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How Does Sulfur Help Acne

How Does Sulfur Treat Acne


There are a few different ways that sulfur helps in the treatment of pimples and blackheads. First, sulfur â similar to benzoyl peroxide â is a natural enemy of P. acnes, the bacteria that grows inside a plugged pore and leads to pimples and blackheads.

Scientists arenât exactly sure why sulfur is so effective against P. acnes bacteria but they do know it is gentle and has very few side effects. Thatâs why sulfur is such a common ingredient in masks, washes, soaps and creams designed to fight acne.

Another way that sulfur works to control acne is that it makes the very top layers of the skin dry out and peel off. This dries up pimples and helps prevent future blemishes. In this respect sulfur is similar to salicylic acid.

Sulfur also acts as a check against the excessive production of sebum oils that mix with dead skin cells, clog your pores and cause breakouts.

The Different Types Of Acne

So now we know that sulfur has the ability to dry out the skin, while simultaneously being able to absorb oil. Along with this, sulfur is very effective against a bacteria known as P. acnes, which is commonly found in blackheads and most types of acne in general.

This creates the perfect storm to attack the forms of acne known as whiteheads and blackheads. This is because these types of acne both are associated with skin pores or hair follicles being clogged with either oil, dead skin, and/or bacteria.

The only difference between whiteheads and blackheads are that the former are closed pores or follicles and the latter are open pores or follicles.

In a study of 113 acne patients with varying types of acne papular, pustular, comedonic, and cystic types, using a sulfur and benzoyl peroxide combination treatment found that:

  • ~90% of acne sufferers accomplished either good or excellent treatment outcomes
  • Good indicated that there was marked but incomplete resolution of lesions
  • Excellent indicated that no comedones, acneiform papules, pustules, or cysts were visible
  • No undesirable or adverse side effects were noted in any of the 113 subjects
  • The amount of sulfur used was 2-5% concentration .
  • Does Sulfur Ointment Get Rid Of Fungal Acne

    5.0 out of 5 starsMiracle Product!! This sulfur ointment is amazing and has practically cured my long time battle with Pityrosporum Follucilitis AKA Fungal Acne on my face. Its basically rash like bumps that look very similar to regular acne. This ointment has been a god send and I highly recommend it.

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    How Sulfur Acne Treatment Works

    Sulfur works like more conventional treatment methods like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

    It functions as a form of drying agent, ridding the skin of excess oils that may aid acne growth. An absent supply of oil abridges the lifespan of already present acne outbursts.

    I’m addition it also dries out dead skin cells. These clog the skin pores. Drying dead skin helps unclog clogged pores.

    Hence, sulfur acne treatment targets two things: excessive oil and dead skin.

    Other Common Treatments For Acne

    How Does Sulfur Help with Acne?

    Generally, acne treatment works by reducing skin oil, increasing the division of new skin cells, and reducing inflammation.

    They also have anti-bacterial properties. Asides using sulfur, many other forms of treatments exist. Some of the more common ones are listed below.

    • Retinoids
    • Combined oral contraceptives
    • Anti-androgen agents

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    How Does Sulfur Work In Acne Rosacea And Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Sulfur is keratolytic , antifungal, and antibacterial activity. Accumulation of dry keratin of the skin surface and the skin pores’ openings is the primary cause for blackheads, whiteheads, and future acne breakouts. When applied to the skin, sulfur interacts with cysteine to form hydrogen sulfide that can dissolve excessive keratin accumulating in skin oil glands and on the skin’s surface. Sulfur was also found to inhibit the overgrowth of P. acnes and some Streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus.

    Sulfur Is Best For Mild To Moderate Acne

    Sulfur works best if you have mild blemishes or moderate acne. It really isn’t effective for severe acne or cystic breakouts. But it is good for inflammatory acne as well as comedonal acne. So, if you have red pimples, blackheads, or a combination of the two, sulfur can improve your skin.

    Sulfur is found in a wide array of skin care products, including soaps and cleansers, lotions, masks, and spot treatments. It’s also a staple acne treatment at many skin spas and salons.

    Quite often, sulfur treatments also contain resorcinol or sodium sulfacetamide. These ingredients give added anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties and make the treatment more effective.

