In the continuing quest to find products that are effective in the fight against acne there are numerous medications and treatments that are tried. One of the regulars, in a variety of different forms and combinations is sulfur. Sulfur acne treatments have been around for a long time. In fact, sulfur acne treatments have been around since ancient times as sulfur baths were considered beneficial for the skin.
These days sulfur products are used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne. These sulfur medications are available as creams, lotions, face washes or soaps. Sulfur is also an active ingredient in some well known acne products in combination with resorcinol or salicylic acid.
Sulfur products work by helping to remove layers of dead skin that can otherwise clog up the pores of the skin. It also dries out the skin which means the skin is much less oily, robbing the acne bacteria of the conditions they need to thrive.
The downside or side effects of using sulfur acne products is that the skin can become very dry and irritated after prolonged use. Unfortunately, for the product to do its work effectively, this side effect is somewhat unavoidable because the drying out process is what you are aiming to achieve by using sulfur.
A second side effect, but an easily remedied one, is that when sulfur oxidizes it smells bad. How bad? It can give off a decided rotten egg gas smell as it hits the air. For this reason you will often find it used in combination with other elements that are much nicer smelling to mask the odor a bit.
People who are already using another kind of acne treatment, whether that treatment is a prescription medication or an over the counter product, should be careful about using a sulfur acne product. Most acne medications contain some ingredient that effectively dries out the pores of the skin. By adding a sulfur-based treatment to the existing one will carry on with the drying process taking it too far.
Warnings are also passed out to pregnant women against using sulfur products. It is unclear what effect the sulfur being absorbed into the skin of a pregnant woman will have on the unborn child. Similarly there still remains work to be done to find out whether sulfur would be passed on to a baby through breast milk. It would be best to consider another type of treatment until it has been proven safe for both mother and baby.
A product such as sulfur soap can be used every day to keep the skin clear of dead cells. This means there will be less chance of blocked pores and bacteria growth will be retarded. Sulfur or sulfur soap does not actively fight acne itself, it simply creates conditions that promotes healthier skin.