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What is Selenium Sulfide Shampoo?

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  • Written By: Pamela Pleasant
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Selenium sulfide shampoo is a specially medicated cleanser that is used on the scalp. The main ingredient of this shampoo is selenium sulfide and it is an inorganic compound that is a mix of selenium catenate and sulfur. When it is used in shampoos, it works as an anti-fungal and helps to reduce and eliminate yeast infections on the scalp area. Selenium sulfide shampoo can also ease the symptoms that accompany seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that sometimes causes dandruff. The scalp can become inflamed, red, and itchy. Excessive scratching can produce skin lesions and scaly skin that sheds off into the hair. Scalp related Dermatitis can also cause extremely dry or oily patches seen on the scalp and if it is left untreated it can result in hair loss. Selenium sulfide shampoo helps to loosen the scales on the scalp so that they can be easily rinsed out.

An over production of oil on the scalp and irritation due to an overgrowth of yeast can result in dandruff. Dermatitis can run in families and it is thought to be hereditary. There are other factors that can increase the risk for scalp problems. Stress, infrequent shampoos or skin cleaning, and using skin care products that contain alcohol can irritate the scalp causing dandruff. Selenium sulfide shampoo can help to stop yeast infections but they have to be used correctly to avoid any side effects.

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The overuse of selenium sulfide shampoo can result in severe skin irritation and it should never be left on the scalp for a long period of time. This can worsen the itchy symptoms and this can result in scratched and torn skin. After using this medicated shampoo, the scalp should be thoroughly rinsed.

Hair discoloration is another side effect of selenium sulfide. It can be avoided by rinsing the hair for a full five minutes after shampooing. Dryness and oiliness of the scalp and hair loss can also sometimes be seen. Typically, these symptoms only present themselves until the skin is used to the medicated shampoo. If severe scalp irritation occurs from using selenium sulfide shampoo, it should not be used again.

Medicated shampoos can irritate the eyes and genital areas. Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding must consult a physician before using them. Occasionally, selenium sulfide shampoo can also cause allergic reactions.

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ysmina
Post 3

Selenium sulfide shampoo comes in two strengths. There is selenium sulfide 2.5% shampoo and 1% shampoo. The 1% strength worked for me. I just don't like the scent. It smells like menthol and the scent is so strong.

fBoyle
Post 2

@bear78-- You're right. Selenium sulfide shampoo can be too harsh for some people. But the way I see it, this type of shampoo is not meant for long term use. It treats scalp fungal infections, so when the infection is gone, you can stop using it.

I used selenium sulfide shampoo for less than a month when I had an itchy scalp with dandruff. My doctor said that it's a fungal infection and recommended this shampoo to me. After several weeks of use, my symptoms completely disappeared. I stopped using the shampoo then and my symptoms haven't returned.

If the shampoo is not working for you, you could probably use a selenium sulfide lotion instead. Have you spoken to your doctor about this?

bear78
Post 1

I used a shampoo with selenium sulfide for my dandruff briefly. It helped with the dandruff but I couldn't continue to use it because it made my hair extremely dry. I think this type of shampoo is damaging to hair. Even though I used a hair conditioner on my tips after the shampoo, my hair still felt rough, dry and brittle. I don't like having dandruff but this shampoo is not for me.

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