A nonmetallic chemical element that is an essential element for all life, looks like oxygen in chemical homes, and is utilized particularly in the form of sulfuric acid to extract phosphates from ores. [1]


Sulfur is a chemical aspect that exists in all living tissues. After calcium and phosphorus, it is the 3rd most plentiful mineral in the human body. Sulfur is likewise discovered in garlic, onions, and broccoli.

Sulfur is applied to the skin for dandruff and a scratchy skin infection triggered by termites (scabies). It is likewise applied to the skin for acne and skin soreness (rosacea), and taken orally for many other conditions, however there is minimal scientific evidence to support these uses. [2]



Being abundantly readily available in native type, sulfur was understood in ancient times and is referred to in the torah (genesis). English translations of the christian bible frequently described burning sulfur as “brimstone”, giving rise to the term “fire-and-brimstone” preachings, in which listeners are advised of the fate of eternal damnation that await the unbelieving and unrepentant. It is from this part of the bible that hell is suggested to “give off sulfur” (likely due to its association with volcanic activity). According to the ebers papyrus, a sulfur ointment was used in ancient egypt to deal with granular eyelids. Sulfur was used for fumigation in preclassical greece; this is pointed out in the odyssey. Pliny the senior discusses sulfur in book 35 of his nature, saying that its best-known source is the island of melos. He discusses its use for fumigation, medicine, and bleaching fabric.

A natural type of sulfur known as shiliuhuang (石硫黄) was known in china given that the sixth century bc and found in hanzhong. By the 3rd century, the chinese had actually discovered that sulfur could be drawn out from pyrite. Chinese daoists were interested in sulfur’s flammability and its reactivity with specific metals, yet its earliest practical uses were found in traditional chinese medicine. A song dynasty military writing of 1044 ad described different solutions for chinese black powder, which is a mix of potassium nitrate (kno3), charcoal, and sulfur. It remains an ingredient of black gunpowder.

Indian alchemists, practitioners of the “science of chemicals” (sanskrit: रसशास्त्र, romanized: rasaśāstra), composed thoroughly about using sulfur in alchemical operations with mercury, from the 8th century advertisement onwards. In the rasaśāstra custom, sulfur is called “the foul-smelling” (गन्धक, gandhaka).

Early european alchemists gave sulfur an unique alchemical symbol, a triangle at the top of a cross (). The astrological symbol for 2 pallas, a crossed spear (⚴), has actually been published in different kinds, consisting of one that appears like the sign for sulfur. In conventional skin treatment, elemental sulfur was utilized (generally in creams) to relieve such conditions as scabies, ringworm, psoriasis, eczema, and acne. The.

System of action is unidentified– though elemental sulfur does oxidize gradually to sulfurous acid, which is (through the action of sulfite) a moderate reducing and antibacterial agent.

Modern times

Right: today sulfur is known to have antifungal, anti-bacterial, and keratolytic activity; in the past it was utilized against acne vulgaris, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, pityriasis versicolor, scabies, and warts. This 1881 ad baselessly claims efficacy against rheumatism, gout, baldness, and graying of hair.

Sulfur appears in a column of fixed (non-acidic) alkali in a chemical table of 1718. Antoine lavoisier used sulfur in combustion experiments, writing of some of these in 1777.

Sulfur deposits in sicily were the dominant source for more than a century. By the late 18th century, about 2,000 tonnes annually of sulfur were imported into marseille, france, for the production of sulfuric acid for usage in the leblanc procedure. In industrializing britain, with the repeal of tariffs on salt in 1824, demand for sulfur from sicily rose upward. The increasing british control and exploitation of the mining, refining, and transport of the sulfur, paired with the failure of this financially rewarding export to change sicily’s backwards and impoverished economy, resulted in the sulfur crisis of 1840, when king ferdinand ii provided a monopoly of the sulfur industry to a french firm, violating an earlier 1816 trade agreement with britain. A tranquil option was eventually negotiated by france.

In 1867, essential sulfur was found in underground deposits in louisiana and texas. The highly successful frasch procedure was established to extract this resource.

In the late 18th century, furnishings makers used molten sulfur to produce decorative inlays. Molten sulfur is often still used for setting steel bolts into drilled concrete holes where high shock resistance is preferred for floor-mounted devices accessory points. Pure powdered sulfur was used as a medicinal tonic and laxative.

