Tried and True Selsun Blue
By David Anthony, Contributing Writer.
Back in the day—in the day of disco, hippies with bellbottom pants and low waistlines, girls with feathered hair and shiny lip gloss…a day that birthed punk rock, rap, and MTV…an age that seemed in perpetual motion, ever changing, on the precipice of something big—there were very few constants. “Death and taxes,” they said. That was it. But if you were one of the few living with Tinea Versicolor (TV), there was another constant: Selsun Blue.
I was about 16 years old when TV first appeared on my skin. The year was 1980 and there were only a few things that mattered to me then: girls, surfing, and of course music.
The great thing about growing up then was that the music was so fresh and new that all memories got bound to one song or another. I can still remember the song playing on my buddy Mike’s car stereo as we toweled off after surfing that fateful sewage spill in Cardiff, California—the day I think Tinea took hold on my skin. We had just discovered a new radio station, 91x out of San Diego, and they were playing I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones.
It was a crazy time…the stench of raw sewage on our bodies, the words of Joey Ramone on our lips. Life was good, at least until this weird rash attacked my skin a couple weeks later. Reddish-brown spots covered my torso, front and back, and they itched something fierce. The doctor put me on a prescription strength Selsun regimen that consisted of lathering up and applying Selsun Blue Shampoo to my torso just before bedtime, then sleeping all night with it on. I was told to do this for about two weeks, and then apply it once or twice a week thereafter.
Selenium Sulfide is the active ingredient in Selsun Blue Shampoo that kills the Tinea fungus. The 2% prescription strength treatment worked wonders, leaving me with hundreds of un-tanned, white spots in place of the reddish-brown ones. I may have looked like a leopard, but the itching was gone. That made me happy.
Selsun Blue Shampoo isn’t for everybody, but it’s a cheap and readily available over-the-counter substitute for more effective treatments like Lamisil AT Spray, another more costly OTC treatment option. The concentration in the OTC version of Selsun Blue Shampoo is only 1% Selenium Sulfide, but it will still treat TV. It just takes a little longer. Selsun Blue Shampoo can be harsh if left on the skin for too long too often, so be careful. You might try regular full-body Selsun baths as an alternative, letting the solution soak for only a few minutes before rinsing. Selsun can be difficult to apply to the back as well, often necessitating another person.