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Ketoconazole: Shampoos That Treat Fungal Infections

July 10, 2022 0

Ketoconazole is a medicinal shampoo that treats fungal infections, especially those affecting the scalp.

In the market today, anti-dandruff shampoo for men India that contains ketoconazole is available both over the counter (OTC) and by prescription from your doctor.

Their primary function is to treat infections caused due to fungal growth, and the shampoos are a reddish-orange liquid comprised of ketoconazole which has the power of being antifungal. Various scalp conditions, such as persistent dandruff and other infections like seborrheic dermatitis and tinea versicolor, have been treated with the application of ketoconazole is supposed to be used in the form of a solution. The concentration of 2% of this medication has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Association).

The other reason ketoconazole is used as a shampoo for treating fungal infections is that this medication does not get mixed into one’s bloodstream, which is very important as this drug should be entering into our blood vessels. It is how one can make sure that the antifungal properties are just limited to the scalp. Ketoconazole makes it easier for the fungus to break down by weakening the cells they reside in, thereby leading to their collapse.

In an ideal situation, when a person suspects having a fungal infection based on the symptoms, they should initially talk to their regular doctor or healthcare provider. And it would be best if you took this suspicion seriously during the first check itself, and the doctor must advise on effective treatment according to the severity of their condition.

Who’s behind the innovation of this formula?

Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium initially developed the formulation of ketoconazole in the year 1976. It was originally only used as an oral drug during the first ten years after its development, after which its place was taken by its substitutes which had comparatively less toxic and reduced side effects:

  • The absorption varied from individual to individual
  • It wasn’t able to penetrate the brain and enter the bloodstream and prevent more serious infections
  • In some cases, side effects are related to the abdomen, intestines, and liver.

Uses of Ketoconazole shampoos

Ketoconazole shampoo is frequently promoted as a treatment for dandruff, and various over-the-counter brands like Ketomac are available in pharmacies or online websites and apps for purchase. The uses of ketoconazole shampoo are generally for the following conditions of the scalp:

  • Usually, dandruff is a prevalent symptom that cannot be directly related to fungal infection. However, it is called seborrheic dermatitis in cases where the dandruff is persistent and stubborn. In such cases, you can use ketoconazole shampoos.
  • One of the symptoms of fungal infection called seborrheic dermatitis is the excess formation of a yeast fungus named Malassezia, which is supposed to be naturally present on your skin. In this case, using a ketoconazole shampoo helps reduce the fungal growth and thereby the inflammation of the skin hence caused.
  • Symptoms like flaking of the scalp’s skin, skin that plaques, and the skin can turn red. It can indicate a condition of the skin known as Psoriasis. The skin plaques that are formed get contaminated by the fungus, and preferable for this condition, a doctor must necessarily check the skin’s condition and prescribe the treatment in the form of ketoconazole shampoo.
  • Skin condition like tinea capitis, which looks like ringworm, is a fungal infection of the scalp which needs Ketoconazole shampoo to be treated effectively. Also, a condition like Tinea versicolor affects the scalp, and the triggering factor for this condition is an overgrowth of yeast which also is naturally present on the skin.
  • Along with treating infections or conditions mentioned above due to antifungal properties, ketoconazole shampoo has also been proven with some subjective evidence that it can stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss.

Categories of ketoconazole shampoo

Ketoconazole shampoos can be found in various formulations and bought either over the counter or for some conditions requiring a doctor’s prescription.

There are two basic differentiating categories that one can buy:

o Ketoconazole shampoos available over the counter are made up of 1% or less formulation of the medicine.

o Apart from these, one can also use shampoos containing 2% or more ketoconazole solution in shampoos that have to be sold only by a doctor’s prescription.

The most commonly known OTC brand is Ketomac, available in most supermarkets, pharmacies, and online.

Side effects

Ketoconazole shampoos generally have quite a few limited side effects. Still, in some cases, some informed side effects of using this shampoo that the FDA conveyed are as follows:

  • Discoloration an odd feel to the hair
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Dry Skin
  • Itching
  • Rashes and irritated skin
  • Burning sensation

Also, in addition to the above, in rare cases person may experience an allergic reaction to the shampoo. This condition is termed anaphylaxis, and its symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Tight chest
  • Difficulty in swallowing and breathing
  • severe itching
  • Rash
  • Dizziness
  • Burning sensation

Hence, the patient must always do a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions to the skin. There is a rare possibility of being allergic to ketoconazole shampoo, but if you sense something wrong after using it, it should not be taken lightly. Seek medical attention at the earliest.

When to see a doctor after using the shampoo

After using over-the-counter ketoconazole shampoo, if the person suspects the symptoms to remain or, in some cases, get more intense, they must immediately consult a doctor.

Some of these symptoms can go out of hand and needs a doctor’s guidance; the symptoms are as follows:

  • Emergence of rashes or inflammation
  • Gasping for breath
  • You feel a swelling under the skin, which is a condition called angioedema
  • Irritated skin

Some key facts and figures

  • Shampoos containing ketoconazole usually deliver results within 2 to 3 weeks for most of the conditions caused due to fungal infections.
  • But it may also take up to 6 weeks in some complicated cases.
  • The healing of the fungal infection is due to the properties present in the shampoo helping to kill the yeast or fungi causing the condition.
  • The most common side effect you can treat as normal is irritated or red skin.
  • For most types of infections, you should use the shampoo once or twice a week, but people also use it every 1 to 2 weeks to help them with dandruff and stop it from returning.