With the development of the contact procedure, most of sulfur today is utilized to make sulfuric acid for a wide variety of uses, especially fertilizer.

In recent times, the main source of sulfur has become petroleum and gas. This is because of the requirement to remove sulfur from fuels in order to avoid acid rain, and has led to a surplus of sulfur.

Spelling and etymology

Sulfur is derived from the latin word sulpur, which was hellenized to sulphur in the incorrect belief that the latin word came from greek. This spelling was later reinterpreted as representing an/ f/ sound and resulted in the spelling sulfur, which appears in latin toward the end of the classical duration. The true greek word for sulfur, θεῖον, is the source of the global chemical prefix thio-. In 12th-century anglo-french, it was sulfre. In the 14th century, the incorrectly hellenized latin -ph- was brought back in middle english sulphre. By the 15th century, both complete latin spelling variants sulfur and sulphur became common in english. The parallel f ~ ph spellings continued in britain till the 19th century, when the word was standardized as sulphur. On the other hand, sulfur was the form selected in the united states, whereas canada uses both. The iupac adopted the spelling sulfur in 1990 or 1971, depending on the source cited, as did the classification committee of the royal society of chemistry in 1992, bring back the spelling sulfur to britain. Oxford dictionaries keep in mind that “in chemistry and other technical usages … The -f- spelling is now the standard form for this and related words in british along with us contexts, and is progressively used in general contexts as well. [3]

Physical residential or commercial properties of sulfur

Sulfur has an atomic weight of 32.066 grams per mole and is part of group 16, the oxygen family. It is a nonmetal and has a specific heat of 0.706 j g-1 oc-1. The electron affinity if 200 kj mol-1 and the electronegativity is 2.58 (system less). Sulfur is normally found as a light-yellow, opaque, and breakable strong in big quantities of little orthorhombic crystals. Not just does sulfur have two times the density of water, it is also insoluble in water. On the other hand, sulfur is highly soluble in carbon disulfide and slightly soluble in lots of common solvents. Sulfur can likewise differ in color and blackens upon boiling due to carbonaceous pollutants. Even as little as 0.05% of carbonaceous matter darkens sulfur substantially.

Many sulfur is recovered straight as the aspect from underground deposits by injecting super-heated water and piping out molten sulfur (sulfur melts at 112o c). Compared to other aspects, sulfur has the most allotropes. While the s8 ring is the most typical allotrope, there are 6 other structures with as much as 20 sulfur atoms per ring.

  • Under appropriate conditions, sulfur vapor can contain \( s \), \( s_2 \), \( s_4 \), \( s_6 \), and \( s_8 \).
  • At space temperature, rhombic sulfur (sα) is a steady solid consisted of cyclic \( s_8 \) molecules.
  • At 95.5 ° c, rhombic sulfur becomes monoclinic sulfur (sβ). The crystal structure discovered in monoclinic sulfur varies from that of rhombic sulfur. Monoclinic sulfur is also made up of \( s_8 \) molecules.
  • Monoclinic sulfur becomes liquid sulfur (sλ) at 119 ° c. Liquid sulfur is straw-colored liquid comprised of \( s_8 \) molecules and other cyclic molecules containing a series of six to twenty atoms.
  • At 160 oc, this ends up being a dark, thick liquid called liquid sulfur (sμ). The particles are still made up of 8 sulfur atoms but the molecule opens and transforms from a circle into a long spiral-chain particle.
  • At 180 ° c, the chain length and viscosity reach their maximum. Chains break and viscosity decreases at temperatures that exceed 180 ° c.
  • Sulfur vapor is produced when liquid boils at 445 ° c. In the vapor that is produced, \( s_8 \) particles dominate but as the vapor continues to heat up, the particles break up into smaller sized groups of sulfur.
  • To produce plastic sulfur, sis poured into cold water. Plastic sulfur is rubberlike and is made up of long, spiral-chain particles. If plastic sulfur sits for long, it will reconvert to rhombic sulfur. [4]

System of action

Sulfur serves as a keratolytic representative and likewise it has anti-bacterial activity. It likewise eliminates fungi, scabies mites and other parasites. Precipitated sulfur and colloidal sulfur are used, in type of lotions, creams, powders,.

