Stubborn blemishes can be extremely distressing. People with moderate to severe acne sometimes report that they feel embarrassed by a bad outbreak and withdraw from social interaction. When skin conditions are not acne, but some other type of blemish such as folliculitis, psoriasis or rosacea, the social stigma may be equally hard to bear. One reader with a persistent problem got relief from an unexpected remedy.
Many Treatments for Stubborn Blemishes:
Q. Over many years, I have consulted seven physicians, including two dermatologists, about a condition on my face and neck identified alternately as folliculitis and acne. I have used numerous antibiotics, antifungals, and steroids (including direct injection, patches, and topical creams) as well as Retin-A and Finacea and topical anti-inflammatories.
I have also tried every over-the-counter product that seemed likely and spent hours soaking in Epsom salts. Nothing has cleared my skin.
In despair over these stubborn blemishes, I turned to home remedies. Listerine began to get the lesions under control. But milk of magnesia (MoM) has made the biggest difference. I read about it in your column.
MoM has a strong drawing effect. Thank you for writing about it.
Milk of Magnesia to Clear the Skin:
A. As far as we can tell, dermatologists have not studied milk of magnesia for stubborn blemishes. That is despite a provocative letter to the editor of the medical journal JAMA Dermatology (Jan. 1, 1975).
Milk of magnesia is an oral laxative, magnesium hydroxide, that has been used for more than 140 years. In addition, other readers report that topical MoM works well as a deodorant and to treat under-breast rashes. Because milk of magnesia is basic, it may alter the environment for skin microbes. This might help explain how it could help against stubborn blemishes.