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Skin Care and Diseases

Dandruff with Rogaine

01/18/2006

Question:

Dear Netwellness experts, I have been using Rogaine (Minoxidil) for 6 weeks due to hair loss. It has been causing major flaking of scalp which before was never a problem for me. My hair is filled with dandruff and flaking. I have a hard time now looking professional at work. Just touching my hair causes flaking. By the end of the day it`s all over my hair. Please recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo. I know about Selson Blue and Head and Shoulders but these shampoos seem harsh and I worry will only make my hair loss worse. Do you know of a gentle, safe, yet effective anti-dandruff shampoo that goes well with Rogaine? Thank you so much.

Answer:

The flaking is probably due to irritancy of the vehicle and/or to residual from the evaporation of the medication.  Be certain that you are applying the material as directed.  If twice daily is irritating you might try once a day.  That is effective although not as effective as twice daily.  Any of the over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoos are probably good.  I rarely use Selsun heavy metal containing shampoos except for very specific diagnoses.  Most of the baby shampoos and non-irritating shampoos are what I would recommend for you. 

If you are intolerant of Rogaine you probably should see your board certified dermatologist.  There are oral medications that may be effective.  A brief examination of your scalp may determine the precise cause of the scaling.  I would not temporize but use the results and adjust prolongation of the symptoms without definitive treatment.

Good Luck

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati