The Best Treatment for Facial Dandruff in the Beard Area
Hello Dr. Bailey, I've read your Tips for Facial Seborrheic Dermatitis Control and had a couple questions:
- You mention the Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy as a great product for dermatitis, but other websites primarily mention green tea for rosacea, so I just wanted to make sure this was in fact a good product for facial seborrheic dermatitis.
- I also planned on purchasing Calming Zinc Bar of Soap; do you have any recommendations for how to apply this soap?
I currently use a prescription product called "Promiseb" Topical Cream. It works well around my nose area, but I wear a "scruff bear" (not very long, more like 3-4 day stubble) and I find that the topical cream doesn't work well in my chin area where the facial hair is (flaky and somewhat red at times). Any suggestions for this?
My dermatologists in the past were always trying to push me to use generic stuff. I'm the type of person that doesn't just want cheap, I want stuff THAT WORKS. If it's less expensive and works, fine. If it's super expensive and works, I'm all for it!! I just want something that WORKS! I appreciate any insight to my questions. Thanks, Jason
Hello Jason, This is a great question because it’s so common for men to suffer from facial dandruff in the beard, mustache, and sideburn areas. Thicker creams don’t spread well on these hairy areas of the skin, yet dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) loves these areas, making effective treatment a challenge. That’s why the Calming Zinc Soap is a great solution. You apply it to cleanse the skin then rinse it off. A film of pyrithione zinc is left on the skin to combat the seborrhea, but there is no visible product residue.
Regarding your question about Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy Cream and seborrhea, yes, I always use Green Tea Cream for facial dandruff too. I find that it has anti-inflammatory action for a variety of inflammatory facial skin problems: rosacea, seborrhea, and acne being the most common. My Facial Redness Relief Kit includes these two products.
Dermatologist's skin care routine for men with beard dandruff
Here are the specific instructions that I give to my male patients for their facial beard area dandruff skin care routine:
Step 1: I have them start by washing their face once a day with the Calming Zinc Soap. If after a week or so they don’t experience any dryness they can increase to twice a day. They wet their skin with warm water, apply the soap, and massage it onto their skin for a few seconds then rinse well with warm water.
If irritation develops for any reason, I have patients wash just once a day with
the Calming Zinc at night and in the morning use a gentle cleanser such as Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser, Toleriane Cleanser or Vanicream Cleansing Bar. For men who wet shave their face, the Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser is the top choice - it's my husband's favorite for morning shaving and shaping his beard. If there is still irritation from the pyrithione zinc then we back down to using it as needed to control the seborrhea.
Step 2: Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy is applied twice a day every day after washing and toweling skin dry. In my practice, any other products like the Promiseb are applied after the Green Tea.
When skin flares up, I have patients apply clotrimazole (either Lotrimin brand or generic because they seem equivalently efficacious) on top of the Green Tea Cream.
My choice for a general facial moisturizer, I have patients apply my Day Cream for Normal to Oily Skin. Moisturizing the skin is important to let the skin barrier heal from the rash of dandruff. This helps extend the periods of remission between flare ups. To be honest, I use this instead of a product like Promiseb.
Importantly, I find that my Omega Enriched Facial Booster Oil helps to control flaking in the beard area. It is applied on top of the Green Tea by coating the fingertips with the oil and working up from the lower portion of a man's facial hair to cover the skin. Then the fingertips pat down the facial hair coating the top. It is a beard conditioning oil that contains borage oil and cypress oil to heal skin suffering from seborrhea. It doesn't hurt that the cypress oil imparts a very subtle woodland scent to this therapeutic face oil.
One additional point is that sunscreen should be used during the day. For hairy areas of the face, my favorite product is Sheer Strength Pure Physical Spray SPF 50+ Sunscreen. It rubs in nicely, provides non-irritating mineral zinc protection, and has additional antioxidants to help quiet inflammation even further. This is the perfect sunscreen for men with facial hair!
I hope that clarifies how I use these products for men's skin care in my dermatology practice to treat dandruff of the beard area.
Cynthia Bailey MD, Dermatologist
Disclaimer: Please realize that availing yourself of the opportunity to submit and receive answers to your questions from Dr. Bailey does not confer a doctor/patient relationship with Dr. Bailey. The information provided by Dr. Bailey is general health information inspired by your question. It should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem (and is not an extension of the care Dr. Bailey has provided in her office for existing patients of her practice). Never ignore your own doctor’s advice because of something you read here; this information is for general informational purpose only.