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Seborrheic dermatitis is essentially a more severe form of dandruff and shows very similar symptoms – flakes, itching and redness, to name just a few. Find out what makes it different and why you might need a different shampoo.


It’s easy to get confused between seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff – after all, the symptoms are almost identical:

  • flakes

  • redness

  • itching

  • dry scalp

  • inflammation

But there’s one major difference to look out for – seborrhoeic dermatitis tends to be more severe. So you can expect to see more flakes, experience more itch and see more signs of irritation than with dandruff.

The cause of seborrhoeic dermatitis
Yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s the same as dandruff. The symptoms of seborrhoeic dermatitis are all linked to the presence of naturally occurring microbes on your scalp called Malassezia globosa.

As Malassezia breaks down your scalp oils, it forms an irritant: oleic acid. Half the world’s population is sensitive to it and for most of them that leads to dandruff; for others, it results in a more intense case of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

So how do you tell if it’s seborrhoeic dermatitis?
As we’ve seen, there are plenty of similarities with dandruff, however there are things to look out for:

  • More severe flakes

  • White/yellowish scales – these tend to be more oily than dandruff flakes

  • Red, inflamed patches on the scalp

How to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis
Just like dandruff, you can treat seborrhoeic dermatitis with a shampoo.

You might find that a good anti-dandruff shampoo with 1% pyrithione zinc is strong enough to control all the symptoms.

But if that doesn’t provide enough relief, then you should try a selenium sulphide shampoo, like our Clinical Strength Shampoo.

Our Clinical Strength shampoo with selenium sulphide helps fight flakes faster than typical dandruff shampoos*. It’s clinically proven effective for even the toughest flaking, and works on all the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

In fact, it’s the strongest seborrheic dermatitis shampoo available without a prescription.

More about seborrheic dermatitis

* vs. 1% Pyrithione Zinc dandruff shampoos