Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Surprising Acne Treatments

Cell Salt Therapies

Cell salt therapy is based on a set of beliefs formed by Dr. William H. Scheussler in Germany in the 19th century. Scheussler examined the remains of cremated bodies and came up with the conclusion that they were comprised of only 12 mineral compounds, which he called "tissue salts." He believed that a body with unbalanced mineral compounds would become diseased. Thus, the good doctor provided his patients with pills containing traces of the mineral compound he thought their bodies lacked.

How does this relate to acne? Practitioners of cell salt therapy believe that acne is a result of a bodily deficiency of calcium sulfate.

Cell salt therapy has a few similarities to homeopathic medicine. Unlike what is generally referred to as modern medicine, cell salt therapy and homeopathic medicine employ the practice of administering tiny amounts of a curative substance to alleviate a medical disorder. Another thing these two practices have in common? Proof of their effectiveness is largely anecdotal, and evidence either practice works at all is scarce.

But don't tell that to believers of cell salt therapy, many of whom will swear it can alleviate acne as well as other conditions. Since the amount of calcium sulfate used in treatments is diluted to near-nonexistence, it certainly wouldn't hurt to find out for yourself. Afterward, you may choose to rummage through your home's junk drawers to find what you'll need to try our next surprising acne treatment.