What is the Best Shampoo For Seborrheic Dermatitis in 2018?

A man sitting in tall grass while touching the top of his head after washing it with the best shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis.

Flakes of dandruff are an annoyance experienced by the majority of people at one time or another in their lives. Most people invest in a good dandruff shampoo, and that’s that—no more dandruff!

But when you’re affected by a similar, long-term problem, it can seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. This is often the case for people who suffer with seborrheic dermatitis.

This condition is relatively common and iIt affects up to five percent of the population. It can be very annoying, embarrassing and distressing to deal with.

So what exactly is seborrheic dermatitis? What causes it—and more importantly—how can it be treated? There are so many different products on the market that it’s hard to know, for example, which is the best shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis.

We take an in-depth look at what this condition is and review some of the best shampoos available to help manage symptoms.

Product
Details
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated
Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo

Head & Shoulders

Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo

5 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

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  • You will receive a Pack of (2) Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo, 13.5 Fl Oz
  • #1 dermatologist recommended dandruff brand
  • 1% selenium sulfide formula for prescription strength flake protection (1)
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category


Our #2 Rated
Zinc Shampoo

DHS

Zinc Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

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  • Calms irritated, inflamed skin
  • Provides effective relief of itching and flaking
  • Conditioning and healing formula
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #2 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category


Our #3 Rated
Dandruff Shampoo

Puriya

Dandruff Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

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  • EFFECTIVELY STOPS SCALP ITCHING AND FLAKING. The best proprietary herbal blend of Tea Tree Oil, Arnica, Sage and Rosemary...
  • DEEPLY HYDRATES SCALP AND HAIR. This recovery clarifying treatment adds moisture and nutrients to your dry scalp and hair as...
  • COMPLETELY AND GENTLY REMOVES RESIDUE & BUILD-UP. Scalp Therapy Shampoo gently and completely removes build-up from hair....
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #3 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category


Our #4 Rated
Psoriasis Shampoo

MG217

Psoriasis Shampoo

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

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  • Shampoo and conditioning scalp treatment leaves hair clean, soft and manageable with a fresh, pleasant herbal fragrance
  • Controls redness, itching, scaling, flaking, irritation of the scalp, and scalp build-up
  • Helps prevent recurrence of psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff symptoms
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #4 Rated

4 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category


Our #5 Rated
T Gel Shampoo

Neutrogena

T Gel Shampoo

3 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

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  • #1 Dermatologist Recommended Medicated Shampoo Brand
  • Contains twice the amount of medicinal ingredient as T/GEL original formula
  • Starts working in just after one use to control redness, intense itching and flaking of severe scalp conditions like...
HealthAmbition Stamp

Our #5 Rated

3 out of 5

In the Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis category

What Is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a very common skin condition which results in an itchy, red rash with a swollen, greasy or shiny appearance to the affected skin. It’s accompanied by white or yellow colored crusting or scaling of the skin.

Cradle cap, which many babies are affected by shortly after birth, is a form of seborrheic dermatitis. Scaly, greasy patches can be seen on the infant’s scalp. They can become crusty and flake off, but the condition is harmless and usually goes away on its own.

The same can’t be said of seborrheic dermatitis which affects adults. While it’s not a life-threatening illness, it tends to be a long-term condition which can flare up and settle down periodically.

An episode of seborrheic dermatitis can be triggered by stress, or cold weather.

What Causes Seborrheic Dermatitis?

In short, we don’t precisely understand what causes seborrheic dermatitis. Scientists are still studying this condition to fully understand the causes. What we do know is that seborrheic dermatitis is linked to a number of different factors:

Who Does It Affect?

Seborrheic dermatitis can affect people of any age and race, but the people who are most commonly affected are infants under 3 months and adults over 30 years old

Linked Conditions

Some medical conditions, such as acne, rosacea, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, depression, epilepsy and eating disorders are associated with increased risk of seborrheic dermatitis.

Medications

People taking certain medications are also at increased risk of seborrheic dermatitis. These medications include lithium, interferon and psoralen.

