The myrtus communis L. solution versus ketoconazole shampoo in treatment of dandruff: A double blinded randomized clinical trial

J Pak Med Assoc. 2018 May;68(5):715-720.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of myrtus communis L. solution in the treatment of dandruff and to compare it with ketoconazole.

Methods: This double-blind randomised clinical trial was conducted at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, from December 2015 to August 2016, and comprised patients with dandruff aged 18-60 years visiting the dermatology out-patient clinic. The subjects were randomised into two equal groups. The treatment group received myrtus communis L. solution and a placebo shampoo, while the control group received ketoconazole shampoo and a placebo solution. The total duration of the study for each subject was one month and subjects in both groups used their respective interventions 8 times during that period. The parameters studied were pruritus, erythema, severity of scaling, and the extent of scalp involvement. All subjects underwent scalp scaling tests at the beginning, after 10 days and at the end of the 30th day. SPSS 21 was used for data analysis.

Results: Of the 90 individuals, there were 45(50%) in each of the two groups. However, 74(82%) subjects completed the third visit and, of them, there were 37(50%) in each group. Both groups showed significant improvement in all outcome measures (p<0.001). There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of efficacy, satisfaction rate and side effects (p>0.05 for each outcome).

Conclusions: Myrtus solution was found to be effective in the treatment of dandruff.

Keywords: Dandruff, Myrtus communis L., Ketoconazole, Seborrheic dermatitis, Traditional Persian.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dandruff / complications
  • Dandruff / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Female
  • Hair Preparations / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Ketoconazole / adverse effects
  • Ketoconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Myrtus*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Phytotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Hair Preparations
  • Plant Preparations
  • Ketoconazole