Soaps, and bath ingredients, for the treatment of acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, and seborrhoeic dermatitis. [5]

Foods and drinks rich in sulfur

Sulfur is discovered in a large variety of foods. The greatest classifications consist of.

  • Meat and poultry: specifically beef, ham, chicken, duck, turkey, and organ meats like heart and liver
  • Fish and seafood: most types of fish, in addition to shrimp, scallops, mussels, and prawns
  • Legumes: specifically soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, divided peas, and white beans
  • Nuts and seeds: particularly almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, and pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Eggs and dairy: entire eggs, cheddar, parmesan and gorgonzola cheese, and cow’s milk
  • Dried fruit: specifically dried peaches, apricots, sultanas, and figs
  • Particular veggies: especially asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, leeks, onion, radishes, turnip tops, and watercress
  • Particular grains: especially pearl barley, oats, wheat, and flour made from these grains
  • Particular beverages: particularly beer, cider, red wine, coconut milk, and grape and tomato juice
  • Condiments and spices: especially horseradish, mustard, marmite, curry powder, and ground ginger

Drinking water can likewise contain substantial quantities of sulfur depending on where you live. This might be specifically true if you source your water from a well.

Additionally, sulfites– a food preservative derived from sulfur– are frequently contributed to packaged foods like jams, pickles, and dried fruit to extend their service life. Sulfites can also establish naturally in fermented foods and beverages consisting of beer, white wine, and cider.


Sulfur is naturally discovered in a variety of foods and beverages. Sulfur-derived sulfite is another type of sulfur typically added to some packaged foods. [6]

Uses of sulfur

Supplement usage need to be individualized and vetted by a health care expert, such as a signed up dietitian, pharmacist, or doctor. No supplement is meant to deal with, cure, or prevent an illness.

Sulfur plays an essential function in the body. It is necessary for the production of crucial proteins and the foundation of those proteins, which are referred to as amino acids. For instance, sulfur is needed for the synthesis, or production, of the amino acids cysteine and methionine. These amino acids become part of an effective antioxidant known as glutathione.

Although there is little research offered on sulfur, there are couple of circumstances in which sulfur supplements may be beneficial.

What is an anti-oxidant?

Anti-oxidants are substances in your body that can avoid cell damage, so they protect you against different kinds of illness and illnesses.

Joint and muscle pain

Sulfur belongs to traditional treatments used around the globe for a range of conditions.


Msm, a naturally occurring sulfur substance discovered in numerous foods, may help those with various osteoarthritis types.

It is suggested that msm supplements might work as an anti-inflammatory that could possibly protect cartilage. For those with arthritis, the outcome may be less pain and a much better variety of motion in the joints. However, research in this area is limited and combined.

A couple of studies have actually shown improvements in pain and physical function when supplementing with msm. An early pilot trial randomized 50 individuals with knee osteoarthritis (oa) to get 3 grams msm two times day-to-day or placebo for 12 weeks. Those that got the msm supplement reported improved pain symptoms and physical function. Nevertheless, the advantage and safety of msm for this usage and its long-term application can’t be verified.

An additional study discovered similar results when they randomized 49 people with knee oa to receive 1.125 grams msm three times daily versus placebo for 12 weeks. The authors kept in mind that the enhancement in pain and physical function with msm was small and the research study did not determine if it was a clinically considerable change.

Another research study assessed a supplement that contained msm in mix with several other active ingredients (glucosamine sulfate, white will bark extract, ginger root concentrate, boswella serrata extract, turmeric root extract, cayenne, and hyaluronic acid). One hundred individuals with a history of joint discomfort were randomized to get the supplement or placebo for 8 weeks. While those who took the supplement reported decreased joint pain, there was no effect on markers of inflammation or improvement on a six-minute walk test.

A different meta-analysis found that neither dmso nor msm worked in decreasing discomfort from oa. It must be kept in mind that this meta-analysis was performed in 2009 and did not include 2 of the research studies pointed out previously.

Further research is still required to determine the advantages of supplementing sulfur, what the proper dose ought to be, and whether it is much better to supplement sulfur by itself or in a mix with other active ingredients.


