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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Curing Facial Dandruff

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Q. My sister is coming over in a week. I have dandruff on my face (eyebrows, nose, forehead and inside my ears). Can I cure it with Vicks or other remedies? Please tell me how.

A. Facial dandruff is called seborrheic dermatitis, and it is usually caused by overgrowth of yeast called Malassezia. Applying Vicks to the flaky areas morning and evening should help because of its antifungal ingredients.

Milk of Magnesia (MoM) might also work. Apply a thin layer after you wash your face at bedtime and leave it on overnight. Wash it off in the morning with your usual cleanser. This frequently helps, though it may take more than a week to clear the skin completely.
Here's one reader's report on her experiment with Milk of Magnesia: "Milk of Magnesia is FANTASTIC for rosacea, and it does a pretty good job on eczema. I use a cotton pad and dab it on affected areas morning and night. Let it dry, then apply whatever lotion or moisturizer you normally use. The moisturizer/lotion will make the white residue from the MoM disappear. Also, people with rosacea should not use foaming cleansers or toners with alcohol. They are too harsh chemically. Use cream cleansers instead. (I don't use toners at all.)"

It probably won't surprise you to learn that some readers have found dandruff shampoo helpful for seborrheic dermatitis (and also rosacea). Others have used Listerine for scalp or facial dandruff.

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My husband had this problem for many years, but it has been resolved 'by accident' when I had him change to using olive oil instead of shaving cream, (an environmentally-friendly tip I learned on the Internet.) Now he has lovely skin!

Seems the People's Pharmacy roll-on milk of magnesia that is sold as underarm deodorant would be ideal to roll on areas of the face affected by seborrhea.

My husband washes his whole face with his dandruff shampoo. Solves the problem.

I have had seborrheic dermatitis on my ears and scalp for over 10 years. I have used everything I can think of, from Nizoral, salicylic acid shampoo, zinc shampoo, lavender, every ointment, Ecco Bella's neem oil treatment (which was one of the best things), head and shoulders, Neutrogena Tgel and TSal, Pantene dandruff, and nothing has worked for long. The sores on my scalp and ears are painful and the flaking is exasperating. Any other suggestions?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It does sound like you have tried everything. There are just a few other things that other readers have suggested. One is Listerine applied right after the shampoo. Another is milk of magnesia applied, left on the face overnight or on the scalp for five minutes, then washed off.

The last thing you might also want to try is changing your diet. I (TG) have found that reducing the glycemic load by cutting back sharply on sugar, flour, bread, pasta, etc, really makes a difference for my seborrheic dermatitis. Best of luck to you!

Am suffering from hair dandruff from two weeks. Am applying dandruff shampoo for at least thrice in a week.

How long to use milk of magnesia for dermatitis (dandruff on the ears, face, eyebrows, lids)? I tired it for a couple of days and it has not worked. I have dry skin all over and the MoM made it dryer. The dandruff in and on the ears are worse because I see in my ear to get it out and I know it looks bad. I have so many prescriptions and none worked. Clinical dandruff head and shoulder burned my face to was with it. I have avatar facial wash and on and on. Please help.

What to do for stunted hair growth? I tried viviscal, hf37, boitin, etc.nothing help. I am a black female with dandruff on face and stunted thin hair.

Mary, you might try continuing to use it on a small area to see if it will work with time. Years ago, I had so many layers of skin built up on my scalp that the first few uses of a product just produced more dandruff, as it allowed the scalp to shed more skin cells. Eventually it gets down to a healthy layer of skin.

The best think I've found for keeping my skin comfortable and clear of those excess flaky layers is to use a BHA exfoliant and/or an AHA exfoliant. I don't like the gritty exfoliants. These are ingredients to look for in a product. I also try to avoid any product with fragrance or one that tingles as these irritate the skin. The resulting minor inflammation makes it just more difficult for the skin to heal.

I get very dry skin/flakes around my nose, but also in my mustache/goatee area.

When I shave, the spots on my chin and under my nose are red patches. When the hair grows, these spots get dandruff.

Do try rubbing a little olive oil around your nose - my husband had this problem for many years, but the oil really has 'cured' it :)

I have dandruff around one eye very badly and the other is beginning to be affected, will the "Vicks" or "Milk of Magnesia" be okay to use that close to my eyes?

My son has had seborrheic dermatitis for years. He gets it on his scalp, around his nose and in his beard. He has tried many things, including prescription shampoo, but nothing would get rid of it for any length of time. For quite some time now he has had good success with Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap as well as the shampoo. It has a pretty strong odor though.

