Shampoos and conditioners for yeast scalp infections

Written by rachel miller
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Shampoos and conditioners for yeast scalp infections
Scalp yeast infections are often characterised by itchiness, redness and flaking. (esp2k/iStock/Getty Images)

Yeast scalp infections are common in both men and women. Anti-fungal treatment manufacturers claim dandruff is the most prevalent yeast scalp infection, affecting roughly 50 per cent of the population at some point in their lives. These infections are caused by an over-abundance of a micro-organism called pityrosporum ovale, a yeast-like fungus present in the skin. Symptoms of a scalp yeast infection include an itchy, flaky scalp, redness, dryness and sores. Treatment generally comes in the form of an anti-fungal shampoo and conditioner you can buy from your local chemist or supermarket.

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Ketoconazole shampoos

Shampoos with the active anti-fungal ingredient is ketoconazole work by interfering with the cell membranes of fungi and yeasts to stop keep them from reproducing. Ketoconazole shampoo is particularly effective for severe dandruff and seborrhoeaic dermatitis. Use it to wash your hair weekly for two to four weeks and then use it once every two weeks thereafter to prevent the infection from returning.

Zinc PCA shampoos

Shampoo and conditioner with the active ingredient zinc PCA fight bacteria in moderate scalp yeast infections. Zinc PCA is an amino acid that regulates the amount of oil produced by the sebum gland and kills bacteria concurrently. Further, this treatment has a much lower PH balance than most anti-fungal shampoos and conditioners that aid natural scalp defence against germs and fungi, and makes the scalp a difficult environment for them to live in. Because no medication is used in this product, it is safe to use every day on an ongoing basis.

Selenium sulphide

Medicated over-the-counter shampoos with the active ingredient selenium sulphide help slow the growth of the skin cells causing the infection and softens and sheds the outermost layer of skin to help reduce flaking. Use selenium sulphide products intensively every day for two weeks to clear the yeast infection, and then use it two to three times per week on an ongoing basis to maintain scalp health.

Pyrithione zinc

Medicated anti-fungal shampoo and conditioners designed to fight mild yeast scalp infections may contain the active ingredient pyrithione zinc (PTZ). This works to control the oil-producing sebaceous glands and fight the growth of fungi and bacteria to prevent dandruff. The formula is refined enough to relieve mild symptoms of yeast scalp infections quickly and gently enough to use on an ongoing basis. These shampoos and conditioners can be bought at most supermarkets.

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