Seborrheic dermatitis - a side effect of the "no poo" movement

Shampooing or not

In previous blogs, I've discussed the merits of shampooing and the lack of evidence that those who don't use shampoos have healthier or better hair. The so called 'no poo' movement is popular among a small number of people.


Seborrheic dermatitis: a side effect for some of not shampooing

One problem that some encounter when they don't use shampoo is seborrheic dermatitis - which is a close cousin of "dandruff." Individuals with seborrheic dermatitis develop a red flaky scalp (see photo). When you look up close, many yellow and white scales are seen. 

The treatment for seborrheic dermatitis does not sit well with those who adhere to the principles of the 'no poo' movement. The treatment of seborrheic dermatitis involves anti-dandruff shampoos! These include shampoos with ingredients such as zinc pyrithione (Head and Shoudlers, etc), ketoconazole (Nizoral etc), selenium sulphide (Selsun Blue), and Ciclopirox (Stieprox etc). 

I see a lot of different shampooing practices - and seborrheic dermatitis is quite common amongst those who don't shampoo often. Seborrheic dermatitis does not usually cause significant hair loss. But in some individuals, it can cause itching. Rarely though, ti can lead to hair loss as the scalp inflammation that accompanies this condition pulls out hair. 

Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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