How Did They Treat Acne in Ancient Times?

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by the inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

While modern medicine has advanced significantly in treating acne, our ancestors had their own ways of dealing with this pesky skin condition. Let’s take a look at how acne was treated in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Remedies

Egyptians were known for their beauty rituals, and they had some interesting remedies for treating acne. One such remedy was using a mixture of honey and milk to soothe inflamed skin. They also used crushed lotus leaves mixed with milk as a face mask to prevent breakouts.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years and is still widely used today. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believed that acne was caused by heat and dampness in the body. They recommended drinking green tea or chrysanthemum tea to cool the body down and reduce inflammation.

Ayurvedic Treatments

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of healing that uses natural remedies to treat various health conditions. In Ayurveda, acne is believed to be caused by an imbalance in the doshas (energies) in the body. To treat acne, practitioners recommend using neem oil or turmeric paste on the affected areas.

Greek Remedies

The Greeks were known for their advanced knowledge of medicine and skincare. Greek physicians recommended using a mixture of honey and barley flour as a face mask to clear up acne. They also used sulfur-based ointments to dry out pimples.

Roman Treatments

Romans believed that good hygiene was key to preventing acne. They would regularly bathe in hot springs and use olive oil to moisturize their skin. They also used a mixture of sulfur and lead to treat acne, which was not the safest option.


While some of these ancient remedies may sound strange or even dangerous, they show that people have been struggling with acne for centuries. Today, we have access to advanced skincare treatments and medications that can effectively treat acne. However, it’s always interesting to look back at how our ancestors dealt with this common skin condition.