Scalp fungus isn’t fun. You might have itches, flakes, redness, even hair loss. It’s like your scalp is a battleground. But there’s more than one shampoo to fight scalp fungus. You might just find one that repels the fungal invasion.
Common Types of Scalp Fungi
- Malassezia – We (almost) all have this fungus on our scalps. It’s usually harmless. But for reasons science has yet to discover, sometimes it becomes an irritant, causing scalp skin cells to grow and shed more quickly. Pyrithione zinc is usually the treatment of choice.
- Ringworm – This has nothing to do with any kind of worm. Ringworm is a fungus that often appears in a ring formation. Selenium sulfide along with oral medication is the primary treatment methodical.
- Piedra – This fungus is recognizable by the hard nodules that form on individual hairs. The ketoconazole shampoos work well here.
There’s more than one reason for dandruff. From simple dry skin to bacterial or fungal infections, a dandruff shampoo to fight scalp fungus is usually our first choice of treatment. And it often works.
Sometimes the shampoo you’ve been using for awhile stops working. Switching to one based on a different ingredient may work. If not, it’s probably a good time to see your doctor.
These ingredients form the basis of the most common dandruff shampoos:
- Pyrithione zinc
- Selenium sulfide
- Coal tar
- Salicylic acid, sometimes with sulfur
This is really a subsection of the previous one. Many general purpose dandruff shampoos are based on specifically antifungal ingredients.
- Pyrithione zinc (effective against malassezia)
- Selenium sulfide (for ringworm in combination with prescription medication, also effective against malassezia)
- Ketoconazole (a general and powerful antifungal)
These shampoos contain ingredients with natural antifungal properties. But be aware that the shampoo formula may or may not include very much of the ingredient. And it may include other ingredients that would be better avoided.
These ingredients may also be helpful used directly as treatments rather than shampoos.
- Tea tree oil
- Coconut oil
- Emu oil (oil, generally from farmed emus, a large flightless bird)
It’s likely there’s an over-the-counter shampoo to fight scalp fungus that works for you. If not, it’s important to see your doctor. But hopefully, you can find one that’ll help you stop the enemy in its tracks.