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Dandruff (cont.)

Medications

  • Antifungal shampoos – Prescription-strength shampoos help decrease the yeast counts on the skin, but work no better than over-the-counter dandruff shampoos.
    • ketoconazole (Nizoral) shampoo
    • ciclopirox (Loprox) shampoo
  • Antibacterial cleaners – Prescription-strength washes such as sulfacetamide help decrease the bacterial counts on the skin, but are of little benefit in the treatment of dandruff.
    • sulfacetamide (Rosanil)
    • sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur (Clenia)
    • benzoyl peroxide (Benoxyl, Benzac AC, Benzac W, Benzagel, Brevoxyl, Desquam, Fostex, Persa-Gel, Triaz, Vanoxide, Zoderm) cleansers
  • Cortisone shampoos – Prescription-strength steroid shampoos in rinse-off products help decrease the inflammation and decrease itching.
    • fluocinolone acetonide (Capex) shampoo
    • clobetasol (Clobex) shampoo
  • Corticosteroids – Prescription-strength cortisone preparations as "rub in and leave on" products help decrease the inflammation and control itching. These vary in strength, the strongest of which is about 1,000 times the strength of over-the-counter hydrocortisone!

Topical cortisones are safe when used appropriately under a physician' s care and guidance. As there are many known, possible long-term side effects of all steroids, they should be used sparingly and only where needed. Many cortisone preparations are available including ointments (more greasy, clear, petroleum-based) creams (thick, white, and lubricating), lotions (light, flowing liquid), solutions (clear watery liquid, often alcohol-based), sprays (clear liquid in propellant), and foams (light, airy mousse).

  • clobetasol (Olux) foam
  • betamethasone (Luxiq) foam
  • clobetasol solution (Cormax, Temovate)
  • fluocinonide solution
  • clobetasol (Clobex) spray
  • clobetasol lotion
  • triamcinolone (Kenalog) spray
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/29/2014
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