Seborrheic dermatitis is not caused by poor hygiene.

Seborrheic dermatitis has been linked with the overproduction of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, which occurs naturally on the scalp and skin. Malassezia feed on the flaky skin produced from the scalp.

Research indicates that some treatment shampoos are associated with a decrease in the numbers of Malassezia and the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis.

What is not clear, however, is whether the Malassezia actually cause seborrheic dermatitis, or if this condition just provides enough food for the Malassezia to overpopulate the affected area.

Don’t Try To Self-Diagnose

One important point about seborrheic dermatitis is that it can be very similar in appearance to eczema, psoriasis or an allergic skin reaction.

While some of these conditions have similar management and treatment strategies, others may differ. It’s very important to make sure you get a diagnosis from a qualified medical professional. Dermatologists are the experts in this area.

Can Seborrheic Dermatitis Be Cured?

Since we don’t fully understand what causes seborrheic dermatitis, there isn’t currently a cure. Treatment of this condition is usually aimed at loosening the existing scales for removal, reducing the amount of new scaling that forms and preventing complications, such as a skin infection.

Treatment for seborrheic dermatitis often consists of:

  • Regular use of a dandruff shampoo.
  • Applying medication to the skin for specific periods of time.
  • Using a barrier cream.

There are many different products available which are aimed at treating seborrheic dermatitis, and each one has its own combination of various different ingredients.

One particular combination of treatment products may work well for some people, but not for others. It’s important to work out the best possible combination for each person.

While some of the process of working out what suits an individual’s skin may be down to trial and error, it’s best done under the supervision of a dermatologist, who can advise and guide the affected person.

Precautions for Use

Shampoos and other products for seborrheic dermatitis shouldn’t be used for extended periods of time without correct medical advice.

Preparations should also not be used on large areas of your body without proper medical advice. If you have symptoms on more than one part of your body, check with your doctor before you apply any medicated preparation.

These kinds of medicated products can cause irritation. If you notice any abnormal skin irritation, or if symptoms become worse, stop using the product immediately and consult a medical professional.

How often the shampoo should be used depends on the shampoo, the severity of your symptoms and skin sensitivity.

Daily use may be appropriate if symptoms are severe, or when you first start using a medicated shampoo. Once things are more under control, you may be able to use the shampoo less frequently.

What Is the Best Shampoo for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

We’ve researched many different shampoos for seborrheic dermatitis, containing all kinds of ingredients. Having whittled it down to our top five products, we then undertook an in-depth review of each one to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Here’s a summary of each of the five products. We’ve included shampoos that use different active ingredients, so if something isn’t working well for you, there’s always more to choose from!

Our #1 Rated
Our pick our #1 rated

Head & Shoulders

Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This clinical strength shampoo from one of the best-known brands aims to remove oil and flakes, protect the scalp and moisturize the hair shafts and scalp. Most people liked this shampoo and reported a slight medicinal smell, although some users reported the smell was too strong.

In terms of results, many people were very impressed by the performance of this shampoo. Some people noticed positive results even after the first use; others said they’ve tried every shampoo on the market and not found anything that works as well as this one.

One negative side of this product is that some people with colored hair noticed it stripped their color, although other people reported no problems using this shampoo on colored hair.

Pros
Pro Active ingredient: selenium sulfide.
Pro Clinically tested.
Pro pH balanced.
Pro Mild enough to use every day.
Pro Prevents flaking, scaling, itching and irritation.
Pro Subtle, medicinal scent.
Pro Satisfaction guarantee.
Cons
Con Some users found it wasn’t suitable for colored hair.
Con Smell was too strong for some users.
 
 
 
 
 

Our #2 Rated
Our pick our #2 rated

DHS

Zinc Shampoo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This shampoo includes zinc, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Most people were very happy with the results after using this shampoo. Some people reported immediate relief from symptoms after the first use but a few users noted that this didn’t help very severe cases.

