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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How to treat a chemical burn on the skin caused by applying garlic?

I applied crushed garlic to my scalp right at the base of my neck in an attempt to treat what I suspect is ringworm. I left it on too long and now have a chemical burn that has scabbed over. Can I expect the hair to regrow in this area or have i done irreparable harm ?
Fri, 16 May 2014
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Dermatologist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to healthcaremagic

First and foremost, we need to treat the chemical burn/irritant dermatitis resulting from garlic application and then later on we can worry about whether hair would grow from that area.

If I was the treating doctor I would have asked you to apply a topical moderately potent topical steroid+antibiotic (fluticasone + mupirocin) combination ointment, twice daily for a week or 10 days.

A short course of an oral steroids e,g omnacortil in a dose of 40mg once daily after breakfast for 7 days would aid in faster recovery from the dermatitis.

Since the area is raw and oozing, therefore there is a chance of secondary bacterial infection of the dermatitis. I would also suggest a week's course of an oral antibiotic from the penicillin or cephalosporin group of antibiotics.

An OTC antihistamine once daily is also advisable.

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