Sodium Sulfacetamide / Sulfur

Topical Antibiotic / Topical Keratolytic
Compare To Other Treatments

What Is It?

This topical treatment is a combination of sodium sulfacetamide, which is a type of topical antibiotic called a sulfa antibiotic that helps stop the growth of acne bacteria, and sulfur, which may help dry and peel the skin as well as reduce acne bacteria.


Strength of Evidence
Average 81% reduction in acne after 11 weeks
  1. Del Rosso, J. Q. The use of sodium sulfacetamide 10%-sulfur 5% emollient foam in the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 2, 26–29 (2009).
  2. Tarimci, N., Sener, S. & Kilinç, T. Topical sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur lotion. J Clin Pharm Ther 22, 301 (1997).
  3. Breneman, D. L. & Ariano, M. C. Successful treatment of acne vulgaris in women with a new topical sodium sulfacetamide/sulfur lotion. Int J Dermatol 32, 365–367 (1993).

Side Effects

Low-medium side effects and adverse reactions's Real World Take

Not often used because it smells bad, colors the skin when applied, and can (rarely) lead to severe side effects. Limited evidence shows that it does significantly clear mild-to-moderate acne, but we need more research to know for sure how well it works.


150 Reviews