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Thread: Keratosis Pilaris

  1. #1
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    Default Keratosis Pilaris

    Is KP also due to these Demodex mites? I just realized one can get KP on the face, can you also get it on the scalp? Can that cause hair loss? How do these keratin plugs come about due to the mites?

    I had severe KP on my front thighs and calves for as long as I can remember as a child, up until around 30+ years something ( I'm now 40+) Was this the first introduction to the Demodex? I never had severe facial acne as a teen, but, my cheeks sometimes flared up in thousands of little bumps, lasted a week or so, then went away. It wasn't acne, they were very itchy. My derm back then prescribed Aberela for that which I used for several years.

    Now if I look closely at my cheeks, I have thousand of tiny, small dots, like there are little white hairs. I feel them too. They are on my outer cheeks, right under the chin and right under my jaw. I can't squeeze anything out from them, nor can I pluck out that tiny white "hair".

    I always have gotten itchy folliculitis on my scalp. With bouts of hair loss. Sometimes I go into a period of "rest", where my scalp feels great, non itchy and no hair loss, hair feels great and strong and grow the way it should.

    I got rosacea on my face 12 years ago. IPL "cured" it, but now it's back with a vengeance. And here I am; googling like a madman ( woman)
    I just came to realize all these things I have might very well be connected. I never even thought KP could have anything to do with Demodex, rosacea and hair loss before.

    So, can one get KP on the scalp? Keratinized plugs in the hair follicles? Could that be what's causing my folliculitis and hair loss? And, the mites are the cause? Help, this is driving me insane. I also don't get it why the medical field have looked into these connections before.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    There is some credible evidence that coconut oil is effective against Keratosis Pilaris (aka chicken skin, where small skin bumps arise exclusively from hair follicles), a condition that affects 40% of the world, which apparently is the reason why so many people swear by coconut oil.

    Watch out though because coconut oil will cause seb derm induced by malassezia to flare up, a lot, because coconut oil is a good food source for malassezia. One way to tell KP and malassezia problems apart is that malassezia doesn't exist only in the hair follicle shaft - malassezia creates red mats, or raised plaques, that are much larger than just a hair follicle.

    I don't know about hair loss, and I don't know if KP can exist on the scalp, but it seems to me that seb derm on the scalp is mostly likely induced by malassezia, so I would not start with coconut oil on the scalp, but perhaps start on some less visible test site where you can see the KP bumps. If you see improvement after a couple weeks, try it on your cheeks for two weeks, being alert to positive and negative results.

    If you apply coconut oil to your scalp and the itching gets worse, then that would indicate seb derm induced by malassezia, so wash off the coconut oil asap, and don't use oily product on your scalp, except for MCT oil.

    You will be using OTC treatments to make a differential diagnosis, which I think is the better method than trying to visually describe how this skin bump has a different causation from that skin bump.

    For example, if you want to treat for demodex and KP, add 25% to 50% Tea Tree Oil to the coconut oil, and use it for 3 weeks. You should see some improvement if you have a demodex problem. If so, five weeks of treatment will be necessary though, because of the life cycle of the mite is about 3 weeks, and Tea Tree Oil doesn't kill the eggs until after they hatch.

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    Hi Tom Busby and thanks for your answer!

    Yes, I do put coconut oil on my body and it works great, I love the smell and how soft it makes my skin. I don't have KP on my legs anymore, luckily it all disappeared, I have no clue as to how.

    I've tried the oil on my face and my scalp, but that seemed to make matters worse. Like it's plugging my pores. I do however rub castor oil mixed with olive oil about 3 times a week for an hour or so at a time, since I heard castor oil helps with hair loss. A few weeks ago I tried the oil cleansing method on my face, with 50% castor oil, and I tried several carrier oils. But man, my face threw a fit and got redder than ever and I got tons of outbreaks. So I quit after one week. I guess I used too much castor oil, I don't know, but I won't try that again.

    Now I'm just concentrating on killing the mites and bought a skincare kit that claims it does that, have used it a little more than a week now. I'm not quite sure how it's working, I have tons of red bumps and look pretty bad. I also put vitamin e oil mixed with a few drops of TTO on the rest of the body. And I just started to use a natural shampoo with TTO.

    This is just so frustrating. I do take 100 mg of Minocykline daily, have done it for years. As soon as I quit, my problems come back tenfold in a few days and my eyes get red and gritty.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    The only oils that malassezia cannot metabolize are MCT oil, Vaseline, or Aquaphor.

    You might try MCT oil on your face and scalp, mixed with TTO if you want to treat for a demodex problem. Keep the TTO away from your eyes as it will cause a lot of eye aggravation and bloodshot veins. Vaseline and Aquaphor do not wash off so it's hard to use these, except in very small areas, like your lips or eyelids, perhaps as a barrier to keep the TTO oil away from your eyes or burning your lips.

    MCT oil doesn't treat anything by itself but it doesn't aggravate malassezia, while it provides a moisture barrier for the skin. The redness you experienced from castor oil seems similar to the problem reported by many people using coconut oil. MCT oil is only slightly less oily or shiny in appearance than other oils, and it's not very aesthetic when used as 100% oil -- you can't wear it to work for example.

    What is Minocycline supposed to be treating for you? I thought that was an anti-bacterial. If you think you have malassezia any antibiotic will make your skin worse.

    Maybe you could try just one treatment at a time, for two weeks, so you can see what is going on, by process of elimination. Then if you have some success, you could add one thing back in at a time for two weeks. Otherwise there are too many variables.

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    Yes, I definitely wanna get some of that oil!

    I'm on minocykline due to the scalp folliculitis and also for the rosacea and the ocular rosacea. I've been wondering sometimes if this scalp is SD, but, my scalp has been pretty calm for 5 years on the Mino. In September I decided to go off of it, when first my eyes started to act up within just a few days, then tons of painful folliculitis pimples on the scalp popped up and a few weeks off, the scalp started to itch like crazy, I got flakes and redness, it feels like it's on fire. My face too.

    I bought TGel shampoo that maybe helped a little, but it's still red and flaky. I bought this Proskin rosacea stuff I put on every night, I also bought a TTO shampoo. But it's still pretty bad. I even tried a little Finacea gel on a tiny spot on the scalp, some of the pain went away, but it's still red, flaky and

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