According to the self-care guideline, selenium sulfide shampoo is one of the treatment options for dandruff. Interestingly, there is hardly any published research to support this view. A published study showed that selenium sulfide is effective in the treatment of dandruff, but offered insufficient proof, as it failed to present the necessary information about the statistical analysis. In other words, the claim of ‘clinically proven efficacy’ that features so prominently on the www.selsun.nl website is nothing more than an advertisement without much scientific value. What is confusing is that authoritative statements by doctors and pharmacists about prescribing anti-dandruff agents do implicitly suggest their efficacy. This means that these professionals still have some work to do.


  1. Productinformatie seleensulfide (Selsun®), via: www.cbg-meb.nl/geneesmiddeleninformatiebank.
  2. Informatorium Medicamentorum. Den Haag: KNMP, 2015.
  3. Mekkes JR (red.). Pityrosporuminfecties. Huidziekten.nl. Via: http://www.huidziekten.nl/zakboek/dermatosen/ptxt/PityrosporumInfecties.htm.
  4. Puijenbroek EP van, et al. NHG-Standaard ’Dermatomycosen’ (eerste herziening). Huisarts Wet 2008; 51: 76-84.
  5. Zelfzorgstandaard Hoofdroos. Via: KNMP Kennisbank-online.
  6. Danby FW, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ketoconazole 2% shampoo versus selenium sulphide 2,5% shampoo in the treatment of moderate to severe dandruff. J Am Acad Dermatol 1993; 29: 1008-1012.

*The literature refers to the Dutch text