Nizoral is probably the most effective shampoo on the market to control seborrhoeic dermatitis. Containing Ketoconazole, the 2% edition is by far the best but unfortunately is available prescription only in the USA (you can buy it OTC virtually everywhere else!). This can and does control severe cases of seb derm. The other ingredients, particularly the US version, leave a lot to be desired so use with caution.
Nizoral comes in two forms, depending on what side of the pond you’re from. The European version is a bright red/orange watery liquid. The US version on the other hand is blue thick liquid with a pearl like sheen. Both shampoos use Ketoconazole as their active ingredient, an anti-fungal agent that is, in my experience, the most effective on the market at treating seb derm.
Other than the use of Ketoconazole, they are two totally different shampoos.
Before I progress, I have to admit to having a real love/hate relationship with Nizoral. Yes, it’s typically the most effective shampoo for Seborrhoeic Dermatitis on the market. Particularly the 2% formulation. But it’s also got some very nasty chemicals in there. The US version even more so…
They both use Sodium Laureth Sulfate to make the shampoos foam and this is a no-no for many people. In addition, the UK adds a preservative called Imidazolidinyl urea (Imidurea). Imidurea is a preservative extracted from urine that releases formaldehyde. It’s a real problem for some people causing all sorts of allergic reactions. Nice! Instead of Imidurea, the US have added two even harsher preservatives. One is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative called Quaternium-15. The other a fat preservative called Butylated Hydroxytoluene. Both of which cause bad reactions in some people so be careful.
Reading the ingredients almost puts you off washing but I have a review to complete so…
Both of these shampoos have a light generic medicated smell and when washing the US version has a much more luxurious feel. It feels like you can use it sparingly. The US stuff also contains menthol, to give you the illusion that your scalp is cool after washing. I’m not a big fan of menthol personally and prefer manufacturers to use chemicals only when absolutely necessary. But I’m sure some of you like it.
The UK version on the other hand feels quite cheap and you have to use a sizeable amount to wash. Considering the use of sulfates, this is extremely disappointing. Nizoral, if you’re going to add potentially carcinogenic highly irritable chemicals to my shampoo, you may as well make it feel nice! If you use either version, I recommend using it sparingly and using a really mild shampoo for the majority of your washes.
Use a good conditioner too. It’ll tends to dry your hair otherwise.
There’s no getting around it. If you have severe Seborrheic Dermatitis then this is one of the most effective treatments out there, but the chemicals are quite frankly horrible. As I said, it’s a real love hate relationship this one. It all depends how bad your dandruff is and how bad you want to get rid of it. If it’s not severe then I recommend using an alternative first. If that doesn’t work, build up to this one.
If any shampoo manufacturers out there are reading this, can you make a mild shampoo containing 2% Ketoconazole please? You’ll sell lots….