A couple of weeks ago, he discovered Dr. Wood's Pure Black Soap with Organic Shea Butter. The results have been amazing! His skin and scalp have not been dry and he has not had to use any moisturizer. which is a miracle for him. This is like a huge weight off his shoulders because this condition can be maddening!

I have rosacia on my nose, have used tropical gel for years, also have very oily skin, wake up in morning, seems like I put veg oil on my nose, any idea would be helpful, thank you.

Zinc as a dandruff shampoo didn't work all that well for me; selenium sulfide worked better but only kept the problem under control without healing it completely. Even better than the aforementioned, I discovered, is to add a few drops of pure tea tree oil to a bottle of shampoo (I use it in combination with Tea Therapy Shampoo by VO5). This not only removes all hair styling residues but leaves my hair looking fuller, and best of all no more persistent, flakey open sores on my scalp.

I have been using hydrocortisone valerate cream on my face for two years now. I have real dry skin all over my face. I am noticing that my skin is thinning and is red. I don't know what I should use.

I have rosacea and have been to several doctors over the past 5 years for help with it.

One prescribed flagyl in a topical form to be applied to the skin, but this did not seem to work.

I also was prescribed ketoconazole shampoo which does help the dandruff. I use it on my face skin as well as on the scalp and ears, though the results are not as good for that as for the dandruff. However, this prescription medication is quite expensive even with insurance coverage - so I stopped using it, and the condition got as bad as ever.

I have been taking the antibiotic Doxycycline which helps too. I took it for about 6 months and it really seemed to help, but then I went off the doxy for about 6 months because I hate the idea of taking antibiotic drugs every day. It also makes me nauseated because one has to take it on an empty stomach and then wait one hour to eat. After about 4 - 6 months off of it my condition gradually worsened until I recently went back on the drug. I've been on it a month and have only seen partial improvement.

I have tried many home remedies and creams and cleansers for the face and for the scalp, including melissa/lemon balm, an herb/mint which is said to have antiviral properties. It grows in my garden (it is actually kind of invasive to gardens). I've made strong tea with it and used that on my skin, and I also infused some oil with the leaves, by leaving it to soak for several weeks and then straining the oil. I think this helps somewhat with skin fungus and maybe with the dandruff.

But, mostly I feel that I haven't really solved or cured my rosacea and dandruff. I would love to be rid of it forever.

I just wanna say thanks for all the options for treatment with facial dandruff and roseacea. I've been struggling with the symptoms of these conditions for a while now and I'm excited to try some of the remedies mentioned on here. Stay strong people!

I have been suffering from this for some time myself. About a year ago I started a routine for my face that changed my life.

First I scrub with Alba pineapple enzyme facial exfoliator. I let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Next I lather up my face with Neem soap. I get this at the Indian grocer, but it can be found online. If you don't know about Neem, you should google it. This is the item I believe has brought my dandruff in line. I let it sit for 10-20 minutes. I will lather it thick along my hairline and T zone.

Last I spray Witch Hazel on my face and neck for a toner.

Every other day I moisterize with Jojoba oil and a couple times a week I make a mask of aloe vera gel. Sounds like a long routine, but I start it when I put my son in the bath at night, and just go about straightening up my house and stuff while I let the different stages go to work.

It was working so well that I let myself run out of a couple of products for a couple of weeks and it immediately started to creep back in. I had a full blown breakout and got right back on it. My face has never been so soft and it is such a relief to be rid of the flaky and itchy face. For my scalp, Nizoral worked very well, but I was unable to find it when I moved and didn't want to get it online. I also wanted a non-chemical solution to my problem, which I have found.

I was reading about a clinical trial of aloe vera lotion was used to treat seborrheic dermatitis. Study participants were given a lotion emulsion with 30 percent aloe to use twice daily over four to six weeks. The mixture cured 62 percent of the group using aloe, while 25 percent of the placebo group noticed some improvement.

I have been using the Made from Earth Aloe Jojoba Body Lotion on my dermatitis, and I am happy to report I have seen improvement. The redness has gone away, and the itching is alot less!

