MILK OF MAGNESIA
Have you heard of using milk of magnesia on severe acne? My son has cystic nodular acne. He is 16 and has been under a dermatologist’s care for years. We have spent thousands of dollars to no avail. Recently he tried applying milk of magnesia to his face at night before bed. He looks better than he has in four years. Can you tell us why this is working?
Milk of magnesia is a solution of magnesium hydroxide and is best known for its laxative action. We don’t know why it might combat acne, but we have heard that this laxative can help clear up seborrheic dermatitis.
I am 44 years old and have had acne since my teens. Dermatologists have prescribed countless antibiotics, including Cleocin T, to no avail. Birth control pills worked, but when I stopped taking them, the acne returned. I also took Retin-A, which helped but caused sun sensitivity, redness, and cracking. I was excited to read about milk of magnesia as a topical treatment. My 12-year-old son and I are getting good results. Can milk of magnesia make acne disappear?
There are no good studies, though a letter in Archives of Dermatology suggests that a topical application of milk of magnesia each night could help reduce the redness and inflammation that is associated with acne. Some of our other readers have reported success with this remedy.5
RED CLOVER SALVE
I have been successful in keeping rosacea outbreaks from recurring by using a product from J. R. Watkins called Red Clover Salve. I simply rub a small amount on my nose and cheeks every morning. I find the salve just as effective as a prescribed ointment and it is also less expensive.
A chronic skin condition, rosacea causes flushing and pimple-like outbreaks. The salve can be ordered online from Amazon.com. We found no studies recommending its use for rosacea, but we are glad it is helping.
I have been suffering from rosacea for years. A dermatologist prescribed both metronidazole cream and minocycline twice daily. These were ineffective. I am a 47-year-old male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weigh 139 pounds. I exercise regularly (run and bicycle) and have a healthy diet. I drink alcohol occasionally, mainly red wine and beer. My cholesterol is low, and I take no medications. What else could I do for my rosacea?
Alcohol is frequently blamed as a trigger for rosacea, so cutting back on beer and wine might help. Another nonstandard approach is antibacterial soap. One reader applies organic raw apple cider vinegar to the affected skin and washes it off with a gentle cleanser after 30 minutes. Another reports, “I have had rosacea—dry, flaky, reddened facial skin—for years. I decided to try vinegar as a facial cleanser. I dampen a cloth with it and wipe my face off once daily. My face has not felt this smooth or been this free of redness for a long time.”