Did you know that Head & Shoulders was the best-selling shampoo in the world during 2012? About 110 bottles of this anti- dandruff formula were sold every minute in 2012 – which is a total of 29 million bottle sales a year. Is it a fad or does it really work to help cure eczema?
Head and Shoulders claims that the active ingredient that helps make their shampoo effective for eczema is zinc pyrithione. This ingredient has anti-fungal properties to prevent and treat it. It also works as an anti-seborrheic to slow the excess production and shedding of skin cells in the treatment of this condition. It is prescribed to treat eczema on the scalp by reducing the growth of skin fungi and decreasing excess skin cell growth that contributes to flaking and itching. (Note: sometimes this can cause side effects such as minor skin sensitivity and irritation in certain individuals).
Many reviews, including this one with over 50 postive claims, states that it is effective shampoo for relieving eczema, but it must be used regularly to notice a difference in itching and in the severity of it. However, it does not cure it.
You’ll notice that the shampoo does have a great scent to it – but this is because of the enormous amount of chemicals that are used in the shampoo; everything from sodium laureth sulphate (which helps it foam), sodium benzoate (a cancerous additive), propylene glycol (damages cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin, contact dermatitis and surface damage to the skin), to parrafinum (a mineral oil that clogs pores and can exacerbate eczema).
There are over 10 chemicals used in this shampoo, and the Environmental Working Group has listed out the ingredients and the dangers in more detail.
It is great that this brand offers many different options they have for consumers. However, some of these chemicals are of large concern. And depending on how serious your condition is, this can also affect how well the shampoo for eczema works; some types of dandruff flakes leave the scalp easily, but in other cases, they adhere to the scalp and build up to form a thick covering. However, with the more severe forms of the condition there’s an underlying inflammation that renders scalp tissues more tender and sensitive.
Overall, zinc pyrithione in Head and Shoulders can help control scalp eczema (depending on the severity and how well the individual responds to it), but it won’t completely cure the problem. It also might cost more in comparison to other shampoos because of the zinc pyrithione (anywhere from $6-8.99 for a 420ml bottle depending where you live) – but the chemicals may not be worth it for your health in the long run.