Can anti-dandruff shampoo treat acne: The mythical explanation of beauty experts

Turns out the internet was on to something when people started praising dandruff shampoos as a skin-care treatment. The dermatologist-approved procedure specifically targets fungal acne and can help clear the symptoms of yeast acne.

To find out if it’s right for you, we talked to dermatologists about what exactly acne is, how dandruff shampoos can help, and what products to use. try.

If you notice stubborn and itchy bumps underneath your skin that don’t seem to go away acne products, it could be fungal acne. Caused by the yeast malassezia, this disease is also known as pitrosporum folliculitis and it is different from Acneor the standard type of acne we usually think of when we see acne.

“Fungal acne is a common misnomer because the condition is not actually acne,” explains Dr. Ramya Garlapatia board-certified dermatologist based in Los Angeles and co-founder of Skin Medicines. “It’s actually folliculitis, or an infection of the hair follicles, caused by a yeast overgrowth and thus the condition doesn’t respond to conventional acne treatments.”

Instead, fungal acne should be treated with antifungal medications that can fight yeast growth in the hair follicles.

Treating fungal acne can include over-the-counter skin care products and oral medications, as well as the no-frills secret to using an anti-dandruff shampoo. Both the dermatologists we spoke with, as well as many others on social media, have confirmed its effectiveness in treating this condition.

“Using an anti-dandruff shampoo as a face or body cleanser to treat fungal-related skin conditions like acne or seborrheic dermatitis is really what I recommend to my patients,” says Garlapati. . But before trying the viral trend, Garlapati reminds us that “it’s important to first have your skin concern evaluated by a dermatologist to make sure it’s a fungal-related condition.”

Uses of anti-dandruff shampoo for acne

Dandruff is caused by the same yeast malassezia that is at the root of the acne fungus, so anti-dandruff products and Scalp Care Treatments can also be used to target skin conditions.

“Dandruff shampoos containing active ingredients with antifungal properties such as zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide and ketoconazole are most effective in treating fungal acne,” says Garlapati. “You don’t have to look for a skin care product that contains these ingredients, as anti-dandruff shampoos can also be used as a face or body cleanser.”

And while there are over-the-counter and prescription options, the anti-dandruff shampoo you find in the hair care aisle at the drugstore will do just that. Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jenny Liu say common brand names, such as Nizoral (contains ketoconazole) and Head and shoulder (containing zinc pyrithione) are safe to use on the face.

Side effects of using anti-dandruff shampoo on the skin

As with any skin or hair care product, there is a risk of irritation, so always test on a small area away from the face, such as the arms, before using an anti-dandruff shampoo. cleanser. Nizoral also lists rash as a possible side effect and should be discontinued if a rash appears in the treatment area.

Furthermore, Liu notes that anti-dandruff shampoos “can dry out the skin, so I recommend limiting use to a few times per week.”

How to use dandruff shampoo to treat scalp fungus

Once you’ve chosen your favorite anti-dandruff shampoo, you can use it as an anti-dandruff shampoo. wash one’s face or a mask for acne caused by fungus. “The key when using the product is to lather it up and let it sit on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing it off,” says Garlapati. “The shampoo should not be washed off immediately as the product needs to be in contact with the skin for several minutes for the treatment to be effective.” Liu recommends doing this in the shower as it’s easiest to incorporate into your routine.

Both Garlapati and Liu recommend using Nizoral on the face and body to treat fungal acne. It contains ketoconazole, an ingredient that fights the fungus that causes dandruff and folliculitis.

Good ol’ Head and Shoulders contains the anti-fungal pyrithione zinc to fight the yeast malassezia that causes swollen, congested acne cysts of fungal acne.

Introduced by Garlapati, Selsun Blue uses the antifungal agent selenium sulfide to balance the scalp and skin. The formula contains menthol, which causes a cooling effect, so those with sensitive skin may need to be cautious.

Those looking to natural remedies may want to try tea tree oil. “Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties and is effective in treating fungal diseases,” says Garlapati. “Keep in mind that some people with sensitive skin may have a reaction to tea tree oil, so it’s best to test the product before applying it to the affected area.”

Liu says salicylic acid-based treatments can help with mild cases of fungal acne. She loves this gentle option that contains salicylic acid along with succinic acid and sulfur powder, two antibacterial ingredients that will help tackle traditional breakouts as well as fungal acne.

Whether you’re suffering from pitrosporum folliculitis or tinea versicolor, the cause of the discomfort is the same: fungus. Garlapati says that athlete’s foot cream can also be a useful treatment for fungal acne because it contains clotrimazole, an effective antifungal ingredient.


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