Milk of Magnesia Side Effects on Skin


Milk of magnesia side effects range from minor ones such as nausea and weakness to more serious one that are often attributed to overuse. The latter warrants the attention of your doctor. This article will explore these side effects in more details.

Phillips Milk of Magnesia Side Effects Symptoms

Phillips milk of magnesia has been around for quite a while and has built an outstanding reputation and rating among doctors and other health professionals in as far as treatment of hyperacidity and constipation problems is concerned.

The manufacturer even claims that Phillips is the #1 doctor recommended milk of magnesia. With such a superior rating, it is not surprising to see so many people treating this brand name as an equivalent of the term “milk of magnesia”. As with any other milk of magnesia product however, Phillips also comes with some possible side effects. Here is an overview of Phillips milk of magnesia side effects:

Nausea is one of the known side effects of using milk of magnesia
Nausea is one of the known side effects of using milk of magnesia.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These are among the side effects most commonly associated with the use of Phillips and other magnesium hydroxide based milk of magnesia products.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is also commonly associated with the use of Phillips milk of magnesia. According to the WebMD, it is advisable to stop taking the product immediately should you diarrhea get worse or stays on for so long and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • High levels of magnesium in your body: With magnesium hydroxide being the main ingredient in Phillips milk of magnesia, there is always the risk of elevated magnesium ion levels which is associated with symptoms such as muscle weakness, slow and irregular heartbeat, confusion, and shallow breathing.
  • Dehydration: Phillips milk of magnesia may also cause dehydration after a period of usage. In fact what people perceive as milk of magnesia weight loss is a temporary side effect of milk of magnesia abuse. Symptoms of dehydration range from extreme thirst to infrequent urination, dizziness, and dry mouth.
  • Abdominal pain: This ranks among the uncommon but serious Phillips milk of magnesia side effects.
  • Allergic reaction: Although getting a very serious allergic reaction to this medication is rather uncommon, there is always the risk of allergic reactions. It is advisable to report to your doctor any symptoms of severe allergic reaction such as itching, rash, swelling (particularly on the face tongue or throat), troubled breathing, and severe dizziness.
  • Other side effects associated with Phillips milk of magnesia – and other magnesium hydroxide based antacids and laxatives for that matter – are bloody stool and rectal bleeding.

In spite of all this possible side effects, the doctor may still decide that the risk of side effects is far much lower than the benefit. Also, not everyone will get the above mentioned Phillips milk of magnesia side effects; how people respond to the same medicine or product will essentially vary from one person to another.

In addition to Phillips milk of magnesia side effects highlighted above, you as well need to be aware of possible interactions with the following medicines: ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin etc.), tetracycline, dicoumerol, digoxin, cimetidine, penicillamine, ketoconazole, bisphosphonates, salicylates, and sodium polystyrene sulphonate.

If you are taking any of the above medicines it is advisable to let your doctor or pharmacist know before you start taking the milk of magnesia. This also applies if you are on any vitamins or dietary supplements.

Milk of Magnesia Deodorant Side Effects

Aluminum containing store-bought deodorants have been linked to several problems ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer and as the search for the ultimate aluminium-free deodorant, there has been increased attention to the prospects of using milk of magnesia deodorants. The People’s Pharmacy has even released their first ever milk of magnesia deodorant has received lots of attention in the recent past.

Diarrhea as a side effect of overuse of MoM
Diarrhea as a side effect of overuse of MoM.

With the rise of conscious consumers however, questions like, “is it safe to use milk of magnesia deodorant” have been popping up all over the internet in health and beauty forums. We sought to find out some of the milk of magnesia deodorant side effects as part of this research. Dr. Tanya Russo, a pediatrician at Lexington Medical Center in South Carolina thinks that there is no side effect to be worried about saying that “…topical application should pose no health risks”.

