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Side-effects of Ketoconazole Shampoo


What is Ketoconazole Shampoo?

Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent that is extremely effective in eliminating fungal infections. The ketoconazole shampoo is specially formulated for the treatment of fungal infections affecting the scalp. There are a variety of reasons for dandruff  and this shampoo is effective for the treatment for quite a few different types of dandruff. There are a lot of benefits of this shampoo but there are a number of side-effects of ketoconazole shampoo too.

Ketoconazole Shampoo Uses

1. Dandruff: This is a popular dandruff treatment is a good antifungal shampoo and is very effective in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. This could be caused by an excess of the yeast fungus Malassezia and ketoconazole is very effective to treat it. It is very effective for anti-fungal treatment of the scalp by curbing the development of the fungi that cause the infection. It can be used to stop the scaling, itching and flaking of the scalp that is caused by dandruff.

2. Scalp Psoriasis: Ketoconazole is one of the most potent treatments for scalp psoriasis, an inflammatory condition that involves flaking and redness of the scalp. Here the skin cells proliferate rapidly creating lesions on the skin. Shampoos with ketoconazole are useful for removing both psoriatic plaques and dandruff. Individuals with scalp psoriasis are extremely vulnerable to fungal infections and ketoconazole offers them protection from the same and other yeast infections.

3. Ringworm Infection: It is normally recommended that we use ketoconazole twice a week to solve any ringworm issues. It eliminates the fungus and prevents it from proliferating. The shampoo is recommended for the treatment of tinea capitis, a fungal infection resembling ringworm that affects the scalp.


Are there any Side Effects of Using Ketoconazole Shampoo

There are a number of ketoconazole shampoo side effects, let’s find out more about them: 

1. Itching: Use less cream and confine it to the infected area. Rub carefully and gently. Also, loose clothes are recommended as they help avoid sweat.

2. Burning sensation: This is one of the most common side-effects of ketoconazole shampoo. However, if the irritation becomes severe then one would be well advised to take the advice of the doctor.

3. Hives: Again, stop the medication right away and visit the doctor as soon as possible

4. Hypersensitivity: If you are naturally hypersensitive it is recommended that you do a patch test and pursue the treatment only if your skin responds positively to the shampoo.

5. Dry skin: Dry skin gives rise to dandruff and is mostly seborrheic dermatitis. Ketoconazole can help reduce dandruff by eliminating the fungus and inflammation.

6. Rash: This is definitely one of the possibilities of ketoconazole shampoo and one is advised to cease treatment immediately on the first signs of the appearance of such symptoms.

7. Swelling: Though ketoconazole has anti-inflammatory qualities, swellings or inflammations can result if your skin does not respond well to the medication.

8. Irritated skin: If skin irritation occurs, stop treatment and visit your doctor at the earliest.

How to Use Ketoconazole Shampoo

This antifungal shampoo is very easy to use. Dampen hair and scalp with water. Apply appropriate quantity of shampoo to spread well over hair and scalp. Massage with care over the scalp. Wash hair with warm water. Repeat if advised by your doctor. Take care to dry hair completely after the final rinse. If you are using it for any skin apart from the scalp , apply it to the area affected and the healthy skin around it. Do not cover or apply bandages over the affected area.  Leave it for 5 minutes and then wash it off with water. If the shampoo enters the eyes, rinse it properly with water until the itching sensation goes off .

People above 12 years of age will need to use the shampoo every 4th day for a duration of 8 weeks for results to show results. Do not forget to use it at the same designated time every day. And  do not discontinue the treatment before the prescribed treatment is completed. This may allow the fungus to regrow and your situation could degenerate into its original condition very quickly. Post this period the shampoo can be used only to treat vexing dandruff issues.

Do not however use the shampoo if your scalp is damaged or swollen. Also rush to your doctor if the condition does not improve or worsens after 2-4 weeks of treatment.


  • What are the side effects of ketoconazole shampoo?

Despite the many benefits of ketoconazole shampoo, it also does have quite a few side effects that one needs to be wary of including allergic reactions sometimes severe called anaphylaxis. Therefore, one is always advised to use any form of ketoconazole medication on the recommendation of the doctor. One of the most common problems is the skin irritation which appears as pimples in the area where it has been applied. It could also aggravate oiliness and dryness of the scalp in certain people. It could also lead to discoloured hair and spoil the texture of your tresses. On occasions the curls of permed hair could also disappear. Though ketoconazole shampoo rarely produces allergic reactions, do get in touch with your healthcare provider if you face breathing issues, dizziness, rashes, swelling of tongue, face and throat and itching.

  • Is ketoconazole shampoo safe?

Ketoconazole is generally considered safe if used topically for nothing else but for the specific purpose. However, contact dermatitis has been known to occur in some cases. 

Breastfeeding women should however use it very carefully and make sure it does not touch the nipples as the babies could possibly ingest it.

  • Is ketoconazole shampoo harmful for hair? 

Ketoconazole has been known to cause both oiliness and dryness of the scalp in certain individuals. Discoloration and degradation in the quality of hair can also happen. In very particular cases does it cause hair loss. Get in touch with your doctor right away if either of these happen.

  • Is it safe to use ketoconazole shampoo daily?

While prescription ketoconazole is meant to be used twice a week for dandruff and thrice for hair loss the OTC version can be used daily if required. It is one of the most potent dandruff solutions.

Ketoconazole shampoo is one of the most effective treatments for scalp infection. It is very effective in removing all your scalp and hair problems, but as we have seen, there are side-effects of ketoconazole shampoo too. However, sustained efforts are necessary and one can get the entire range of benefits only if the treatment is completed as per medical specifications. Traya has this and a whole range of other solutions for all your scalp and hair issues. Do get in touch with our experts and utilise our eclectic solutions and methods to improve the beauty and quality of your tresses.


Zahra Lokhandwala

Hair Coach

Zahra is the hair coach-in-chief at Traya. She works closely with the doctors to monitor all cases. She is a fitness freak and has not touched sugar in years!

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