    Sulfur-based acne treatments can be used on their own, or they can be used along with another acne treatment. Doing this can help your acne clear more quickly.

    Try using an over-the-counter sulfur cleanser in the morning and a benzoyl peroxide lotion at night. Or, if you’re seeing a dermatologist, he/she might prescribe you a topical retinoid along with a sulfur-based medication.

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    Does Sulfur Help Infections

    It is one of three most abundant minerals in our body. The antibiotic properties of sulfur are often used to fight acne-causing bacteria. Furthermore, it could help to strengthen the skin, loosen it, and shed it more thoroughly. The treatment may help soothe acne and seborrheic dermatitis, in some cases.

    How Using Sulfur For Acne Can Improve Your Skin

    Acne Treatment Ingredients & Products that Really Work! | Skincare with @Susan Yara

    Looking for an effective acne treatment that has been used for thousands of yearsand really works? Sulfur successfully fights acne by removing dead skin cells and excess oil. Well show you how to use this gentle, useful treatment to reduce acne-causing bacteria as part of a simple skin care routine.

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    Sulfur Benefits: What Does It Do For Skin

    Sulfur has plenty of skincare benefits:

    • It has antibacterial properties, so it kills the bacteria that cause acne
    • It helps prevents acne-causing bacteria from spreading
    • It helps exfoliate dead skin cells, accelerating cellular turnover and preventing breakouts
    • It helps dry out blemishes
    • It helps reduce oiliness, keeping breakouts at bay

    Awesome, right?

    Sulfur For Acne: How It Works And How To Use It

    • Sulfur is a naturally occurring amino-rich mineral thats found in our hair, skin and nails.
    • People with oily and sensitive skin benefit most from using sulfur for acne.
    • Some believe sulfur is an effective treatment to lighten acne scars.
    • Sulfur is most effective when used in conjunction with other acne treatments .

    Sulfur is a naturally occurring mineral understood to be a gentle acne remedy to treat minor blackheads, whiteheads and lighten acne scars.


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    Bactericide In Winemaking And Food Preservation

    Small amounts of sulfur dioxide gas addition to fermented wine to produce traces of sulfurous acid and its sulfite salts in the mixture, has been called “the most powerful tool in winemaking”. After the yeast-fermentation stage in winemaking, sulfites absorb oxygen and inhibit aerobic bacterial growth that otherwise would turn ethanol into acetic acid, souring the wine. Without this preservative step, indefinite refrigeration of the product before consumption is usually required. Similar methods go back into antiquity but modern historical mentions of the practice go to the fifteenth century. The practice is used by large industrial wine producers and small organic wine producers alike.

    Sulfur dioxide and various sulfites have been used for their antioxidant antibacterial preservative properties in many other parts of the food industry. The practice has declined since reports of an allergy-like reaction of some persons to sulfites in foods.

    Sulfur is used in pharmaceutical skin preparations for the treatment of acne and other conditions. It acts as a keratolytic agent and also kills bacteria, fungi, scabies mites, and other parasites. Precipitated sulfur and colloidal sulfur are used, in form of lotions, creams, powders, soaps, and bath additives, for the treatment of acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, and seborrhoeic dermatitis.

    Common adverse effects include irritation of the skin at the application site, such as dryness, stinging, itching and peeling.

    Sodium Sulfacetamide And Sulfur For Acne:

    How Does Sulfur Help with Acne?

    Sodium sulfacetamide is having various uses in dermatology treatment because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It kills the bacteria of acne.


    • Take a spoon of Sodium sulfacetamide Lotion
    • Take one spoon of sulphur
    • Mix both well and make a paste
    • Apply it on the acne on skin and massage gently and leave for 10-15 mins
    • Wash your face with lukewarm water

    How it works: It will stop the growth of many bacteria on skin which can degrade the acne condition.

    Repetitions: Once daily

    Best time to Apply: As per your preference

    Tips: Do not apply the mix over large skin areas. Small sized acne is perfect to use this mix.

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    How Well Sulfur Works

    Because sulfur alone isn’t as effective as it is when combined with other medications, and because sulfur alone can produce skin discoloration and has a bad odor, it normally is not used on its own.

