With the voices of advice of so many near and dear, as well as some not so near or dear, and my doctor’s advice (which, while somewhat unorthodox, was at least a professional opinion) all ringing in my ear and my five or six week old baby’s face and scalp seemingly getting more and more broken out, I had to make a decision about how best to treat her outbreak. I decided it was best to follow my doctor’s orders and began to try the Selsun blue. As advised, I put Selsun blue on my babies face and hair twice a week for a month. I was also told that after gently patting her face dry, I should put hydrocortisone on her face as well as Vaseline.
Finding what works for my child’s skin
I started putting the Selsun Blue on her scalp in place of the regular shampoo. While it made her hair sticky and course, it also cleared the breakout and dryness rather quickly. After the first couple of weeks, I was pleased with how much her hair had cleared up but very displeased with how dry, brittle, and course her hair had become. So I decided to reduce my usage to once a week and use additional shampoo after using the Selsun blue.
Upon first putting the Selsun blue on her face it seemed to make her face dry, tight, and sticky. But, I assumed the hydrocortisone and Vaseline would balance out the dryness and make her face feel less dry and right. After rinsing her face then patting it dry with a soft baby towel the first time, I put the Vaseline on her face then put the hydrocortisone on. I instantly saw that the Vaseline seemed to take away from the effect of the hydrocortisone and decided to reverse the order moving forward.
In the first two weeks, I noticed that my baby girl’s bumps did, in fact, begin to lessen. The extreme redness and irritation on her face seemed to decrease significantly with each use of the hydrocortisone. However, with every bump that disappeared, some of the skin pigmentation on my baby’s face begins to change as well. I did not know whether to be excited, relieved, disappointed or nervous about the reaction my baby’s face was having to this biweekly treatment. Within a month of using the Selsun blue then using the hydrocortisone and Vaseline, my baby’s face changed from having bright red inflamed bumps to having extremely light spots all over. Now that the redness and bumps were gone and before my baby girl lost any more of the pigmentation of her skin, I thought it best to stop putting the Selsun blue on her face as Selsun blue is not made for the face anyway. I decided to continue to use the Selsun blue for her hair as a proactive prevention against eczema and cradle cap because all the other mommy’s I knew had baby’s who had currently or previously experienced cradle cap and hair loss.
What I learned
Discontinuing the use of Selsun Blue on my baby’s face did not bring back her skin pigmentation right away, but it did stop it from getting any more light spots. After two months, when we went back for our next doctor visit, our doctor told us that the light spots are signs of healing. However, a couple of months later, when my baby’s entire face became lighter and never regained its original pigmentation I was less the convinced.
My overall experience, is that while the Selsun blue did help my child’s eczema on her face, it also changed her skin color drastically. If I knew then what I know now, Selsun Blue would not be an option for her face. But the most beneficial lessons are always learned the hard way.
Editor’s note: Whenever adding a new treatment to you or your child’s treatment plan, even an over-the-counter product, it is best to talk with your medical provider about how that product might impact your treatment goals or your atopic eczema.