We’ve seen a lot of SG community members reviewing dandruff shampoo lately and not for the reason you may think. They don’t have itchy, flaky scalps or a dusting of skin cells sitting on their shoulders. Instead of lathering up their scalps, they’re lathering up their faces. Why? Because they heard dandruff shampoo can help clear up malassezia folliculitis, also known as fungal acne.
This isn’t a new discovery. People have been treating fungal acne with dandruff shampoo for years, but this idea has recently been popularized after skincare aficionado, Hyram Yarbro, AKA skincarebyhyram, posted a TikTok video urging his followers to apply dandruff shampoo as a mask to cure those little bumps on their skin.
While skincarebyhyram hasn’t steered any of us wrong yet, we decided to reach out to our favorite derm, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Here is what he had to say about this efficacy of this treatment:
“Fungal acne is technically not acne at all, but rather an overgrowth of yeast within the hair follicles causing bumps and pus pimples.”
“It typically develops on the face, neck, and upper chest and tends to flare up when the weather is hot and humid.”
“Build up of sweat and oil on the skin create an environment that let the yeast grow to highter than normal levels.
“Dandruff is caused by the same type of yeast, which causes scalp inflammation and flaking. Most dandruff shampoos contain antifungal ingredients like zinc pyrthione or ketoconazole, which lowers yeast levels and subsequently reduces inflammation and flaking. It does the same type of job for fungal acne. By lowering levels of yeast in the follicles, you can treat the bumps and pus pimples.”
“Even though it is called a shampoo, it can be used as a liquid cleanser for the face, neck, and chest. Think of it as a short contact therapy—you should apply it and let it lather on the skin while you sing the alphabet, then rinse off. This gives it enough time to get into the skin to do its job. “
“Ketoconzole is what is in Nizoral. I give it out by prescription in the office in a double concentration compared to what you can get over the counter.”
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