Dandruff shampoo used to treat rosacea

Q. I am so pleased I read about using Selsun Blue for rosacea. I’d been on two rounds of antibiotics plus Metrogel, and I still I got redness and pimples on my nose.

I started a regimen of washing my face with Selsun Blue every few days, and my nose has been pimple-free for more than two months.

A. Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes redness of the cheeks, nose and forehead. It also may lead to pimplelike blemishes.

Doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics or topical metronidazole (Metrogel) or azelaic acid (Finacea). Not all patients find these helpful, however.

Some readers report that dandruff shampoo containing selenium sulfide (Selsun Blue) can ease their symptoms. Here is one such story: “I have been on all medications and tried a bunch of creams. I was left with a red, irritated face and a bunch of expensive creams. I saw an article about using Selsun Blue shampoo on your face to clear the rosacea.

“I thought, ‘It’s only five bucks; why not try it?’ Within three days there was a huge difference in my face. I use the original Selsun Blue. I put it on in the shower in the morning and leave it on for a couple of minutes. I am very surprised that this simple drugstore purchase works on such a terrible problem.”

Q. I get caffeine-withdrawal headaches and treat them with a cup of coffee. The severe headaches I get from the weather are more difficult to treat. They occur when it is about to rain.

Why does this happen? Should I watch the weather reports and drink coffee to prevent them? I am frustrated!

A drop in barometric pressure can trigger migraines in some people (Internal Medicine [Tokyo, Japan], 2011). Prevention may indeed be worthwhile, but the best approach may vary. We are sending you our Guide to Headaches and Migraines for details on the pros and cons of many treatments and remedies. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (66 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. M-98, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

Q. Several years ago, we read about Corn Huskers Lotion on your website. We have used it ever since as a lubricant during sex and have found that it works much better than K-Y Jelly or similar products.

I also use Premarin vaginal cream twice a week. My question may be a stupid one, but could the Corn Huskers Lotion be used to replace the Premarin? It is certainly much less expensive.

A. Premarin cream contains estrogen that is absorbed into the body. It is prescribed to treat vaginal dryness and the resulting pain, but Premarin shouldn’t be used as a sexual lubricant. (That might expose a man to too much estrogen.)

Corn Huskers Lotion does not contain estrogen, and we don’t know if regular use would be safe or effective to alleviate vaginal dryness. Some women report that coconut oil or olive oil may be used as you are using Premarin cream to prevent soreness due to postmenopausal vaginal dryness.

Here is one couple’s experience: “Organic coconut oil makes an outstanding lubricant. Also, my wife used to get yeast infections often, and she has not had one at all since we started using coconut oil.”

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them via their Web site: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. T