Many agents can also maintain or replace moisture to the skin and have emollient effects. When used for infectious conditions, topical therapy can decrease microbial counts and reduce surface colonization of microbes and help to prevent relapses. Antiseborrheic products function by normalizing keratinocyte turnover rates by reducing epidermal division (keratoplastic), normalizing keratinization, and increasing desquamation (keratolytic).
There are many different topical vehicles and modes of application: shampoos, whirlpools, soaks, rinses, sprays, lotions, gels, creams, and ointments. Shampoos are often the most practical and effective. The practitioner needs to become familiar with many active ingredients to learn what products are indicated for specific diseases.