    However, when combined with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide8 and sodium sulfacetamide7 in the form of lotions, creams, soaps, and ointments that contain sulfur from 1 – 10%, it shows increased effectiveness.

    A few sulfur-only products, such as Vleminckx’s solution and Ress’ solution, are infrequently used.4

    When it comes to using sulfur together with benzoyl peroxide, one study found that this combination treatment successfully controlled mild-to-moderate acne within three or four months, and very severe acne within six to nine months.5 Another study found that a 3-month course of treatment with sulfur together with sodium sulfacetamide reduced the number of acne lesions by 78%.8

    Expand to read details of studies

    Sulfur + Benzoyl Peroxide

    A 1965 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that sulfur combined with benzoyl peroxide is a potent agent against even severe body acne. In this study, sulfur was combined with benzoyl peroxide to treat 286 participants with acne, and the results showed that:

    Mild to moderate acne was suppressed within two weeks and controlled within three to four months.

    Moderately severe acne responded quickly to the treatment, and control over acne symptoms was achieved within four to six months.

    How Does Sulfur Work In Rosacea

    Sulfur has an inhibitory effect on Demodex mites, which explains its effect on rosacea. One study compared a 10% sulfur cream to taking oral antibiotics . This study showed that sulfur cream induced a more significant reduction in rosacea’s inflammatory components than oral antibiotic treatment. The relapse rate within six months was similar for both treatments.

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    Oxides Oxoacids And Oxoanions

    The principal sulfur oxides are obtained by burning sulfur:

    S + O2 SO2
    2 SO2 + O2 2 SO3

    Multiple sulfur oxides are known the sulfur-rich oxides include sulfur monoxide, disulfur monoxide, disulfur dioxides, and higher oxides containing peroxo groups.

    Sulfur forms sulfur oxoacids, some of which cannot be isolated and are only known through the salts. Sulfur dioxide and sulfites are related to the unstable sulfurous acid . Sulfur trioxide and sulfates are related to sulfuric acid . Sulfuric acid and SO3 combine to give oleum, a solution of pyrosulfuric acid in sulfuric acid.

    Thiosulfate salts , sometimes referred as “hyposulfites”, used in and as reducing agents, feature sulfur in two oxidation states. Sodium dithionite , contains the more highly reducing dithionite anion .

    What Does Sulfur Have To Do With Acne

    What is Fungal Acne? We Discuss Skincare Treatments, Causes, & More!

    Hearing the word sulfur might conjure memories of science class, but it turns out this abundant element is a staple in natural medicine. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, sulfur has been used for centuries to help treat acne and other skin conditions.

    Its also easily accessible. Sulfur is widely available in over-the-counter acne products, as well as some prescription versions.

    Keep reading to learn more about this acne-fighting ingredient, including the types of acne it can treat and OTC products you can try at home.

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    How Does Sulfur Work To Treat Acne And Rosacea

  • Sulfur is keratolytic. It works to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface and unclog pores. This reduces the formation of both open and closed comedones.
  • Sulfur absorbs and reduces sebum. By removing oil from the skin’s oil glands’ openings, congestion is minimized, treating and preventing acne breakouts and other skin conditions.
  • Sulfur is antibacterial. Sulfur helps fight acne bacteria to reduce inflammation and prevent future acne breakouts.
  • Sulfur is an anti-parasitic. It can kill Demodex folliculorum, the skin parasite believed to be a leading cause of rosacea.
  • Sulfur is antifungal. By reducingthe Malassezia furfur fungi on the skin, sulfur can treat both fungal acne and seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Effects On Acne Scarring

    Scarring can be an unfortunate byproduct of severe, persistent acne breakouts.

    Does sulfur fade acne scars? Sulfur may fade very light acne scars, as it does remove the very top layer of dead skin cells, but its unlikely that it will take care of deep scarring on your face.

    Your dermatologist can recommend treatments to reduce acne scarring. Common treatments include combinations of salicylic acid, topical serums, and even facial resurfacing for more severe cases.

