Selenium sulfide shampoo - Selenium sulfide lotion - tinea versicolor

Selenium sulfide shampoo - Selenium sulfide lotion
Selenium sulfide (SeS2) is used in shampoo and lotion for the treatment of dandruff and tinea versicolor.

What is selenium sulfide shampoo or lotion?

Selenium sulfide is the commercial name for Selenium disulfide, an inorganic compound with antibiotic, fungicidal and anti infective properties, widely used in topical preparations for treating fungal infection like dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and tinea versicolor.
At 1% strength it is available over the counter and is used in the form of shampoo  for treating dandruff.
However 2.5% strength is available only under prescription and used for tinea versicolor skin infections caused by Malassezia furfur species of skin fungus.

Method of using selenium sulfide lotion and shampoo

Shake the container well before using these preparation as the ingredients may settle to the bottom.
Selenium preparation usually comes as a liquid.
For use on the scalp, follow label directions.
Usually it is advised to apply on wet scalp and and rub well to get lather.
Rinse off selenium compound and repeat the application again.
Leave it for a few minutes and rinse hair and scalp thoroughly for several times to get rid off any residue.
Initially apply twice a week and later apply once a week for 4-5 weeks.
For treatment of fungal skin infections like tinea versicolor, use 2.5% strength preparation and follow the advice of the medical care provider.
It will be usually advised to apply daily for a week on the affected skin.
Apply as advised by the doctor and rinse well with plenty of water to remove all of the medication.

Precaution while using selenium shampoo and lotion

As the ingredients may react and damage metals, remove jewelry before the use.
If you have sensitive skin, consult doctor and take advice.
Do not apply it on scratched, damaged or cut skin.
Do not use the medication on to cut or scratched scalp skin.
Take care to avoid getting it in to the eyes.
If it gets into eyes accidentally, rinse well with water.
If eye irritation continues or the eye gets inflamed consult your doctor immediately.
Selenium sulfide lotion should not be used on children below two years without doctor's advice.
For use by children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and people with skin infections and dermatitis, doctor's advice must be sought.
Do not use more than the prescribed quantity, frequency and duration of application to avoid skin irritation and allergy.

Side effects of selenium lotion and shampoo

Minor side effects like dryness or oiliness of scalp, dryness of skin and hair discoloration and hair loss may occur.
If it does not resolve after some time seek doctor's advice.
If there is any skin irritation, scalp irritation, eye irritation, breathing trouble, dizziness, itching and swelling of face, tongue or mouth consult doctor immediately.
Serious allergic reactions to these skin preparations are rare.
Selenium compound is found to be carcinogenic to animals when given orally.
If you find any serious side effect from the medication you can report to U.S. Food and Drug Administration online (at

Storage and safety of selenium sulfide shampoo and lotion

Like any other medicine, the selenium lotion must be kept out of reach of children.
The container must be tightly closed kept in a place away from moisture, heat or sunlight. Do not use any expired medication.
These preparations for tinea vesicolor or dandruff are topical and for external use only.
They should never be taken into mouth, swallowed or used on open wounds.
Exsel, Dandrex, Selsun, Selsun Blue and Head and Shoulders Intensive Treatment Dandruff Shampoo are some of the popular brands of selenium sulfide lotion and shampoo preparations.
Selenium sulfide lotion - shampoo - tinea versicolor (current topic).

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