When Your Shampoo Isn’t Getting The Job Done
Dry or oily skin doesn’t just affect the face. Skin problems can impact the scalp, too. While sometimes an itchy or flaky scalp points to dry skin, sometimes there are underlying conditions at play. Skin issues like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis may call for a medicated shampoo. Here’s what people need to know about hair and scalp conditions.
Medicated vs over-the-counter
When a person gets a rash on the arm, hydrocortisone cream can reduce inflammation and clear up the condition. In the same way, medicated shampoos can help reduce inflammation and calm any conditions on the scalp. Some medicated shampoos are available at local pharmacies without a prescription, while others need to be prescribed.
What to do for dandruff
Fungal infections cause some of the most common forms of dandruff. A dermatologist or other healthcare provider may recommend a dandruff shampoo that contains antifungal and antibiotic medications to clear up the underlying infection. Most often, patients should use the shampoo twice a week for up to 4 weeks.
Clearing up psoriasis
Scalp psoriasis can cause redness, flaking, and itching. Often, healthcare providers will prescribe a shampoo that contains either coal tar or salicylic acid. These shampoos can be incredibly useful. However, patients should not use medicated shampoos for longer than prescribed. In most cases, healthcare providers will advise stopping use as soon as symptoms clear.
Treatment for hair loss
Many men may seek out medicated shampoos to treat hair loss. In some patients, hair loss is linked to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that affects hair follicles. In these cases, treating hair loss with a shampoo that contains a DHT-blocker may be beneficial.
What can I get without a prescription?
A pharmacist can help point patients to over-the-counter medicated shampoos for some common problems. For example, parents may ask for recommendations regarding getting rid of dandruff or lice in children. If the condition is leading to open wounds or isn’t going away after using over-the-counter options, patients should consult a healthcare provider to find a prescription option.
Compounded shampoo options
Compounding is a practice that pharmacists can use to personalize products for specific patients. This can be useful for ensuring that patients get all the benefits of medication without applying more than is needed. Compounded shampoos are also an excellent option for patients who are allergic to specific ingredients that are commonly found in commercially available shampoos. For more information about medicated shampoos, speak with a pharmacist.