Strange, Old Acne Remedies (Don’t Try This at Home)

Strange, Old Acne Remedies | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale

Strange, Old Acne Remedies (Don’t Try This at Home)

Humans have been obsessed with curing acne since the beginning of time, even when most of the time acne isn’t dangerous. Spectrum Dermatology offers the latest and most effective acne treatments, making sure they are safe and customized just for you. Unfortunately, skilled dermatologists weren’t always available to help with acne. Human history includes thousands of years of trying strange, weird, and sometimes hazardous “treatments” to try to cure acne.

In 1836, there was a recipe for acne treatment in the book Practical Synopsis of Cutaneous Disease that included turpentine along with honey and vinegar. While apple cider vinegar remains a popular and safe treatment for mild cases of acne, turpentine is extremely dangerous both when ingested and when covering large patches of the skin. It’s actually listed under “turpentine oil poisoning” by Poison Control.

The same book also recommended using hydrogen cyanide. Cyanide is, of course, an extremely poisonous liquid that can be incredibly lethal according to the Centers for Disease Control. Mercury is also recommended, and particularly nitrated quicksilver. Today, nitrate is sometimes used in dermatological settings to treat certain skin growths, but it must be carefully administered by a medical professional. Applying it to acne as an at-home treatment can be permanently damaging.

Less dangerous, but still bizarre, recipes preceded the turpentine facial. In 1772’s The Toilet of Flora, there is a range of recipes for pimple-curing. Sometimes veal, freshly laid eggs, and apples are recommended. In one recipe, it’s suggested that a hot crust of bread be used. None of these ingredients are dangerous, but there’s also nothing in them that will cure your acne.

Humans are creative and curious creatures. We will always try to come up with new, fast, and easy ways to treat our daily woes. After all, there was recently a YouTube video featuring a “kitty litter facial.” Although some kitty litter does have potential to be a great exfoliant, there are also numerous potential chemicals in such a product—and much better ways to achieve an abrasive facial (like in a clinical setting).

Talk with Spectrum Dermatology About Acne Today

Acne can happen to anyone of any age. If you’re struggling with the most common of all skin conditions, skip the at-home remedies and schedule an appointment with Spectrum Dermatology today.