Recommended use of ketoconazole shampoo for pregnant ladies and infants

  • It is harmless to use ketoconazole shampoo when breastfeeding, and research shows that it does not pose a risk to the infant. However, breastfeeding women should be careful while applying it to the breasts or the nipples as there may be a chance of the infant ingesting it.
  • In the case of pregnant ladies, however, there does not appear to be much research on the safe use of ketoconazole shampoo during pregnancy. The FDA also recommends a pregnant lady should not use ketoconazole unless the benefit outweighs any probable risks to the fetus.
  • However, more recent research also suggests that ketoconazole is likely safe. Still, if a pregnant woman uses it, she should only do so in limited areas for short periods.
  • Also, there are not enough studies to specify whether the ingredients harm the developing baby.
  • Children under two years must also avoid using shampoo unless their doctor recommends it. The safety of ketoconazole shampoo on children remains uncertain.
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands after your hair is clean, as it can prevent the fungal infection from spreading to other parts of your body.

How can one use ketoconazole shampoo?

  • You can use ketoconazole shampoo by most adults and children aged 12 years and above.
  • A ketoconazole shampoo must be used as instructed by one’s prescription by a doctor or regarding the product’s packaging label and leaflet inside the product for ideal use.
  • First step while initiating the treatment of the scalp, one must wet their hair apply shampoo in the quantity mentioned, and wait for the lather to form, which shows that the scalp is entirely in contact with the shampoo, after which you can rinse away the shampoo. After which, one can follow the usual course that one does after shampooing one’s hair which is conditioning and drying the scalp and hair thoroughly.
  • If you’re using ketoconazole shampoo on other areas except for your scalp, you should keep the affected area with the application for five minutes. Post this, and you can rinse it off carefully with water. And don’t forget to dry your skin – which is the most important to avoid the growth of fungi.
  • If you’re supposed to use the shampoo on a particular day and have forgotten to use it, you can skip the missed dose and continue with the usual treatment course.
  • In case you use too much shampoo, or by chance happen to use it more frequently than prescribed, it can cause your skin to be irritated and make your skin red. If you see this happening while using the shampoo, you must use the shampoo in lesser quantity from the next time.

Now to understand how often you should use the shampoo and the period for it to be used depends on several different factors as follows:

  • The formulation of the shampoo, i.e., either it has 1 percent medication for OTC or 2 percent, which can only be bought by prescription
  • the infection you intend on treating
  • How severe are the symptoms currently

Based on the above factors, the doctor may decide whether to allow you to use it every other using it once a week will be enough for you.

How should one store Ketoconazole shampoo?

  • You should store the shampoo in the same container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep away from freezing the bottle.
  • Keep out of the reach of children at your home.
  • Do not keep or use outdated/expired medicine or medicine no longer required.
  • Preferably, one must ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any shampoo that you do not use anymore.

One must strictly abide by the doctor’s direction regarding using ketoconazole shampoo; you should not change the quantity and frequency. Generally, the results should be seen depending on the condition between two to four weeks after one has started to use this treatment unless there’s a supplementary treatment to be followed in two weeks depending on the condition one has. If you don’t see any progress even after a month, you must inform the doctor or health provider for some modification of the treatment.

Suppose an anti dandruff shampoo for men in India containing ketoconazole doesn’t suit your skin or is not benefitting your skin condition. In that case, one can use other substitutes available on the market.

The other shampoos that work as a substitute are as follows and include:

  • salicylic acid shampoos
  • shampoos with coal tar
  • Mixing tea tree oil with any shampoo of your choice
  • Shampoos that contain pyrithione zinc

To conclude, along with every treatment prescribed by the doctor, one is supposed to take care of their daily routines and make changes in their behavior so that the treatment can be more effective:

  •     Effective Stress Management: Stress not only affects your mental well-being but also disturbs your overall health, disrupting mental and physical health. It makes one more prone to several infections and diseases, as the immune system has been weakened due to stress. One such condition is that it causes dry scalp, i.e., dandruff-related issues. If a person has existing symptoms of fungal infections, they may get worse and not be able to heal completely due to the excessive mental and physical stress caused to your mind and your body, respectively.
  •     Consumption of a healthy diet:Believe it or not, your diet plays a crucial role in most things affecting your body. A wholesome, healthy diet that delivers multiple nutrients in the form of food, i.e., zinc, vitamins B12, and necessary fats that help prevent scalp dryness and excessive dandruff.
  •     Religiously follow hair and scalp care routine: One must have a hair and scalp routine according to their hair and scalp type. If one’s scalp tends to get oily quite fast, use shampoo daily to prevent it from dandruff. Mildly massaging your scalp help in loosening the flakes. And for those with dry scalp also leading to your scalp becoming sensitive, this is an indication to use shampoo not that frequently and use products that condition and moisturize your scalp between washing them. Hair-styling products can also build up on your hair and scalp, so one must limit the use of hair-styling products.
  •     Exposing to the sun: To control dandruff, exposing your body to the sun every day for a certain amount of time is beneficial. However, sunbathing should be avoided because ultraviolet rays of light can damage your skin.

Some of the lifestyle changes mentioned above are recommended to heal dandruff and other related conditions permanently.

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