Medicated shampoos for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis

J Drugs Dermatol. 2008 Jul;7(7):699-703.


Seborrheic dermatitis is a common papulosquamous disorder of the skin, affecting 3% to 5% of the population. Dandruff, a less severe form of seborrheic dermatitis, affects a greater proportion of the population. The exact pathogenesis of seborrheic dermatitis is unknown, however colonization of the lipophilic yeast, Malasezzia furfur, and an inflammatory reaction to this yeast each seem to play a role in disease etiology. Therefore, treatment for seborrheic dermatitis is aimed at yeast elimination and inflammation control. Several treatment modalities are available for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff including shampoos, which contain both active ingredients related to antimycotic or anti-inflammatory effects and also surfactant ingredients that allow these shampoos to replace regular shampoos in affected patients. The literature regarding the treatment of therapeutic shampoos is reviewed, and treatment strategies for managing seborrheic dermatitis with therapeutic shampoos are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / etiology
  • Hair Preparations*
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Scalp Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Hair Preparations
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Tea Tree Oil