Dermarest Shampoo is a treatment that is often recommended to people with seborrheic dermatitis or severe dandruff of the scalp. It’s a medicated shampoo containing salicylic acid 3% and zinc PCA. Both these compounds are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and can reduce itch, redness and scaling. Unfortunately, Dermarest may also dry out your scalp and hair, causing rebound oiliness.
Let’s take a deep dive:
What is Dermarest Medicated Shampoo and Conditioner?
Dermarest is a shampoo and conditioner combo product that contains 3% salicylic acid and a zinc complex. It is specially formulated to treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
The manufacturer claims that Dermarest will relieve scalp itch, treat flaking, reduce redness and restore moisture to the scalp.
The same brand offer a medicated lotion for eczema that contains hydrocortisone 1%. While it will work on seborrheic dermatitis in the short term, mostly due to suppression of inflammation, I don’t recommend topical steroids for SD as it causes more complications in the long run.
Further reading: The 5 best hair oils for seborrheic dermatitis
How does Dermarest Shampoo and Conditioner work?
The most important compounds in Dermarest is salicylic acid 3% and zinc PCA.
Salicylic acid is a bit of a wonder drug among SD circles. It can dissolve oil plugs, reduce oil production and combined with IPL, has proven efficacy as a treatment for SD. Read more about Is salicylic acid good for seborrheic dermatitis?
Zinc PCA is a combination of Zinc and L-PCA. Zinc improves your skin integrity and is anti-bacterial while L-PCA is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) that helps keep your scalp hydrated.
Dermarest also contains:
- Kukui seed oil which may help strengthen your hair and reduce inflammation
- Safflower extract which is increases circulation on the scalp, stimulating hair growth and strengthening the follicles. Unfortunately, it is also rich in oleic acid which can encourage Malassezia growth and irritate the scalp. Having said that, safflower extract is pretty low down the ingredient list and isn’t present in great quantities.
- Green tea leaf extract prevents hair loss and promotes hair regrowth
Sadly, Dermarest also contains ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) which I’m not a fan of.
Check out: The 6 Best Conditioners for Seborrheic Dermatitis
Is Dermarest Medicated Shampoo Plus Conditioner good for seborrheic dermatitis?
The short answer is yes. It obviously doesn’t work for everyone but in general, Dermarest is effective at treating seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp or severe dandruff. Both salicylic acid and zinc PCA improves the common symptoms of SD like itching, redness and flaking.
Dermarest is best used twice a week. For best results, the product should be applied to wet hair before being left on for several minutes. Rinse thoroughly after use.
The product is dermatologist tested, so it’s safe and effective for most people who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis.
It’s strong stuff, so you may get some unwanted side effects from it:
Side effects of Dermarest
Almost all anti-dandruff shampoos I’ve tried dried my hair out. Dermarest is no different. They try but the strong active ingredients needed for the product to be effective will dry out both your scalp and hair.
Ironically, you may also get more redness, scaling and itching with it.
Sometimes, Dermarest (and other anti-dandruff shampoos) results in rebound oiliness, necessitating you to wash your hair even more often. Alternate Dermarest with a regular shampoo if you wash your hair more than twice a week.
Also, use a repair conditioner or hair mask after Dermarest. The conditioner in Dermarest isn’t good enough for happy hair.
You may be interested in: Is Head and Shoulders good for seborrheic dermatitis?
To wrap up
Dermarest is worth a try if you have bad dandruff or scalp seborrheic dermatitis. I think it’s better than Head & Shoulders but everyone is different. If you want to avoid SLS and other prefer the natural route, you can mix essential oils with anti-fungal properties into your shampoo as well.
You may also be interested in Is Neutrogena T/gel good for seborrheic dermatitis?
Further reading: The 8 best scalp oils for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff
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