At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Sulfur shampoo is a type of shampoo that is often used for the treatment of dandruff and other scalp conditions that cause flaking. It might also help to relieve itching associated with a flaky scalp. Sulfur tends to be effective for dealing with itchy, flaky scalp problems because it can kill the bacteria that cause these problems. Many dandruff shampoos contain sulfur as an active ingredient, but there are also specialized sulfur shampoos. Not all drug stores carry sulfur shampoo, so a person who is interested in buying it may need to either order it online or check with her local beauty supply store to see if it is in stock.
A person who wants to use sulfur shampoo for the purpose of eliminating dandruff and itchy scalp will probably need to initially use it about three times a week for three weeks until the problems start to subside. After the dandruff and itchiness begin to go away, usage can most likely be limited to just once a week to prevent future scalp problems from occurring. Sulfur shampoo is applied in much the same way as regular shampoo, but directions may vary depending on the manufacturer. Most of these products recommend leaving the product on for about five minutes after they are lathered into the scalp, and then rinsing thoroughly.
Sulfur is considered a natural substance and very rarely causes adverse reactions in people who use it for scalp treatment. People have been using sulfur as a remedy for dandruff and other scalp disorders since roughly the 1930s. It is also considered safe to use on dogs as a form of treatment for mange and other skin conditions. Even though side effects are rare, a person should probably discontinue use of any sulfur products if itching and flaking become worse rather than improve.
If sulfur shampoo is used and no improvement is noticeable after a few weeks, a doctor's visit might be necessary. Some scalp disorders may be serious enough that they do not respond to shampoos containing sulfur, and prescription medication may be needed. These prescription remedies may be in the form of either medicated shampoos or capsules depending on the individual problem. A person may want to try switching sulfur products before consulting a doctor, but it is probably not a good idea to let itchy scalp symptoms persist for too long because the problem may continue to get much worse.