Sulfur is a chemical compound that is found in the earth. In its natural state, sulfur is a yellow crystalline substance and was first discovered in America in the late 1800s. It is an amazing element that has been found to have multiple uses from gun powder, detergent, and even Epsom salts.
In the 1950s, acne preparations became a solution to the ever growing issue of acne amongst teenagers. The active ingredient in these acne preparations was sulfur. The sulfur was used to cause skin peeling and exfoliation. These acne treatments were considered mild, so the sulfur ointments could be left on the skin and not washed off.
Keratolytic agents like sulfur cause dead skin cells to slough off that could block the pores and cause breakouts. You can also call a sulfur acne treatment comedolytic, which means it helps to heal pre-existing comedones and preventing formation of new ones.
There is an issue of individuals being allergic to sulfur. What you may not know is there is a difference between the types of sulphur used in products. Sulfites are used as preservatives in drinks, foods, and occasionally medications. Sulfonamides are used in antibiotics. Both can cause allergic reactions and sometimes those reactions can be deadly.
This is serious; therefore, it is always suggested that you see your dermatologist or physician at least once before self-treating for acne. The symptoms of sulfur allergy include hives, photosensitivity, liver & kidney damage, worsening, asthma or trouble breathing.
If you experience any kind of symptoms such as these with use of sulfur, report to your local ER immediately or call 911 if in extreme distress. If you know you are allergic to certain medications, it is always smart to check with your physician before starting any acne preparations containing new substances like sulfur in them.
Sulfur has been used since the 1950s and has been proven to help in the fight against acne. With trends coming and going, it has been a staple in the dermatology community and is still used in acne preparations today. Sulfur acne treatments are a viable part of a short-term or even long-term skin maintenance plan that can lead to clear, healthy-appearing skin. It has a track record that can be found in the studies of dermatology professions to be an effective acne remedy for those who can use it.