I've been suffering my face dandruff for 2 yrs..I've been to the 3 best dermatologists and yet I don't see any improvement on my skin..I tried fresh aloe vera, coz we have plant in the house, at the moment my dermatologist give me gentamycin cream, and TA cream but I don't see any difference..all products that I've used still no use, my dermatologist told me to avoid stressful things that can cause this problem as well ...I agree that if I'm stressed and if I'm thinking too much my face allergy becomes so red and a spot of white inside it is look like a very very small bunch of ants in my face, this loose my self confidence I don't normally go out if I don't put bb cream to on it, I want to cover it...I hopeless and I hope u can help me.

People's Pharmacy response: You've clearly tried some of the home remedies, but perhaps you have not tried a low glycemic index diet. Here's some information:
Although research is limited, cutting the easily digested carbs seems to help some people with this condition.

I read all the remedies and I am going to try some.
But more then that its very nice and positive to see so many people trying to help each other its really wonderful.
Thank a Ton to all.

I have had soborrhiec dermatitis for a very long time and have been using dermaside cream prescribed by dr but doesn't work well sometimes. I have read that using harsh products with glycol ice acid, retina a, salicyclic acid causes the dermatitis to flare up. I also read. That products with pyrithione zinc will help which I plan to try. Also topical oil of oregano helps. Lot riming cream applied twice a day for about 2 weeks does help.

There is oil of Neem with Tea tree oil that is effective natural it keeps seborrhiec dermatitis under control Price Aprox 5 to 10 USD. It comes from INDIA and very natural and pure.

In case skin goes red one must apply CANDID-B 25% + any moisturizer 75%. Candid-B is not just anti-Fungal but also works like anti-inflammatory for skin. It will dry the red skin to a dandruff patch in 2/3 days then one must stop Candid-B. Then to apply oil of Neem with Tee tree oil after washing affected skin area with any light soap.
This oil is to be applied daily for 3 weeks.---> then alternate day for next 3 weeks ----> then after every 2 days for next three weeks ----> then Thu-Sun every week for a month.

People's Pharmacy response: Although tea tree oil has antifungal activity, some people develop an allergic response. Test it first on the forearm.

In most of the cases Dandruff will cure it if comes back after some time this treatment is to be repeated as per need.
I am using this formula since 2002 my dandruff is 95% under control.... it affects me mostly in winter or if I miss my daily bath.

I get dandruff on my face bad if I run the heater, seems to be the cause, I put rubbing alcohol on my face an it burns, an I think kills the dandruff next day its all dried up an flakey dry skin comes off and I'm good, if I don’t use after shave I get it too, which has alcohol in it, so I have to keep up on shaves if not I get it back, still fighting it because of the heaters I think?

After he shaved with olive oil what did he wash his face with to remove the left over olive oil and to remove the olive oil smell on the face?

my ear and eyes and hair dandruff all shampoo but result zero plz tell me treatment

I have been dealing I had started this onset of seborrheic dermatitis for about 9 months now. I have seen a dermatologist. He has given me the basic stuff like antifungal foams and so forth. But nothing seems to work in fact is spreading to my forehead. What I'm getting is not what I have read about it has been given me hypopigmentataion spots on my forehead. My cheeks and under my chin and it looks like it on my legs and back. Please help I don't really know what to do. I do have oily skin and keep a bald head.

Hi there,

I have been suffering from this condition for almost 9 months now and it has completely changed my life.

It is a constant struggle to keep my skin under control.

I have tried nearly everything - getting all the medicated creams and shampoos from the doctor but I don't want to be using these harsh products on my face!
At the moment I am using Chinese medicine. Getting acupuncture twice a week as well as drinking some horrible tasting mud-like tea he is giving me. It is not working.

I also suffer from eczema badly on my legs. This also is another issue that I struggle with daily.

I'm starting to get really sick of it and don't know how much longer I can deal with this for.

I have been also washing my face with salt water (as instructed by the Chinese medicine man) and am moisturising afterwards with coconut oil. I have noticed no change in my skin at all.

The only option left is to go back to using the harsh chemicals on my skin as I can't keep having such horrible skin.

I live in New Zealand - but when I travelled for 5 weeks over the Christmas break but skin was absolutely perfect. I had completely forgotten what it had felt like to wake up in the morning and not worry about what my skin was doing that day. I didn't wear any makeup for the whole trip because I didn't need to, my skin was clear and perfect. I went travelling to Thailand and India - I'm not sure whether it was their climate or because I was less stressed and on holiday mode?
They say that hotter weather is better for this skin although my skin was perfect during my trip through India as well (which was about 10 degrees Celsius) so that does not make much sense.

Please keep giving suggestions to any natural products that you find are working - I have tried almost everything but I will try it all before I find a solution.


