Shampoos containing coal tar, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithrione, or salicylic acid are used effectively to treat control seborrheic dermatitis. Some of these can only be obtained with a prescription. The following are my top picks for over-the-counter seborrhea shampoos.
This shampoo is the only one on the list with ketoconazole, an excellent antifungal medication.
Head & Shoulders is a brand that has been around for a long time - for a good reason. This shampoo contains selenium sulfide which causing a "tingling" sensation.
Another shampoo by Head & Shoulders has a different formulation than the previous pick. This one contains pyrithione zinc which is also effective for seborrhea. One is not necessarily more effective than the other. Some people just respond better to different medications.
Denorex also puts out a pyrithione zinc shampoo that has been around for a long time.
Selsun Blue is another old stand-by. Selsun Blue contains selenium sulfide as the active ingredient.
This shampoo controls seborrhea with 2% sulfur and 2% salicylic acid. Although it contains sulfur, its distinct smell is not sulfuric.
This shampoo contains 3% salicylic acid as the active ingredient. Salicylic acid helps break down the flakes of seborrhea but does not slow down the process of excessive skin turnover. It can be used for moderate to severe cases of seborrhea in combination with one of the above shampoos.