Balneotherapy is an alternative therapy that’s been utilized for centuries to ease joint and muscle discomfort. Balneotherapy includes bathing swollen or stressed out joints and muscles in hot springs and water which contains sulfur together with other rich minerals.

Research study is combined concerning the effectiveness of balneotherapy. It’s been thought to minimize pain and enhance the quality of life for those with osteoarthritis. However, a 2015 study evaluation found there wasn’t adequate proof to reveal it helped with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The bottom line on balneotherapy: it can be utilized together with other treatments to decrease low-grade inflammation and stress-related pain or tightness. However, it is still advised to get treatment from a doctor to ease the symptoms of your condition better.


As an anti-inflammatory, msm appears to minimize the swelling activated by unusual immune reactions, which affects individuals who have allergies to food or environmental aspects.

In a randomized, double-blind research study, researchers revealed that msm substantially reduced allergy symptoms. Taking 3 grams of msm daily for 2 weeks assisted those with allergic reactions breathe much better and minimized their nasal congestion. More research is needed.


Dandruff is a skin problem on the scalp that causes itching, flaking skin, and possible soreness and swelling. Sulfur is approved by the fda (fda) for usage in non-prescription dandruff items that frequently include salicylic acid.

Little research study has actually been done since a small 1987 research study of people with dandruff. That study indicated that when individuals utilized shampoo containing sulfur and salicylic acid, they reported less scaling and dandruff. Further studies would assist to assess the effectiveness of sulfur for dandruff.


Rosacea is a skin problem that looks like adult acne but is extremely various. It triggers red, swollen areas on the face, red bumps, and an enhancement of the nose.

Mix sulfur formulas consisting of 10% sodium sulfacetamide and 5% sulfur have actually been shown to significantly decrease inflammation and sores triggered by rosacea. These topical formulas, indicating creams or creams applied to the skin, likewise seem to have couple of side effects. Nevertheless, some people are hypersensitive to sulfur items.

Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis (ic) is persistent bladder swelling. The fda has authorized dmso for the treatment of ic. It belongs to a liquid service that is inserted into the bladder. This needs a healthcare specialist. Anesthesia is normally required for the procedure.

Extra claims

A lot of other claims about sulfur do not have the research study to support them. It has actually not been revealed to help with menopause signs, strengthen nails, or deal with chronic obstructive pulmonary illness (copd), hyperlipidemia, or battle cancer. [7]

Benefits of sulfur for skin

Some of the characteristics of sulfur that make it great as an acne treatment (for instance, its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties) are also useful for treating an array of other skin concerns.

Dries imperfections: according to shah, sulfur lowers sebum (oil) on the skin. When applied to the imperfection, sulfur works to dry the skin so it can then be sloughed away.

Promotes exfoliation: sulfur works to exfoliate dead skin and get rid of pollutants: shah states that sulfur has a keratolytic result (meaning it works to soften and thin the skin), which assists eliminate dead skin cells and avoid stopped up pores.

Fights bacteria: sulfur has anti-bacterial residential or commercial properties, and, according to cheung, sulfur is a dermatologist-favorite due to the fact that it eliminates bacteria, fungi, and different parasites.

Deals with delicate skin conditions: cheung says because sulfur is anti-inflammatory and assists to soften and exfoliate thick, dead skin, it’s often used to treat acne, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. Shah includes that it’s also known to deal with eczema and rosacea. [8]

How to use sulfur for skin?

Sulfur is available in a wide variety of skin care products, as well as targeted acne treatments.

People who wish to utilize sulfur on their skin can select from:.

  • Cleansers
  • Creams
  • Exfoliants
  • Face cleans and lathers
  • Creams
  • Face masks
  • Soaps
  • Area treatments

Sulfur products are offered otc or with a prescription. They might include extra active ingredients, such as resorcinol or sodium sulfacetamide.

People can use sulfur treatments alone or along with other acne treatments. Typically, utilizing a combination of treatments can assist acne heal faster.

For example, individuals could use an otc sulfur face mask once a week and a benzoyl peroxide wash each day. Additionally, a skin specialist may recommend a topical retinoid for nighttime usage and a sulfur-based cleanser for morning usage.