In general, the majority of people found this shampoo pleasant to use, and many commented on the nice scent, although one or two users disagreed. People noticed their hair felt clean and in good condition—not too drying, as with some other similar products. Most customers thought this shampoo was great value for money.

Pros
Pro Active ingredient: pyrithione zinc.
Pro Safe for use on colored hair.
Pro Reduces itching and irritation.
Pro Pleasant fragrance.
Pro Doesn’t dry hair out.
Cons
Con May not be effective in very severe cases.
 
 
 
 

Our #3 Rated
Our pick our #3 rated

Puriya

Dandruff Shampoo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

The vast majority of users had a lot of good things to say about this product. Most people reported a nice scent, with tea tree oil being the most noticeable ingredient. Users found the shampoo lathered well, and left hair feeling clean and in good condition.

The vast majority of people were really impressed with this shampoo, reporting decreased symptoms after only one wash, and longer term it proved more effective than many other brands people had tried in the past, although some found it didn’t work for them.

One person reported this was the only effective shampoo they’d used in the last 15 years. Accordingly, although this was a bit pricier than some of the other products reviewed, most people thought this shampoo was well worth the money.

Pros
Pro Active ingredients: tea tree, Aloe vera, arnica, rosemary and sage extracts.
Pro Sulfate free.
Pro Mild herbal fragrance.
Pro Not tested on animals.
Pro Gentle enough for daily use.
Pro 180-day money back guarantee.
Cons
Con Ineffective for a small number of users.
 
 
 
 
 

Our #4 Rated
Our pick our #4 rated

MG217

Psoriasis Shampoo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

Although this is labeled as a shampoo for psoriasis, it can also be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, as with other similar conditions. The majority of users were impressed with this product, reporting a significant decrease in symptoms with regular use.

A few users were definitely not fans of the coal tar smell that accompanies this shampoo, which really put some people off, but most said the smell was worth braving for the effect of this product.

Overall, most people had far less irritation and flaking with this product, and many people commented on the good value of this shampoo.

Pros
Pro Active ingredient: coal tar extract.
Pro Helps to prevent recurrent flaking and scaling.
Pro Leaves hair soft and manageable.
Pro Controls irritation and itching.
Cons
Con Unpleasant scent.
Con Can make hair very dry.
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Neutrogena

T Gel Shampoo

  • Quality
    Quality

  • Quality
    Price

  • Quality
    Our rating

This is a double strength formula of a very well-known product, designed to specifically target seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and severe dandruff. The active ingredient, coal tar, has been proven to help slow down the growth of skin cells on the scalp. In turn, this reduces inflammation, itching, scaling and flaking.

People were divided about this product. Some loved it, and said it was the best shampoo they’ve used for seborrheic dermatitis, some reported it worked well but dried their hair out too much, and others didn’t notice any difference to their symptoms.

Some people, although they found this shampoo to be effective said they couldn’t stand the smell. One of the more expensive shampoos we reviewed, people did comment on the high price, but most users though it was worth it for the results achieved.

Pros
Pro Active ingredient: coal tar extract.
Pro Controls itching and flaking.
Pro Reduces redness and irritation.
Pro Keeps working after hair is rinsed.
Pro Gentle enough to use every day.
Cons
Con Unpleasant smell.
Con Can dry the hair out too much.
 
 
 

Our Choice

Of the five products we singled out, in our opinion, the best shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis is Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Dandruff and Seborrheic Dermatitis Shampoo.

People were very impressed with the result after using this shampoo—some more so compared to any other product they tried. Users noticed a reduction in itching, scaling and flaking with this product, and most people found it mild and pleasant to use.

Other than a few people finding the smell too medicinal, and some—though not all— finding it negatively affected colored hair, there weren’t any major downsides to using this shampoo.

In addition, as the least expensive product of those we reviewed, this shampoo offers excellent value for money, and comes with a satisfaction guarantee; if you aren’t happy, you can return the product and receipt for a full refund—now there’s confidence from the manufacturer that this product is up to the job!

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