Sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur are topical treatments primarily used to treat acne. They work as a combination treatment with antibacterial properties and control acne-causing bacteria while also promoting keratolysis, or the shedding of the top skin layer. Other than acne, the combination of sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur also reduces redness associated with rosacea and the itching and redness associated with seborrheic dermatitis. This treatment is available in a cleanser, lotion, gel, and saturated pads to swab onto the affected areas of the skin.
Administering sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur differs depending on what type of product a patient receives from his doctor. The cleanser should be applied to the skin once or twice a day and rinsed off after being massaged into the skin for up to 20 seconds. The lotion, gel, and saturated pads should be applied to clean skin from one to three times a day. It is best to start off using these products once a day to minimize dryness and gradually build up to using them up to three times a day. During application, it is important to avoid any contact with lips, eyes, and mucous membranes.
While a blend of sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur is very helpful at managing acne, rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, it will not fully cure the symptoms of these conditions. Results are usually seen after using sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur for several weeks. To maximize the effectiveness of this combination treatment, it is necessary to use it regularly and follow the directions provided by a doctor. If results are not seen after using this topical treatment for several weeks, it is best to consult a dermatologist so another treatment can be used and the patient can get his skin condition under control. Unless otherwise specified by a dermatologist, it is not recommended to use sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur with any other topical treatments, because this will interfere with the effectiveness of the product.
Side effects of using sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur are relatively rare; dryness, warmth, and redness are among the most common complaints of using this treatment. It is important to note that these side effects may occur as the skin adjusts to the new treatment and may stop with continued use. If signs of an allergic reaction — such as hives, shortness of breath, fever or swelling — occur, the patient should stop using the topical treatment immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.