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Applying Milk of Magnesia Helps Flakes

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Q. You recently had an article about treating seborrheic dermatitis with milk of magnesia. My mom is wondering how much milk of magnesia she should take.

A. Please tell your mother NOT to swallow milk of magnesia (MoM) for her skin problem. This is a powerful laxative and if she consumes too much, she will be dashing for the bathroom.

Instead, suggest that she apply MoM to the itchy, flaky, red areas of her skin. For reasons that are not clear to us, this remedy seems to help both acne and seborrheic dermatitis.

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I have been using the MoM remedy for a few weeks and have yet to see any results. How long should I continue to use it before going on to a different method?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IF IT IS NOT HELPING IN FOUR WEEKS, IT SEEMS THAT IT WOULD BE TIME TO MOVE ON.

The advice to use milk of magnesia for seborrheic dermatitis was not accompanied by the way to apply it. It seems that it would have to be applied with cotton balls or some such and would mess up the hair a lot. But is that the only way to apply it? It would have to be left on the scalp in order to work so a person using it would go around with messed-up hair all the time. And how often should it be applied?
Thanks.

Here's an answer I found. In a Q&A, a person rubbed it vigorously into the affected areas and rinsed it off at the end of the shower. That's what worked for him/her. Here's another use:

Q. Have you heard of using milk of magnesia on severe acne? My son has cystic nodular acne. He is 16 and has been under a dermatologist’s care for many years.

We have spent thousands to no avail. He has recently tried a home remedy: applying milk of magnesia to his face at night before bed. He looks the best he has in four years. Can you tell us why this is working so wonderfully well?


A. Milk of magnesia (aka MoM) is a solution of magnesium hydroxide and is best known for its laxative action.

We don’t know why MoM might combat acne, but we have heard that this laxative can help clear up seborrheic dermatitis. In this condition, yeast on the skin causes redness and flakes, rather like dandruff, but on the forehead and chin as well as scalp and eyebrows. Here is one reader’s report:
“I have been using milk of magnesia on my face for the past two months and my face flakes are gone! I pour it in my hand and massage it on my face (forehead, eyebrows, around the eyes, nose, cheeks and chin) while showering, and rinse it off at the end of the shower. End of problem. It’s a great, cost-effective alternative to expensive Nizoral, and it works better, too.”

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