Q. I have been treating a scalp problem for many months. Prescription drugs such as clobetasol, ketoconazole shampoo and fluocinonide each help, but do not clear it up altogether. I still have itching and flaking.
I’ve tried lots of other remedies such as Head and Shoulders shampoo, organic baby shampoo, baby oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil and Mane ‘n Tail shampoo for animals but none do the job. Do you have any ideas to clear this up?
A. Other readers have suggested remedies for itching and scaling that you may not have tried. One calls for rinsing the hair and scalp with dilute vinegar after shampooing. Another approach is to soak the scalp with amber-colored Listerine. Some people find that applying milk of magnesia to the scalp can be helpful.
We don’t know if any of these would work when antifungal drugs have not, but they are all inexpensive and worth a try. For more details on these and additional home remedies for dandruff and itching, we are sending you our Guide to Hair and Nail Care. It also includes information on hair loss, lice and hair dye safety.
One reader reported his experience with a standard dandruff shampoo: “Years ago, a dermatologist told me to leave the zinc pyrithione shampoo (I use a generic one) on my scalp for a while.
“Three times a week, I put it on at the beginning of my shower and don’t rinse it off until I am done, which usually will be several minutes.
“No dandruff. I do use a tar shampoo once or twice a month to alternate, and no conditioner, as that makes for an itchy scalp.”
Another woman’s husband used a more alternative approach: “My husband had dandruff and he rinsed his hair with apple cider vinegar and it went away. It also made his hair soft. The only thing was his dark hair went white.
“After the second bout with cancer in which he lost his hair again, he used the cheapest mouth wash we could find and it worked great. He rinsed with it and didn’t wash it out. Hair was soft and best of all no dandruff.”