How to Treat Dandruff

Fungi are the most common cause of dandruff. Therefore, antifungal agents comes first when we speak about dandruff treatments.

Antifungal agents. The most common topical preparations successfully used to treat dandruff include ketoconazole, zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, sulfur and coal tar. The antifungals are generally used as shampoos.   All of these agents possess activity against P. ovale.

In addition to antifungal activity, several other mechanisms have been identified. Zinc pyrithione decreases the turnover of the rapidly dividing epidermal cells. Coal tar has antiseptic, antipruritic (anti-itching), and exfoliating properties.

Other treatments. Salicylic acid is an exfoliating agent that loosens the scalp scales and aids in their removal. It is often used in combination with one of the antifungal treatments. In cases of extensive or severe seborrheic dermatitis, patients should be treated by a physician. In these cases, the physician may prescribe the use of topical corticosteroids.