Performing a patch test

Individuals ought to always carry out a patch test before using any brand-new item on their skin. They can do this by applying a percentage of the item to the inside of the arm and waiting 24 hours to monitor for negative effects.

If no response happens, it is likely safe to apply the product to the face or other parts of the body. If side effects establish, it is advisable to discontinue the use of the item. [9]

Sulfur topical negative effects

Get emergency medical aid if you have indications of an allergy: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Sulfur topical might cause severe negative effects. Call your medical professional at once if you have:.

  • Serious burning, redness, or swelling where the medicine was used;
  • Severe dryness or peeling of dealt with skin; or
  • New or getting worse skin signs.

Common adverse effects of sulfur topical may include:.

  • Moderate burning, tingling, stinging, itching, or redness;
  • Peeling, dryness; or
  • Oily skin.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may happen. Call your physician for medical recommendations about side effects. [10]


The dosage of this medication will be various for various patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the typical doses of this medicine. If your dosage is different, do not alter it unless your medical professional informs you to do so.

The quantity of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take every day, the time enabled in between dosages, and the length of time you take the medicine depend upon the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For acne:

For cream and bar soap dose types:

Adults and kids– utilize on the skin as needed.

For lotion dose form:

Grownups and kids– utilize 2 or 3 times a day.

For lotion dose kind:

Grownups and kids– utilize the 0.5% lotion on the skin as required.

For seborrheic dermatitis:

For lotion dose kind:

Grownups and children– use the 5 to 10% ointment a couple of times a day.

For scabies:

For ointment dosage type:

Adults and children– utilize the 6% ointment each night for 3 nights.

Missed dosage

If you miss out on a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. Nevertheless, if it is practically time for your next dosage, avoid the missed dosage and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double dosages. [11]

Special preventative measures and warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: sulfur is perhaps safe when applied to the skin properly, short-term. Products consisting of sulfur in concentrations as much as 6% have actually been applied securely nightly for as much as 6 nights.

Children: sulfur is potentially safe when applied to the skin properly, short-term. Products consisting of sulfur in concentrations approximately 6% have been used securely when used nighttime in children and teenagers for as much as 6 nights. Products including sulfur in concentrations up to 2% have actually been used safely when made an application for 3 hours daily for approximately 6 days in infants.

Sulfa allergy: it is commonly believed that people who dislike sulfa drugs might be allergic to sulfur including items. This is not true. People with an allergy to “sulfa” react to the sulfonamide in some antibiotics and associated drugs. They do not react to elemental sulfur. [12]


In this paper we have presented the diversity and circulation of genes related to sulfur oxidation in 75 stress of thioalkalivibrio, a group of haloalkaliphilic and chemolithoautotrophic sob from soda lakes. We have actually shown that flavocytochrome c, the truncated sox system (soxaxyzb) and sulfite: quinone oxidoreductase (soeabc) exist in all strains. The path from essential sulfur to sulfite is presently not resolved for all thioalkalivibrio, as just six genomes encode the dissimilatory sulfite reductase system. The hdr-like operon is an excellent candidate for sulfur oxidation, although the release of sulfite from this enzyme system has yet to be shown. It is discovered in all dsr-negative strains and the genomes of 4 strains include both, although the physiological consequences of this are unidentified.

Hierarchical clustering revealed that the sulfur gene collection of private pressures associates well with genomic groups previously specified by anib analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of soxb, fccb, and soea amino acid series reaffirms the intricate evolutionary history of thioalkalivibrio that was reported in previous analyses of 16s rrna and cbbl sequences. Genomic contexts of genes present in multiple copies show that there is usually one genotype with series from all strains and one or more genotypes additional copies that were most likely gotten through hgt.

There are a number of major unresolved concerns concerning the sulfur metabolism of thioalkalivibrio, most notably the oxidation of elemental sulfur as mentioned above. The in vivo function of the fad-dependent oxidoreductases that form a sis group to type ii sqr sequences supplies another opportunity for further research study. [13]


  4. inorganic_chemistry)/ descriptive_chemistry/ elements_organized_by_group/ group_16% 3a_the_oxygen_family/ z016_chemistry_of_sulfur _( z16)
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.