Dandruff, ringworm, tinea versicolor and many other fungal infections can be effectively treated with the help of selenium sulfide shampoo. Though this medicated shampoo is readily available over the counter, it is important to know about its side effects and possible drug interactions.
It is a distressing experience to live with dandruff and ringworm. Though it cannot be prevented before it occurs, it can be effectively managed and controlled later. Shampoos containing the chemical selenium sulfide are a medicated product used for the treatment of dandruff and other fungal infections. Used both on the scalp and skin, this is an anti-infective compound containing selenium catenate and sulfur. Apart from the medicated shampoo prescribed by the physician, it is also available in the market under brand name Head and Shoulders, Dandrex, and Selsun Blue.
Only topical use of this medicated shampoo is permitted. Usually it is available as 1% and 2.5% shampoo or lotion, but 2.5 selenium sulfide shampoo is available only by a doctor’s prescription. Shampoos containing this ingredient are commonly used for treatment of these skin and scalp problems:
Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that causes dandruff. In this condition, the skin turns flaky and itchy, with or without skin reddening. Apart from scalp, dandruff can also occur in eyebrows, eyelids, lips, ears, and groin area. Use of selenium sulfide for dandruff treatment is a common practice. Shampoos containing 1% and 2.5% strengths of the aforementioned chemical are used as a remedy for dandruff. Dandruff, unfortunately cannot be cured, but can be effectively controlled and managed.
Tinea Versicolor Treatment
Tinea versicolor is a skin condition that affects 8% of people in US. 2.5% strength selenium sulfide lotion is used for the treatment of tinea versicolor, while its shampoo is considered less effective than other antifungal medications like Itraconazole and Ketoconazole for treatment of tinea versicolor. Since antifungal shampoos are readily available over the counter and are inexpensive, people still prefer to use this over antifungal drugs.
When it occurs in the scalp, ringworm is often mistaken to be dandruff. Ringworm is identified by dry, itchy, and flaky scalp. Though it is often treated with oral antifungal medications, shampoos containing selenium sulfide are also used for its treatment in mild cases. Use of shampoos containing the chemical is also the best option for over the counter ringworm treatment.
How to Use it
If you have bought over the counter shampoo, it is extremely important to use it as per the instruction on the label. In case of doubt, it is always better to consult a doctor or pharmacist. Do not use it more than the recommended time and frequency.
After wetting the hair and scalp with lukewarm water, take the shampoo and work up a lather. Leave it for 2 – 3 minutes. Rinse well and reapply if required. Rinse again thoroughly and wash your hands well. This shampoo should be used twice weekly for the first two weeks, and once a week from the third week onwards.
Take a small quantity of selenium sulfide shampoo and apply on the affected areas. Using little water to work up a lather and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of medication. 2.5% strength selenium sulfide lotion can be used once a day for seven days.
Topical use of this medicated shampoo can result in any or all of these side effects:
- Increased hair loss.
- Discoloration of hair.
- Excessive oiliness of hair and scalp.
- Excessive dryness of hair and scalp.
It is always best to consult a doctor if these symptoms prolong or get severe. Though, there are no major side effects of topical use of selenium sulfide shampoo, doctors often advise breastfeeding and pregnant women to avoid its use. Children younger than 2 years are also recommended to avoid the use of this medicated antifungal shampoo. Topical use of this shampoo also has minimal drug interactions, but its use with other topically applied drugs is best avoided.