Find out about the cause of seborrheic dermatitis as well as symptoms to look out for and treatment to help get rid of severe flakes.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a caused by the naturally-occurring microbe, Malassezia. Seborrheic dermatitis is essentially a more intense or extreme form of dandruff that is caused by the same factors. It is treatable if you know what action to take.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a scalp condition similar to dandruff as they share common symptoms and are both caused by the naturally occurring microbe species on the scalp called Malassezia.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS AND DANDRUFF
Seborrheic dermatitis is an extreme form of dandruff, which means its symptoms are much more severe.
SYMPTOMS OF SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS
- You may experience one or more of the following:
- severe flakes adhered to the scalp (also called “scaling”)
- yellowish flake scales that can be oily
- redness or inflamed areas on the scalp
- symptoms occurring on other body areas, like the face, chest, or back
POPULAR TREATMENTS FOR SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS
Medicated shampoos that you can buy over the counter normally contain one of these 5 ingredients:
- Salicylic Acid
- Selenium Sulfide
- Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT)
- Coal Tar
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ACTIVE INGREDIENTS TO TREAT SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS
While all these actives provide some symptom relief, the most effective shampoos contain actives that work on the root cause of seborrheic dermatitis, and help keep it away.1
Selenium sulfide is even more effective at tackling dandruff than the active ingredient in our regular shampoos, pyrithione zinc. Selenium sulfide works to prevent scalp irritation caused by the scalp microbe Malassezia, so your body can return to normal.
Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength shampoo with selenium sulfide is proven to be effective and safe in the long-term treatment of seborrheic dermatitis, faster than any typical anti-dandruff shampoos2. It works on the cause of dandruff, and not just the symptoms for prescription strength flake protection3. With our Clinical Strength Shampoo, you can treat your seborrheic dermatitis quickly and safely, from the very first wash. The shampoo is tough on flakes, while providing instant relief from itchiness and redness. It fights flakes better than shampoos with other active ingredients4, targeting the root cause of dandruff, and helping prevent scalp irritation. It’s the maximum strength dandruff relief available without a prescription.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I USE DANDRUFF SHAMPOO FOR MY SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS?
Use it at least twice a week. According to the FDA in the U.S., you need to use Clinical Strength shampoo twice a week for it to be effective, so most people won’t need to change their shower routine to fit it in. But to best tackle the problem of seborrheic dermatitis, use this medicated shampoo every time you wash your hair. Using a cosmetic shampoo on alternate days will wash away the active ingredient selenium sulfide and interfere with the dandruff treatment.
WHAT ABOUT THE SMELL?
Medicated shampoos have had a bad reputation in the past for having a medicinal smell. Many of these use ingredients like coal tar that have a strong odor, which is hard to mask. Our selenium sulfide formula doesn’t smell like that. It smells like shampoo. Because that’s what it is – it’s designed to do all the things a good shampoo should do so you can use it regularly to help tackle flakes.
DO I NEED A PRESCRIPTION?
No, you don’t need to get a prescription – you can get over-the counter shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis that work just as well as prescription shampoos3. Products designed to treat seborrheic dermatitis contain different active ingredients and they’re not equally effective – so it is important to choose the right one. Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength Shampoo contains the active ingredient selenium sulfide, giving you prescription-strength flake protection.4
1 Visible flakes with regular use
2 vs. 1% Pyrithione Zinc dandruff shampoos
3 vs. prescription dandruff shampoo with 2% Ketoconazole
4 visible flakes with regular use, vs. OTC dandruff shampoos with non-selenium sulfide actives