VALIDATE: 5 things you should know about medicated shampoos

So you are among those who are more prone to dandruff, and if it is severe, then it may be a very difficult and frustrating condition. Since you can’t catch dandruff from someone else, you could be blaming your grooming habits such as shampooing too much, or not enough or not picking the right one.

And for those battling scalp problems like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, bacterial or fungal infections, the intense itching, burning, and unstoppable scratching can be highly annoying. These conditions are often characterised by dandruff or thick, red scaly patches of skin that can cover the entire scalp and be chronic.


As it is a well known fact that basic care starts in the shower with the shampoo you use, so turning to ordinary shampoos that claim to solve your problems in a jiffy is super common. But with these products you are simply knocking on the wrong door!

If you want to find relief and say goodbye to itching and flaking and those unpleasant white, oily flakes that accumulate in your hair and on your shoulders (particularly noticeable on dark clothing), it’s time you switched to a medicated shampoo.

And yes these shampoos, including dandruff shampoo, anti-fungal shampoo, and prescription shampoos for various scalp ailments, work and those claims are not just marketing hype. They contain drugs that treat skin conditions. No wonder, dermatologists often recommend them as an initial treatment.

Medicated shampoos treat tinea capitis, dandruff and sebborheic dermatis, head lice, psoriasis, allergic reactions.

The main ingredients in medicated shampoos are coal tar, salicylic acid, sulfur, selenium sulphide and zinc pyrithione.

Zinc pyrithione is considered anti-dandruff superstar ingredient that tackles flaking flare-ups and relieves the inflammation and itching that are characteristic of seborrheic dermatitis. Zinc pyrithione shampoos can be purchased over the counter, unlike other medicated shampoos that require a doctor’s prescription.

Selenium sulfide is an ingredient in shampoos and treatment products that help curb dandruff. This ingredient helps slow down the growth of yeast. It prevents infection and the development of scalp concerns. To prevent any side effects or allergic reactions, make sure to follow the directions on how to use the product.

Coal tar in shampoos reduces the scaling of your scalp so that you’re left with flake-free scalp. However, dermatologists advise against using them if you're pregnant, as coal tar is supposedly teratogenic, which means it could be bad for developing babies.

Since some of these ingredients may prove to be too potent if not used properly, read and follow the directions on each bottle of shampoo you try.

When using a medicated shampoo, take enough shampoo to cover the entire scalp and leave it for a few minutes. Rinse hair with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water since it makes your hair and scalp drier. 

Though medicated shampoos have a strong chemical smell, they treat dandruff early to prevent it from getting worse. 

Living with the itch and flaking of dandruff can be annoying, but medicated shampoos offer a very good treatment that works well for most people.

No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about health and wellness. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.
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