Topical ketoconazole exists in many forms, the most popular of which is contained as the active ingredient in the shampoos Nizoral (both 1% and 2%) and Revita (1%). Many use these shampoos religiously in combination with Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil), which together are often referenced as the "big 3". The problem with shampoo however, is that it's applied and then washed off. The hope of course, is that some of the active ingredient(s) soak into the scalp and don't actually get washed off. That's why Nizoral and Revita are both considered more effective when left on the scalp for several minutes in the shower before washing them off.
Since then however, other topical forms of ketoconazole have been fashioned. The first one that we recall seeing is Extina, which we believe was one of the first topical ketoconazole treatments using versafoam technology. Extina has been approved by the FDA for seborrheic dermatitis and is only available by prescription. However, it can be purchased in the United States. Other topical ketoconazole hair loss treatments have been fashioned since then, like Ketamousse. This too is a leave-in treatment however, it doesn't seem to be available in the United States.
Topical ketoconazole may very well be superior to shampoo versions such as Nizoral and Revita, simply because it has much more time to absord into the scalp than a shampoo that's washed out after a few minutes tops. However, ketoconazole as a whole is not FDA approved and whether or not it's effective may be entirely dependent on the individual.
Written and Published By,
Bill - Managing Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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