Hi Alex - I guess you will have already been looking for the cause, rather than just treating the effects, but if this was not a problem when you were travelling overseas have you considered that may have been due to a change of diet? For example, if you were travelling in Asian countries you may quite likely not have been having the dairy products which are a large part of our NZ diet...
All the best - & don't give up! The answer is out there somewhere : )

Hi Alex,
I had a similar experience recently. Traveled to the UK for 7 weeks and no skins problems at all. Hadn't made any conscious dietary changes, and was under some stress while there. Back in Australia for four days, and my seb derm around nose, cheeks and forehead is back again. Change of climate? Different additives in food in NZ and Australia?

I've had sebhorreic dermatitis for 30 years. The two things I found that control it for me is oil of oregano and honey. Oil of oregano needs to be diluted in olive oil because used just straight it is harsh. I found that it cleared it but would come back quickly if I stopped using it.

My favorite and best way to control dermatitis is a honey wash. I make up a mix of 1 TBSP of raw honey (not the sugar stuff, pure raw honey) and 3 TBSP of warm water. I use a cotton pad dipped in the mixture and clean my face, eyebrows, and hairline with the honey mixture. I wait a minute and then rinse off the honey. At first, I clean with this 3-4 times a day. Once it is under control, I just use it in the morning. If I stop using it, I usually don't see my dermatitis return for two weeks or more. Then I just start again and it goes away. My skin ends up very soft too.

I tried the milk of magnesia only two applications and have already seen and can tell a big change for the better thanks so much for all your help.

The information was very helpful. I live in a tropical climate region and like many of these people I have visited so many Dermatologists for the past 18 years. I've never totally gotten long term relief for facial dandruff. I've tried everything and I've developed a fear of trying new things because most product's worsens the original problem.

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one dealing with this situation. It's summer now when the problem seems to get worse. I will try some of these remedies. However I need to know a moisturizer that I can use in this climate please. Thank you.

As a doctor I am struggling with this condition. Prolonged steroid and antifungal use has side effects. For a quick relief I use SELSUN 1% shampoo, not selsun blue. I had this problem from years now and it is totally related to diet.

Aggravating factors (dehydration, cold weather, soap use, carbonated drinks, sweets).

Relieving factors (hydration, enough sleep, salads, sweating -after bath to ra some light exercise)

Quick relief: selsun shampoo or lotion. Currently I don't have enough time and most important diet checkup, if anyone has time, let me know, I will provide some material for study purpose and pinpointing probable cause.

The Olive Oil will also act as a moisturiser - just apply it lightly if you live in a hot climate, & allow time for it to soak in. (Try it first before going to bed, you might be able to use it at night rather than in the daytime.)

For the last two years, I've been fighting a fungus which began around my ears and on my back during a very humid summer and spread to my scalp and eyebrows. I went to a bunch of lousy doctors who didn't even look at the problem and all seemed to think I was crazy. I spent seven months of suffering and trying every shampoo and ointment possible to sooth the burning and swelling redness as it spread. When my hair began to fall out in circles all over my head.

I finally went to a cedar sinai doctor who actually looked and found it was a fungal infection which began as seborrhic dermatitis. I got 4 weeks of oral fluconazole treatment and nizoral 2% prescription. Two years later, 90% has gradually regrown but still keeping my head shaved. It seems to be phasing out but will flare up again if I don't stay on top of my routine. sometimes (like right now) my eyebrow is flaring and I lost all the brow hairs on one side.
Recommended natural treatments:
1) soak in apple cider vineqar
2) extra virgin coconut oil
3) tea tree oil and soap

The red itchy spots with the yellow spots in the middle that look like ant bites are hives. I get them as well on my face, especially when stressed. I take Ranitidine antiacid & and benadryl and it keeps them away, but I have to take them both once a day. Good luck!

So yeah. I am a Filipino college student now. 19 years of age.
I had this problem back when I was in 4th year High school (16 yrs old). I went to a dermatitis knowing that this is caused by the cold weather and stress. She had given me creams. The creams worked. Great relief.
But after a year, the red spots with flakes came to show again. So I had to use the prescribed creams again. it worked well after a month of usage.
Now, the problem is up again and I tried using the creams again but it has been a month now since i started uding the prescribed creams and nothing really happened but the condition gotten worse.
I am loosing my self confidence now. And thinking why of all the people it has to be me. This is really depressing.

Please leave me a message if you found solutions to this problem. Thanks. :)

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