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Seborrheic Dermatitis: Curing Facial Dandruff

Seborrheic Dermatitis: Curing Facial Dandruff
MoM milk of magnesia magnesium

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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