What Is Ketoconazole Shampoo? Uses, Benefits, & More

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woman with itchy hair in need of ketoconazole shampoo

Many people forget just how sensitive the scalp is. We spend a lot of time and money protecting the skin on our faces and bodies. Thus, we often forget that our scalps are also in danger of exposure to the elements as well as other issues that can result in damage. Fortunately, you can get help in the form of Ketoconazole shampoo, which can help combat scalp problems such as these.

Many people will know the misery of having serious dandruff or psoriasis as well as other fungal infections. These can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and soreness.

Read: Scalp Products to Use for an Itch-Free Life

More About Ketoconazole Shampoo

While there are different shampoos, sometimes you need a little more than just a run of the mill one.

If you're suffering from problems with your scalp, a standard shampoo won't be sufficient to protect and heal your scalp. Same is true if you're prone to severe dandruff, psoriasis, and fungal infections.

In fact, some shampoos could make the problem worse because of the amount of fragrance and other irritants in them. This is where Ketoconazole shampoo can help as this is a medicated shampoo addressing a number of scalp issues.

Often advertised as a treatment for dandruff, this shampoo is available under a number of well-known brand names. Doctors will recommend this if he feels you have a scalp problem that will respond well to this medicated treatment.

However, you can also purchase these shampoos over the counter from pharmacies and even from supermarkets. While there are well-known brand names such as Nizoral, you can also find supermarket versions at a lower price.

How It Works And How To Use It

hairdresser washing client hair with ketoconazole shampoo

Ketoconazole is an azole antifungal. When included in shampoo, it can help to prevent the growth of fungus, which is what causes many of these scalp issues. It can treat a variety of scalp and skin problems and is very simple to use.

As with a normal shampoo, you simply need to wet your hair and scalp before massaging in the shampoo to create an adequate lather to clean the scalp. Once you have massaged it in, you should rinse the hair properly with warm water. You may then repeat the application as directed. After the final rinse, you need to dry your hair and scalp thoroughly.

This shampoo can also treat some skin conditions including one known as tinea versicolor. If the shampoo is being used for your skin, you need to wet the skin in the affected area. You should then apply the shampoo and leave it on the skin for around five minutes. You can then rinse it off with warm water.

What Conditions Does the Shampoo Treat?

Ketoconazole shampoo can treat various scalp and skin issues. Some of the key ones for which your doctor may prescribe or recommend this medicated shampoo include:

Dandruff

​​​Most people know how embarrassing and frustrating it can be to have dandruff as this is something that becomes obvious for others to see. Sometimes, dandruff is simply due to the scalp being dry. However, it can also be from conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis. Excess growth of a naturally occurring yeast fungus called Malassezia can cause this condition.

No matter the cause of dandruff, it can create a lot of issues for those that suffer from it. Some people suffer from severe dandruff, which can have a serious impact on the way your hair and scalp look as well as causing discomfort such as itching.

The last thing most people want to be doing when they go out or to work is scratching at their scalp and causing flakes to rise to the surface of the hair or shed around them.

However, this is exactly what happens when you have a dandruff problem, which is why you need to take action as soon as possible.

By using this special medicated shampoo, you can address your dandruff problem with ease and convenience. You can either speak to the pharmacist about buying some of this shampoo over the counter.

However, if your dandruff is very serious, you may want to visit your doctor as you may be able to get a higher strength shampoo on prescription. Once you start using the shampoo, it will reduce the fungus, ease inflammation, and treat dandruff.

Psoriasis

Another common problem that can affect the scalp and skin is psoriasis. This is an inflammatory skin problem that can cause a range of issues. Some of the problems associated with psoriasis include flaking skin, redness, and scaly skin patches. Some variations of psoriasis are not only a source of embarrassment but can also cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

The itching with this condition can be intense, which in itself can lead to other problems such as bleeding, broken skin, and an increased risk of infection.

Ketoconazole has become a popular choice for the treatment of this skin condition. Depending on the severity of the psoriasis, you may need to get the treatment on prescription, so you benefit from a higher strength.

If you have psoriasis flare-ups, it is generally the prescription version that is necessary unless you are otherwise directed by your doctor.

The medicated shampoo can prove very effective in providing relief for those that suffer from psoriasis of the scalp. You should follow the directions on the bottle or from your doctor to ensure the condition is properly treated through the use of the shampoo.

For most people, the shampoo provides an effective form of treatment for scalp psoriasis. However, you do need to monitor this, and in the event that the psoriasis does not respond to the shampoo, you will need to discuss an alternative with your doctor.

Tinea Infection Treatment

Another type of condition that Ketoconazole shampoo is effective for is tinea infections. Again, these infections are ones that can cause discomfort, embarrassment, and pain if they are untreated.

The variation of this condition that affects the scalp is tinea capitis, which is a fungal infection that can cause scalp problems. The fungus is similar to ringworm but is a superficial one that affects the scalp.

Another tinea infection that Ketoconazole shampoo is effective for is tinea versicolor. This is an infection of the skin, which stems from the over-production of a naturally occurring yeast on the skin.

This condition can result in lightening or darkening of the affected skin areas and in order to treat it with this shampoo you will need to speak to your doctor. This is because the stronger prescription variation of the shampoo is necessary to treat this condition.

Hair Loss Treatment

lady losing hair and in need of ketoconazole shampoo

There are many people that suffer from hair loss, and this can occur for a variety of reasons. While most people associate hair loss with men, it can affect both men and women at varying levels. 

Research has shown that while ketoconazole is targeted toward the treatment of scalp and skin infections and conditions, it may also be able to help with the promotion of hair growth or the reduction of hair loss.

Often, hair loss is the result of health problems with the scalp such as inflammation of the follicles, which can then increase hair loss or reduce hair growth. This medicated shampoo is designed to improve the condition of the scalp and reduce inflammation as a result of its anti-fungal properties. 

By doing this, it is also able to help prevent hair loss by reducing follicular inflammation. Alternatively, it may help to encourage hair growth again by reducing inflammation of the follicles and restoring them to a healthier condition.

Studies in patients with alopecia have found that the product does help when it comes to the re-growth of hair.

Ketoconazole Shampoo: Summary

As you can see, Ketoconazole shampoo can be effectively used to treat a variety of scalp and skin conditions. It is important to remember that the version you buy over the counter is 1 percent or lower in strength. 

Therefore, if you require a stronger version of the treatment, you would need to consult with your doctor and get the treatment on prescription.


With the prescription version of the shampoo, you can benefit from a strength of 2 percent or more based on your doctor's recommendations and the condition that is being treated.

You should always ensure you use this shampoo as directed on the bottle if you purchase over the counter or as directed by your doctor. This will ensure you get the best chance of successful treatment through the use of the product.

It also means that you will be able to benefit from faster, more effective relief from the skin or scalp problem that is affecting you.

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