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Dandruff Shampoo Helps Erase Redness of Rosacea

Dandruff Shampoo Helps Erase Redness of Rosacea
A bottle of Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo

Rosacea is a common, uncomfortable skin condition that affects an estimated 16 million Americans. You may be able to recognize the sufferers by their red cheeks, foreheads and chins. You may see tiny blood vessels on their faces or bumps on their noses. The bumps have given this affliction the name acne rosacea, though it has very little in common with adolescent acne. What can you do to calm the redness of rosacea?

Easing the Redness of Rosacea with Selsun Blue:

Q. I’ve been using the dandruff shampoo Selsun Blue for a month on my rosacea. To my amazement, it really works.

I was so self-conscious about my complexion. There still are some faint red pimples but my skin looks better. I’m not red as a tomato any more.

I had tried other treatments, and Selsun Blue has made a difference. I use it every other day for about two minutes and wash it off with warm water.

A. Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by red cheeks, chin, nose or forehead, often with small bumps that resemble pimples. Sometimes the eyes or eyelids are involved.

What Causes the Redness of Rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is unknown. Some investigators point to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (Parodi et al, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, July 2008) and others to large numbers of skin mites (Demodex). People with rosacea have many more Demodex mites living in their facial hair follicles than people not troubled by the disorder (Chang & Huang, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Sep. 2017). Rosacea may be an immune reaction or hypersensitivity to these tiny critters (Abokwdir & Fleischer, Dermatology Online Journal, Sep. 17, 2015). On the other hand, Demodex mites carry bacteria (Bacillus pumilus) that may be responsible for the reaction (Tatu, Ionescu & Cristea, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Sep-Oct. 2017).

Treatment often involves antibiotics or topical prescriptions such as Finacea. Some investigators report that topical ivermectin (Soolantra) reduces inflammation as well as suppressing the mites (Schaller et al, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, online June 27, 2017). Ivermectin is also used against parasites such as heartworm in dogs and Onchocerca in humans.

Readers’ Testimonials about Dandruff Shampoo for the Redness of Rosacea:

In summary, you are not the first to describe benefit from using a selenium sulfide shampoo to wash the face gently. This has the advantage of being readily available without a prescription. It is also fairly inexpensive.

Kathy in Florida wrote:

“I had made many, many trips to a dermatologist when my husband read about using Selsun Blue for rosacea. What a difference it made after just a couple of days! I haven’t been back to the dermatologist since.

“I like a scrub, so I add a little baking soda along with the Selsun Blue. My face is so much better now, I just barely use a touch of makeup. Thanks so much!”

Richard in Houston has shared this tip with friends:

“I have used Selsun Blue for 12 years to control facial atopic dermatitis. It has not lost effectiveness over this time. I have talked two friends into trying it for rosacea and it worked on both.”

Polly suspects dandruff shampoo was causing her husband’s redness:

“My husband had rosacea for years and had been to more than one dermatologist for creams and other treatments. Nothing seemed to help much. Then one day he ran out of his shampoo and started using mine. He has always used a dandruff shampoo with zinc pyrithione.

“I noticed after a couple of days of him using my shampoo that his cheeks were not their normal bright red. I suggested maybe his rosacea was caused by the dandruff shampoo’s active ingredient. He quit using the dandruff shampoo totally and the redness went away.

“No dermatologist had ever asked about what shampoo he used. I wonder how many rosacea sufferers out there could switch shampoos and be cured! Easy fix!”

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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