Nizoral is a shampoo officially advertised as helping in the
treatment of dandruff. Nizoral contains the active ingredient
Ketoconazole. Previously, Nizoral was available only on prescription
at a 2% concentration of ketoconazole. Now 1% ketoconazole is
available without prescription in the USA.
Ketoconazole is an anti fungal agent that is very effective
in killing a fungus called P. ovale. P. ovale
is very common and virtually all of us have it on our scalps.
Normally it is kept under control, but sometimes it proliferates
out of control. This excessive activity can be the result of
hormones, stress, diet, climate, or even how genetically susceptible
or resistant we are to this fungus.
P. ovale fungus has been implicated in dandruff. When
fighting off excessive growth of P. ovale our skin cells
proliferate too fast. Dead skin builds up on the scalp. Eventually
the dead skin cell layers break up and flake off as dandruff.
Controlling P. ovale helps significantly in blocking
Unofficially, Nizoral has been promoted as a hair growth activator.
Some claim it is as effective as minoxidil in promoting hair
growth. As well as working against microbes, Nizoral also reduces
the production rate of sebum.
It has been suggested that androgenetic alopecia involves inflammation
due to colonization of the hair canal by microbes as well as an
increase in sebum production. Hair follicle sebaceous glands are
androgen sensitive and in androgenetic alopecia the sebaceous
glands become enlarged and produce more oils. More oils mean more
sebum. This sebum, full of organic oils, is a rich source of food
for skin flora and fauna. Microbes are more likely to enter the
hair canal and proliferate feeding on the sebum in the canal.
Nizoral may counteract these phenomena seen in androgenetic alopecia
and some dermatologists believe this can help reduce hair loss
and may help promote hair regrowth.