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How to Use Dandruff Shampoo for Blepharitis

Treating persistent blepharitis with a dandruff shampoo such as T/Gel often clears the redness, irritation and inflammation.

Blepharitis, inflamed eyelids, can be annoying as well as painful. It is frequently quite difficult to treat. The usual recommendation is to use hot compresses on the affected eyelid, but one reader found a simple remedy that works well.

Treating Blepharitis with Dandruff Shampoo:

Q. I have had awesome results with T/Gel for my rosacea and blepharitis. My blepharitis was so bad that my eyelid had cracked open. After one treatment it cleared up. I was amazed that my skin also felt softer and the redness faded.

A. Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid. When this is caused by yeast overgrowth on the skin, dandruff shampoo can often be helpful.

T/Gel, a coal-tar-based dandruff shampoo, discourages the Malassezia yeast that is associated with seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff and blepharitis. Like any shampoo, T/Gel can sting the eyes, so take care when using it on the eyelids.

You are not the only one who has found T/Gel helpful for blepharitis.

Patty offered her experience:

“I bought T/Gel and starting washing the whole eye area with it, and after two days the rash started to subside. It’s been about four days now, and it’s getting a little better every day.

“The T/Gel definitely hurts if it gets in my eyes.

“I don’t know for sure whether it’s the T/Gel itself which is working or just scrubbing really well. Once my rash is completely gone, I’m going to switch to baby shampoo. I understand now why using baby shampoo is recommended; if scrubbing is all that is needed, baby shampoo makes it possible to do that without it being so unpleasant that you’re tempted to give it up. Something I also wanted to share with others here is: I think what we’re hearing about ‘good hygiene’ is confusing. The thing is: a lot more than normal good hygiene is required with this. We’re trying to remove microscopic stuff from tiny folds of skin, in a really sensitive place, and it takes a lot of effort and time. But it’s working.

“I’ll do it for the rest of my life if I have to, as long as it works! That’s why I think it will be important to switch to baby shampoo. That pine-tar-oil stuff in T/Gel may be really effective, but hopefully isn’t necessary to maintain a blepharitis-free face.

“Also: after I do the scrubbing, my face feels super tight and dry and uncomfortable, and that’s where the soothing stuff comes in. I have three favorites, all from Whole Foods or a similar store: (1) jojoba oil, (2) a comfrey salve, and (3) a lotion with calendula. They’re all a little different, and I alternate between them.”

Dandruff Shampoo Against Rosacea:

Rosacea is also an inflammatory response to yeast, bacteria or mites. People with rosacea suffer with red, sensitive skin that breaks out in bumps. This inflammation sometimes spreads to the eyes, making them red and irritated, and to the nose, which can become misshapen like W. C. Fields’s nose.

There are medications to treat rosacea, but many other readers agree that washing the face with dandruff shampoo can ease redness due to rosacea. Here are a few examples:

Readers’ Testimonials:

Clare wrote:

“I started using Selsun Blue over one year ago, and I have had no flare ups. Exactly the same as when I bought $100+ bottles of prescription sulfacetamide lotion. I don’t need to pay for a doctors visit every year to have her pronounce that I still have rosacea.”

KVS added:

“I have also been using the dandruff shampoo for my rosacea. It does work great and costs pennies! Prescription drugs from a dermatologist did nothing. I stopped using them and one day put a little dandruff shampoo on my face when I was washing my hair – what a nice surprise and so easy!”

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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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