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Is Vichy Dercos Shampoo Good for Psoriasis?

Posted on July 05, 2022
Medically reviewed by
Ariel D. Teitel, M.D., M.B.A.
Article written by
Sarah Winfrey

People with psoriasis on the scalp may find themselves searching for a good solution for their dry, itchy plaques. No one wants to be scratching their scalp all day, and dealing with bleeding and infections can be uncomfortable or even painful. Many over-the-counter topical products may help manage scalp psoriasis. One of these is a shampoo called Vichy Dercos.

Several MyPsoriasisTeam members have wondered whether this shampoo may be helpful for scalp psoriasis. Here is what you need to know about the product so you can decide if it’s right for you. When considering any new skin care or hair care product, consult your doctor before adding this shampoo to your psoriasis management regimen.

What Is Vichy Dercos Shampoo?

Vichy Dercos shampoo, or Vichy Dercos PSolution, is designed to treat flaking associated with dandruff, but some people also use this product as a psoriasis shampoo. The Vichy Dercos line also includes conditioners, dry shampoos, and other products that aim to reduce symptoms of scalp problems.

Which Ingredient in Vichy Dercos Shampoo Might Help Psoriasis?

Although Vichy Dercos is, overall, moisturizing and helps hydrate the scalp, it is a medicated shampoo. Unlike anti-dandruff shampoos (such as Sea Breeze) that contain salicylic acid, Vichy Dercos has selenium sulfide, an active ingredient that might help a psoriasis-prone scalp.

Selenium sulfide helps remove dry scales and alleviates itching or flaking on the scalp. Initial studies indicate that, when used correctly, selenium sulfide may help treat plaque psoriasis on the scalp.

According to one 1987 study, selenium sulfide quickly relieved psoriasis symptoms in most people treated. The relief lasted as long as people continued using the shampoo as directed. It even helped those whose scalp psoriasis had resisted other treatment options, including corticosteroids and topical coal tar.

In another study, researchers focused on using selenium sulfide for people diagnosed with hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin’s keratin-based outer layer). The findings suggest that selenium sulfide helps treat hyperkeratosis in the same way it can help people with psoriasis. Specifically, the researchers believe that selenium sulfide slows the rate of cell turnover. In people with psoriasis, this would reduce the high rate of cell growth that characterizes the condition. If skin cells can’t grow, plaques won’t accumulate, which means less itching, burning, and other symptoms of psoriasis.

Note that Vichy Dercos shampoo does not contain other ingredients that may help scalp psoriasis, such as salicylic acid and coal tar.

How To Use Vichy Dercos Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Scalp Psoriasis

To give Vichy Dercos shampoo the best chance of working on your scalp psoriasis, you need to make sure you use the product correctly.

In the 1987 study mentioned above, researchers used shampoo with 25 milligrams of selenium per milliliter of shampoo. They applied it to the scalp, worked it into a lather, and then let it sit for 15 minutes. They then instructed participants to rinse until they had removed all the shampoo.

Other dermatology experts recommend lathering up the shampoo, leaving it on for two to three minutes, rinsing, and repeating the process. You may need to use trial and error to find out which method works best for you.

After getting your dermatologist’s approval, you can start by using your shampoo twice a week for two weeks, then once a week for two to four weeks. After that, you can use it as needed or talk with your dermatologist if you feel you should use it more regularly. Because this treatment shampoo focuses on scalp care, you may want to use a separate shampoo for routine hair care.

After applying the shampoo and rinsing, wash your hands thoroughly. Take care that you don’t get the product in your eyes. If you do, immediately rinse your eyes thoroughly for several minutes.

Potential Concerns When Using Selenium Sulfide Shampoo

If your scalp seems more irritated than usual after shampooing with selenium sulfide, stop using the product and contact your dermatologist right away. If you have a sensitive scalp or sensitive skin, pay special attention to make sure the shampoo doesn’t cause irritation.

You should also watch out for an extra oily scalp, oily or discolored hair, and unusual hair loss. If you notice these side effects (especially if they are severe or long-lasting), talk to your health care provider immediately.

If your psoriasis has caused open wounds on your scalp, don’t apply the shampoo until these areas have healed. You should also avoid using the shampoo if you are pregnant, and don’t use it on children under two years old.

If you have questions or concerns about Vichy Dercos shampoo or selenium sulfide, talk with your doctor or dermatology team right away. They will be able to answer your questions and help you decide if the shampoo continues to be the best treatment for you.

There are many psoriasis treatments for the scalp, and a medical professional should be able to help you select the best shampoo for your needs.

Find Your Team

If you or a loved one is living with psoriasis, consider joining MyPsoriasisTeam today. On the online social network for people with psoriatic conditions, you’ll be able to ask these questions and more. Share your story, get the support you need, offer your support to others, and find the community you’ve been looking for. It won’t be long before you have a community of people from around the world who understand life with psoriasis.

Are you struggling to find an effective treatment for scalp psoriasis? Are you wondering if Vichy Dercos shampoo might provide the help you’ve been looking for? Share your questions or thoughts in the comments below or by posting on MyPsoriasisTeam.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Ariel D. Teitel, M.D., M.B.A. is the clinical associate professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Sarah Winfrey is a writer at MyHealthTeam. Learn more about her here.

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