Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Extra Strength T-Gel vs. Extra Strength Rogaine

It worked its way down my forehead from my widow’s peak, In 2 trails of irritated red, slightly raised. I assumed it was lice or scabbies and had something to do with my poor hygiene and/or dreaded hair. I figured there were repercussions for not bathing and this was one of them. I was taking one for the team - the team being me.

Not too worried about my appearance, I let it go on way too long. The trails got longer and more pronounced, looking like bulging veins. After the first Frankenstein comment, I did what every 19 year old would do: I called my Mom and asked for help.

She made an appointment with my childhood Dermatologist, who had helped me with teenage acne and fungus warts. I returned, the prodigal son, looking like a relative of Bigfoot, with map like trails running down my forehead. Looking good.

He looked at me and then the trails and then back at me and said, “You have Psoriasis.” I got the feeling that that he was more worried about my appearance more than the Psoriasis. It was a relief. Explaining Scabbies to my Mom would’ve been awkward.

The Doctor prescribed tar shampoo and politely explained it was a lifelong problem and that I’d need to shower more frequently. The latter comment exposed what we all knew and caused me to bow my head and embarrassed my mom.

25 years later I’m at Long’s looking for off-brand tar shampoo. The trails on my forehead are long gone, beat back by weekly dosages of tar shampoo. And, with age, the Psoriasis has spread to the backs of ears and crotch area, showing its face only when I revert back to non-cleanly ways. I’ve learned to live with the chronic problem.

The tar shampoo was on the bottom right at the end of an aisle. It wasn’t a popular seller and didn’t warrant prime, eye level, space, so you had to search it out. I was used to this. A large gap occupied that space that the shampoo was supposed to be. The cheap version was sold out - it’s always sold out. Next to it was the fancy, blue, eye catching packaging of T-Gel, the Hummer of tar shampoo. However, a new product by T-Gel, in red, which boasted extra strength, caught my eyes. As I stood there and looked at the 2 products - regular and extra-strength – I actually pondered which one to buy. Call me obtuse, but the answer should be obvious. Do you want a little Psoriasis or do you wanna get rid of the shit? The same goes for Rogaine? Do you want all full head of hair with Extra Strength Rogaine or do you want that attractive balding look with regular strength Rogaine? I don’t get it.

I got the extra strength.


  1. seriously.

    T-Gel, the Hummer of tar shampoo

  2. Thanks for always commenting, Lishy. You're a good egg.

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