Can Minoxidil (Rogaine) Hair Loss Solution Cause Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Thu 13 Dec 2012

This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums

I suffer from both Seborrheic dermatitis and androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss), and recently started liquid minoxdil (Rogaine) to help combat my progressive thinning. However, after starting the minoxidil, I noticed my Seborrheic dermatitis became worse. Because of this, I’m now wondering: can minoxidil cause Seborrheic dermatitis or worsen a pre-existing case? Is there anything I can do to stop this?

Unfortunately, I have heard cases of minoxidil (Rogaine) aggravating and exacerbating pre-existing cases of Seborrheic dermatitis.

As you’re probably aware, Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin/scalp condition, where an overproduction of sebum (a waxy, oily coating produced by skin glands) and an inappropriate inflammatory response result in a dandruff-like flaking from the scalp.

Altogether, there are two ingredients in minoxidil solutions that may make the Seborrheic dermatitis worse: alcohol and/or propylene glycol. Knowing this, it may be tempting for minoxidil users with Seborrheic dermatitis to stop the medication altogether. However, minoxidil is still a proven preventive hair loss therapy and stopping the medication may be detrimental to hair loss stabilization and new hair regrowth.

Because of this, a better alternative may be available: utilizing minoxidil/Rogaine foam or switching from the liquid minoxidil to the foam product. Not only does minoxidil foam allegedly contain less alcohol than the liquid minoxidil, but it also does not contain propylene glycol. By utilizing this version of the minoxidil product, hair loss sufferers can reap the benefits of the medication without worsening cases of Seborrheic dermatitis.

Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”

Editorial Assistant and Forum Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

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2 Comments so far:

  1. John Smith says:

    I have seborrheic dermatitis and I am 21. I started using Rogaine (minoxidil) 2 months ago. I had a previous attempt at it a couple months ago but since I got intense dandruff and itchy scalp I stopped using it. I’m pretty young so I felt like shit about going bald, hair has always been important to me, I guess you could say I was one of those pretty boys with shiny blond hair, girls always checked me out. I decided to go for a second try but this time I decided to shave my head. I got the dandruff again, like big lumps (3cm diameter) with wounds and they healed bad. In the end of the two months I started using antifungals on the dandruff spots three times a day – fucidin and duac gel. These are both prescribed for skin treatment but I thought id give it a try. After a week or so using, the dandruff just stopped. So now I’m at 2 months with no dandruff or itching feeling. I don’t really see any results from the minoxidil but I’m willing to keep going for a couple months. I don’t know why it stopped producing dandruff but a lot of people say that initial side effects of minoxidil is dandruff. Maybe my scalp got used to the medication and its possible also, that the anti fungal helped to relieve the situation a little. Anyways, i would try to keep going for like 3 months even with the dermatitis. Of course it makes it a lot simpler when you shave your head but trust me, even though its uncomfortable in the beginning, you stop to care after two weeks. Its amazing how fast the hair grows back, I have to shave my head all the time (I’m using a barbers tool, i don’t know whats it called in english, a motorized hair clipper or something, so I’m not skinny bald) which means that if you want your hair back it will come fast. i hope i gave a little insight about this condition. Oh, and people started to take me much more seriously after shaving lol. Girls don’t look at me as much but the communication with them is much more serious, its like not so superficial anymore and i kind of like it – get more core level communication. I suppose its all about your personality. The bad side of it is that sometimes I think i look kind of old although I have a baby face, its just that receding hairline is usually characteristic to old people. 🙁

  2. Warren says:

    Hello.I am from India . I too have seborihhic dermatitis . I tried everything for the last two years but in vain . losing hair at a young age has been tough .

    Now with the help of homeopathy and ayurveda I am trying to end it . ayurveda has helped me a lot with rashes and dry patches and irrtation . now I have started to go to homeopathy for ending this problem . it seems homeopathy has the capability to end this problem in long term .

    I have found some relief from the use of alove Vera . I made the paste myself . the effect is good . actually it has brought down rashes .

    I also found out that using lemon pulp to scrub your scalp helps with dandruff . but was it off within a couple of minutes . it will pain a lot but don’t remove for at least couple of minutes .

    after I lost the dandruff and inflamattion . as per my homepathic doctor advice, before bath I washed my hair with ayurvedic mild ahampoo . then after waiting for hair to dry I applied ayurvedic oil and kept it for 15 minutes then again used same shampoo . this has kept my hair smooth and moist . I don’t have patches anymore .

    don’t use any other oil and don’t keep it more than 30 to 45 minutes and don’t apply it when you have rashes and itching because it increases it .

    don’t drink soda and keep sugary products like chocolates to minimum . but don’t give up other foods with some sugar . eat them in a balanced manner . don’t completly forgo them .

    hopefully I will be able to get rid of this problem within a year completly .

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Posted by: Blake aka - FutureHTDoc on