A fungal infection of the scalp can be a real irritant, causing itching and burning on the top of your head. If you are experiencing these problems, it may be time for you to head to the antifungal section of the shampoo aisle. There are many products on the shelves that you can buy today to help get rid of your specific fungal problem. Whether you are suffering from a ringworm infection or a simple case of dandruff, a good shampooing may do the trick.
Antifungal and Antiseptic Shampoo
Many leading antifungal and antiseptic shampoos contain ketoconazole, a proven treatment for fungal infections that may be superficial or transmitted through the bloodstream. Ketoconazole slows the growth of fungi that may be unresponsive to other medications. There are some side effects to using this type of antifungal shampoo, like hair loss, change of hair texture, oily or dry hair or sensitivity to chemicals present in the shampoo. To rid your scalp of a fungus, these shampoos should be used twice a week for four weeks. Lather and repeat two times per wash. (See Reference 1)
Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic found in some special shampoos. It is used primarily to treat scalp irritants like lice, ringworm, dandruff, mites and scabies. Tea tree oil can disinfect through many layers of skin, providing relief from itching or burning scalp. When choosing a tea tree oil shampoo, read the ingredients label carefully, as these may sometimes contain other irritating chemicals or have very little tea tree oil in them. Shampoos that also contain Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate may cause damage to the scalp. Tea tree shampoos infused with chamomile and aloe can help improve the health and body of your hair while also acting as a mild antifungal agent. (See References 2 and 3)
Dandruff is an embarrassing scalp condition that causes flaking and itching of the skin. Luckily, it is easily treatable, and it sometimes only requires an anti-dandruff shampoo to get rid of it. Dandruff can be caused simply by dry skin or by a fungus called malassezia that lives on the oil secreted by hair follicles. Shampoos that contain zinc pyrithione, like the well-known Selsun Blue, can help slow the fungal growth that causes dandruff. Selenium sulfide shampoos also reduce the effects of malassezia. (see reference 4)