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    The Best Products With Sulfur

    Both Shah and Cheung recommend prescription products to their patients , but below are a few favorite formulas you can find over-the-counter.

    When you think of a sulfur acne treatment, a glass vial like this might come to mind. Made with 10 percent sulfur , this drying lotion recommended by Shah is the perfect nighttime treatment for your blackheads, whiteheads, or papules. To use, simply dip a Q-tip in the solution and dab it over the area.

    Formulated with 3 percent sulfur, aloe vera, and antioxidants, this acne lotion soothes the skin as it exfoliates and treats existing breakouts and blackheads and is a favorite product of Shah’s.

    If you love a creamy cleanser, Shah suggests this cult-favorite formula by Kate Somerville. The 3 percent sulfur tackles the oil and breakouts while the honey and rice-bran extract are meant to soothe the skin.

    If masks are more your thing, try this formula from Sunday Riley, which comes highly recommended by Shah. Together, the 10 percent sulfur, niacinamide, and zinc PCA ingredients work to minimize redness, reduce oil, and clear up your acne breakouts.

    If you’ve tried all the latest-and-greatest products and haven’t found a great option, go with an old favoriteand we mean old. This bar soap from Grandpa Soap Co., one of Shah’s favorites, targets acne and inflammation and removes excess oil with 3 percent sulfur.

    Try Adding Sulfur Into Your Daily Acne Treatment

    Fun Fact: Contains the highest level of sulfur available ...

    Do not go sulfur and ditch your current treatment regimen, because no solid research supports the use of sulfur as a primary solution. Instead, you can get great results when you add it to your acne treatment system. A good treatment system will cleanse, treat, and moisturize the skin. When you cleanse your skin, you are working to prevent the formation of clogged pores, and you are supporting the removal of excess sebum that can prevent the treatment from working. Treatment tends to be tough on your skin, that is why moisturizing needs to be done. It is tempting to rely on the treatment, but sadly, your skin can dry out and lead to more acne.

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    Other Acne Products That Pair Well With Sulfur

    Salicylic acid is an exfoliating agent that pairs perfectly with sulfur. The sulfur dries out excess oil on the surface. Then, the salicylic acid exfoliates and removes any sebum and dead skin cells trapped in the pores. Together, they prevent and treat this clogging.

    Sulfur also works well with tea tree oil, another anti-microbial acne-fighting agent. Although sulfur has mild antibacterial properties, it cant kill enough microbes to really prevent or treat pimples. Tea tree oil is on the other end of the spectrum. It kills 99% of P. acnes, but it cant always cut through the excess sebum to reach the culprits. Tea tree oil can be more effective in that it isnt as dehydrating.

    Sulfur Is A Great Option For Sensitive Skin

    Is your skin allergic to benzoyl peroxide? Does your skin turn bright red at the mere sight of Retin-A? Sulfur might be your new best friend.

    This acne-fighting ingredient tends to be gentler on the skin than many other acne treatments. It isn’t the most effective acne treatment, and many other products do work better and faster.

    If your skin simply can’t take the side effects of most other acne medications, sulfur is a great treatment option.

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    Salicylic Acid And Sulfur For Acne:

    Salicylic Acid is actually an organic acid which is used as one of the most active ingredients in making of Anti-Acne skin care preparations.


    • Take a spoon of Salicylic acid powder
    • Take one spoon of sulphur
    • Mix both well with one spoon of water and form a paste
    • Apply it on the acne on skin and let it dry
    • Wash your face with lukewarm water

    How it work: It will help in unclogging pores to resolve as well as prevent lesions of the acne

    Repetitions: Once every day for 7 days

    Best time to Apply: Before going to bed

    Tips: Use rose water to keep the face free from dryness

    Dont Overdry Your Skin

    Treating Adult Acne – How To & What To Look For

    This is the most common acne myth! Breakouts don’t always mean that your skin is oily or greasy. In fact, Ive always had skin thats a little on the dry side. When I first started breaking out, I made the huge mistake of using over-the-counter, topical acne treatments on my pimples. Salicylic acid and sulfur can be fabulous for some kinds of acne, but not for cystic acne. Make sure you hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer so that your skin doesnt feel the need to overproduce its natural oils.

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