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Sulfur Acne Treatment: Does It Cure Scars, Spots, and Blackheads?

Sulfur Acne Treatment: Does It Cure Scars, Spots, and Blackheads?

Puberty is mostly good news. Males develop beards, baritone, and muscles. Hips, breasts, and menstruation for females.

All these, of course, among many others. There's however, this downside to puberty common to both sexes. It's so common and is thus the bad news Chief of puberty.

Yes, acne. Nothing annoys you about acne like its persistence despite all you try to do to get rid of it. Nonetheless, you should give sulfur acne treatment a try.

What is Acne?

If puberty were a family, acne would be the black sheep. It is everything to hate and dread.

In more technical terms, acne is defined as a skin condition when oil and dead skin cells plug hair follicles. It is caused by hormonal imbalances that accompany puberty.

Understand that acne is not one type of disease, but could be a conglomerate of conditions that affect teenagers' skins, or even adults.

They could be inflammatory or non-inflammatory.

Typical forms of acne include the following:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Cysts
  • Nodules
  • Pustules

Effects of Acne

It may come as a surprise, but acne has more emotional consequences than physical. Common effects include the following:

  • Physical pain
  • There is a loss of self-esteem due to constant bullying.
  • Anxiety
  • Poor self-image
  • There's a withdrawal from society due to (un)true feelings of acute loneliness.
  • Depression

Sulfur for Acne?

Amongst many treatments for acne you may know, use of sulfur is rather alien.

Unpopular as it may be, sulfur acne treatment is not as novel an idea as it may seem. If you've been paying attention to some of the products you've been using, you just may have used it once before.

Yes, sulfur is the yellow dust you learned from elementary chemistry classes. It would shock you to know that it has incredible antimicrobial properties, and has been put to use for over a century in the never-ending battle against acne.

Types of acne suitable for sulfur treatment

Like most treatment measures, sulfur acne treatment doesn't work like some master key for all acne types.

Below is a grading of the efficiency of sulfur in treating common acne types.

  1. Best fit: White and Blackheads

These are the mildest forms of acne. They are non-inflammatory and occur when oil and dead cells clog your skin pores. Blackheads have an open plugged pore, while whiteheads' are closed.

Sulfur works best for these forms of acne since it targets both the oils and dead skin. If you have highly sensitive skin, likely, other treatment methods don't work for you.

Sulfur, however, works well for sensitive skins. That's one more reason to give sulfur acne treatment for your black/whiteheads serious consideration.

  1. Induced fit: Pustules and papules

These are inflammatory forms of acne, albeit modest. They arise from the destruction of skin pores, increasing susceptibility to clogging.

Once clogged, they become swollen, hard, and painful. The only difference between pustules and papules is their size - pustules are bigger.

Compared to other treatment methods like benzoyl peroxide, sulfur is less useful for pustules and papules.

  1. Zero fit: Nodules and Cysts

Imagine acne as a plantation of weeds (unwanted plants). In this undesired fantasy, nodules and cysts would be chief.

They are the most severe form of inflammatory acne. They occur from extreme pore inflammation and irritation. They are the most painful acne conditions anyone would ever have to deal with.

Like you can imagine, this kind cannot be treated at home using OTC (over-the-counter) drugs. They usually require that you visit the dermatologist for more sophisticated forms of treatment like laser therapy.

Having examined all major forms of acne in response to acne treatment with sulfur, we can conclude that it works best for its mild forms.

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.

Why sulfur is a preferred option

Amongst other treatments for mild forms of acne, sulfur is the most preferred. This is majorly due to two reasons.

  • Non-scarring: Scars can be burdensome, as they're difficult to get rid of. It's usually best if you don't have them in the first place. Not only does sulfur cure acne with little to no scar formation. It also removes already-present scars that are relics from past acne battles. This is possible since it dehydrates and removes dead skin.

Despite this, sulfur is not the recommended first-line of action for scar removal. Skin lightening agents work better.

  • Gentler on skin: Sulfur is one of the mildest forms of treatment for acne. Acne is bad, but sensitive skin could be worse. Treating one with the other could be a somewhat dicey situation. If your skin is sensitive, no treatment is right for your blackheads like sulfur. It is, therefore, suitable for all skin types.

Possible side effects of sulfur acne treatment

As gentle on the skin as sulfur may be, there are two major sources of concern that may arise.

  • Dehydration: Remember that sulfur works by drying mechanisms. Excessive usage will lead to general skin dehydration. To retain hydration, it is, therefore, necessary to use sulfur products with moisturizers. You must give your skin time to adapt to the new sulfur product. Apply once daily, and gradually increase frequency to about two to three times.
  • Rotten egg odor: If we remember chemistry very well, you'll know sulfur has a rotten egg smell. This is a real source of concern with sulfur therapies for acne. Test the product at your local store and ensure whatever unpleasant smells are at least tolerable.

Due diligence

Even though sulfur acne products work gently on the skin, it is a general precaution to do a patch test before applying on your face.

This is to determine the dangers (whether or not they exist) of using the product. Note that these safety measures are not peculiar to sulfur products.

Perform a patch test in three simple steps:

  1. Randomly pick a small area of skin on your arm.
  2. Apply the product on selected skin area and leave for about 24 hours.
  3. If no adverse reactions are observed, proceed to use on your face. If present, discontinue the product.

Other common treatments for 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
  • Antibiotics
  • Salicyclic acid
  • Combined oral contraceptives (for women)
  • Anti-androgen agents (for women)
  • Laser therapy
  • Chemical peels.


Sulfur acne treatment is best for mild acne and is suitable for most skin types.

Realize that even the best methods of acne treatment do not work overnight. Patience is essential to seeing the results of medication.

For sulfur products, you may have to wait for as long as three months. When used for the correct form of acne, it's worth the wait.

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