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December 13, 2009 at 4:43 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Sulfur Maintains the Healthy Skin of Your Pet

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Sulfur: What is it?

Sulfur is a non-metallic chemical element that is considered to be essential. However, it has been recently noted to have certain medicinal properties, including the enhancement of overall health of the skin. Sulfur can be located on the periodic table with the atomic symbol S and an atomic number of 16. Sulfur is typically noted to be yellow in color.

The Roles of Sulfur in the Body

Sulfur is an essential element that is required for the production of two amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Sulfur is also a component of the vitamin B1, and is essential for the creation of disulfide bonds. Disulfide bonds are commonly utilized by the body for the creation and organization of peptide chains, which are necessary for protein structure and assembly. These disulfide bonds are a strong covalent bond, ensuring structural strength.

Sulfur and your Pet's Skin

While the exact mechanisms remain scientifically unknown, sulfur has been implicated with the ability of having a certain amount of keratolytic activity. Additionally, it has been correlated that sulfur has some capability to act as an antibacterial and antifungal. Historically, sulfur has been used as a method of traditional medicine for the treatment of skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Topical Sulfur

Sulfur is sold in a cream form as a topical agent. It is known to cause the skin to dry and peel, allowing for dirt and excess oil to be removed from the skin. It should be noted that topical sulfur should not be used on dry, sunburned, irritated, wind burned, chapped, or damaged skin of any type, or on open wounds. The use of topical sulfur on damaged skin can lead to unwanted side effects and can serve to slow the overall healing process.

Sulfur Deficiency

Deficiencies of sulfur are very rare. However, deficiencies are possible, particularly if the diet is deprived of protein. Protein deprivation is more likely to occur before a sulfur deficiency.

Sulfur Toxicity

Sulfur is known to have very low levels of toxicity. However, if taken in excess, it is correlated with certain irritation to the mucous membranes and skin of the body. There have been very few cases of sulfur toxicity reported. It is possible for certain pets to be allergic to sulfur when provided in excess amounts. Watch your pet for any signs of allergic reaction if supplementation of sulfur is being utilized.

Sulfur and your Pet

Sulfur has been shown to have positive effects and improve the overall general health of the skin. However, the majority of these results are from preliminary research and more research is necessary to confirm these results and determine the molecular mechanisms responsible for their action. Therefore, any and all supplementation should be discussed with your veterinarian before beginning any scheduled treatment. Do not be afraid to educate yourself as to any and all treatment options. Additionally, do not be afraid to ask questions and get answers.

Sources:

http://periodic.lanl.gov/elements/16.html

http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/S/key.html

Photo Credit: meejoebee

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