampoo, 320ml

This is a treatment as well as revitalizing shampoo. It treats itchy skin, stubborn dandruff and other symptoms caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis. Use it 2-3 times a week to keep the symptoms at bay.

It also contains ingredients to moisturize, nourish and revitalize your hair. This shampoo is good if you had a severe case of seborrhoeic dermatitis that left your hair weak and damaged. The Magik mineral shampoo will heal your hair while also protecting it from further attacks.

The manufacturer recommends using it alongside a good conditioner.

What we like about it:

  • Effective for treating itchy and flaky scalp.
  • Contains ingredients to rejuvenate and protect your hair.
  • Gentle on hair. It’s ideal for all hair types and can be used by both kids and adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is SD?

SD stands for Seborrheic dermatitis, which is a long term skin disorder. It causes red, scaly patches of skin, dandruff, and often an intolerable itching. It occurs mainly on the scalp, but other oily patches of skin can also be affected.

No one is sure what causes it, but it may be related to an overgrowth of yeast. It is not caused by poor hygiene, and typically affects men more than women.

It is the same condition which causes cradle cap in babies, and is usually treated with anti fungal creams and anti inflammatory agents.

Q: What is in shampoo for Seborrheic dermatitis?

There are many ingredients that can improve this uncomfortable, often unsightly condition, and you don’t always have to go down the route of a visit to the doctor.

  • Coal tar is traditionally used in the treatment of SD, as it slows down the cells’ rejuvenation. It is recommended that when using shampoos that contain coal tar, that you should massage it in and leave for at least 5 minutes, then wash and rise thoroughly.
  • Selenium Sulphide is another well known anti dandruff ingredient, that is anti fungal and kills the yeast that may contribute to SD. It also inhibits cell regeneration, like coal tar, so it is useful in controlling this condition.
  • Salicylic acid, an ingredient used to treat a wide range of skin disorders, is often found in shampoo for SD. It not only exfoliates the scalp but also clears away dead skin cells, making it an ideal weapon in the fight against SD.
  • Zinc pyrithione is another ingredient commonly found in shampoos that treat SD. This is one of the main components in the popular and well known Head & Shoulders brand, and it is an anti fungal that breaks down dead skin cells as well as being able to reduce fungal growth on the whole scalp.

These, and many other ingredients, can be found in shampoo for SD. Each ingredient is tailored to making this unpleasant condition feel and look better, so it is well worth your time and money to look around and find a good shampoo to support yourself and your scalp.

Q: What are the benefits of shampoo for Seborrheic dermatitis?

Although it is fairly common, dandruff is an unsightly problem that can cause anxiety, discomfort and embarrassment to the sufferer.

Finding a solution that can not only remove the problem temporarily but also deal with it on along term basis is the absolute ideal.

Shampoos that are specifically designed with the SD sufferer in mind can reduce any itching or pain that comes with the condition, as well as remove the embarrassing flakes of dandruff that inevitably come with this skin issue.

A bit of dandruff here and there is one thing; dealing with it on a daily basis along with discomfort and itching is entirely another.

Find yourself a good shampoo that helps deal with the symptoms of SD and you will find yourself much happier and more comfortable in the long run.

    1. Between The Strands June 22, 2018
    2. Kate August 10, 2022

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