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Sulfur: A Timeless Treatment for Acne, Eczema, and Psoriasis

Have you ever found yourself skipping out entirely on something helpful because it has an off-putting aspect, perhaps its smell? You're not alone, but sometimes, it just can't be helped. If you've been wondering how to treat eczema, acne, or psoriasis, we have news for you: sulfur is a fantastic choice.

Sulfur as the Go-To Treatment

All living cells count sulfur as an essential component. At its purest state, sulfur features a yellow color and smells rather foul. The natural element is typically found in minerals and rocks, but it's also found in hair, skin, amino acids, and vitamins in the human body. It's been used for medical purposes throughout history, and even in wine-making!

The biggest issue most people generally have is how bad sulfur smells. Putting something stinky on your nose seems counterproductive to feeling better about skin problems. However, a fact about sulfur that may not be as well-known as its smelly reputation is that over the years, formulations have come out which don't have the off-putting odor. 

Sulfur in skincare usually comes up in conversations about breakouts, but there's more that it can help treat. Essentially, it is a prebiotic that affects the microbiome and functions to encourage the production of good bacteria, resulting in the suppression of bad bacteria and viruses. Considering how eczema is caused by the immune system overreacting to bad bacteria in the skin, flare ups will be reduced thanks to the presence of sulfur. 

It works well with sodium sulfacetamide, which is why more recent topical sulfur lotions count it as part of the formulation. The effects are comparable to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

Benefits of Sulfur for Skincare

As previously mentioned, there are several aspects of sulfur that are beneficial to the skin, such as:

  • Promotes good bacteria  -Sulfur ramps up the production of good bacteria, helping suppress bad bacteria and viruses. While it doesn’t have antibacterial properties per se, the fact that it’s capable of prohibiting bacterial growth can do wonders for your skin.
  • Blemishes get dried out - Sulfur reduces oil (sebum) found on the skin. Applied to a blemish or blemishes, sulfur actively works for that particular part of the skin to get dried out. That way, the blemishes can just naturally fall away.
  • Exfoliation - As previously mentioned, sulfur is an exfoliant. It works to thin out and soften the topmost layer of the skin (epidermis), or what is called the keratolytic effect. Aside from addressing dead skin, it's also able to take away impurities.

It should be noted that sulfur isn't just helpful for health through topical skin application. There are sulfur supplements and ways to incorporate them into one's diet by taking them orally.


When wondering how to stop eczema, acne, and the like, sulfur is a great treatment option. There's a common misconception that using it requires dealing with the foul odor, but newer formulations for topical lotions and other products have addressed that. Sulfur brings several benefits to the skin, such as exfoliation and blemishes getting dried out. It can help to address acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Wondering how to manage eczema? Check out Harlan MD! We offer the first-ever prebiotic lotion guaranteed to prevent and relieve outbreaks of dermatitis and eczema.

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