You can apply milk of magnesia suspension t your underarms using your fingers; simply pour a little amount of it into your palms and then slather it on until well spread. It is a bit messy I agree but at least it reportedly works. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of coffee though, you can always get a commercial milk of magnesia deodorant such as The People’s Pharmacy deodorant.

Milk of Magnesia Primer Side Effects

The concept of milk of magnesia primer is catching with the online crowds like wildfire. The idea is to apply a layer of milk of magnesia on your skin as a primer before applying your usual cosmetics.

Beauty care experts and real users on sites like Makeup Alley alike have report great success with this unconventional makeup practice in achieving a smooth, matte canvas that is ready to hold their makeup for prolonged periods of time. Milk of magnesia primer side effects can however not be overlooked and include:

Tightness and dryness: Milk of magnesia has oil-blotting properties that works wonders in breaking down skin oils but regular use can leave you feeling too dry and tight especially if you have a dry or combination skin.

As a rule of thumb, Milk of magnesia is only intended short term and occasional use by people with dry skin. If you have a combination skin, apply it only on the areas of skin that have turned oily and maybe consider using milk of magnesia as a face mask rather than a primer.

Bacterial proliferation: This is one of the most significant but controversial milk of magnesia primer side effects that elicit different views from different quarters. Milk of magnesia has very high alkalinity which often neutralizes the acid film found on the skin (acid mantle) for protection against harmful bacteria and viruses.

With the acid mantle gone, the skin becomes susceptible to attacks by harmful bacteria which might then create perfect conditions for various dermal problems including acne outbreaks.

Other milk of magnesia primer side effects include:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Poor skin exfoliation capabilities
  • Lower extracellular lipid intake
  • Poor overall skin integrity

To avoid the side effects associated with topical use of milk of magnesia as a primer, you should limit usage to only those special moments when a matte look is desired all day e.g. during your wedding or  a photo shooting event.

As for those with an especially bad oily skin that makes this remedy simply irresistible, you should them use it only once a week. And rather than apply it as a primer, you may want to consider using a milk of magnesia face mask; simply apply a little amount of a MoM suspension of your choice e.g. Phillips on the face and then wash it off after 10 to 15 minutes.

Long Term Use of Milk of Magnesia Side Effects

Long term use of milk of magnesia is associated with various side effects. This will vary depending on whether it is used orally or topically (for newer unconventional uses such as facial oil reduction).

You might end up with these signs of dehydration as side effects of using Philips milk of magnesia
You might end up with these signs of dehydration as side effects of using Philips milk of magnesia

The most important among long term oral use of milk of magnesia side effects is laxative dependence. This, as the name suggests, can make you unable to get bowel movements without taking a laxative leading to continuous constipation. In that regards, milk of magnesia constipation treatment should not last for more than 14 days as the UK NHS cautions.

It is also very important to use the correct milk of magnesia dosage as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

As for long term topical application, Future Derm points out that it can lead to a destruction to the acid mantle that maintains an optimum pH on the skin for survival of beneficial skin bacteria while keeping harmful bacteria and viruses off.

When that happens, you could end up with a proliferation of these harmful bacteria and microorganisms leading to a score of dermal conditions including acne breakouts.

In that regards, topical application of milk of magnesia for oily skin mitigation is only recommended for occasional use.

Black Stool Milk of Magnesia Side Effects

Some people may get tarry or black stool or “coffee-ground” like vomit after an oral treatment with milk of magnesia.  This is often a symptom of bleeding and is often associated with prolonged or frequent use of milk of magnesia as a laxative. Black stools warrants medical attention.

Side Effects on Skin

We have seen several people asking about the side effects caused by milk of magnesia on the skin. Well, some people may experience a skin rash, hives, and itching after taking a milk of magnesia product.

Although rare, this is attributed to allergic reactions and people with known allergies, including asthma, may be at a higher risk.

If you have a history of allergies, you should communicate that to your doctor and if you have previously developed a reaction from using a Milk of magnesia laxative, then you are better off staying away from them unless under the advice of your doctor.