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Did Ancient People Have Acne? (Everthing You Need to Know)

The question, "Did ancient people have acne?" has intrigued scholars and skincare enthusiasts alike. While acne is a common skin today, how it was perceived and treated in ancient times is a story rich with cultural insights and medical understanding.

This blog seeks to shed light on the history of acne, focusing on ancient civilizations and their approach to skin health.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans had a complex understanding of acne, using various remedies and practices that laid the groundwork for modern treatments.
  • Acne's history extends beyond ancient times into the 1800s with the industrial revolution, illustrating how societal changes influenced the condition and its treatments.
  • The modern approach to acne combines insights from ancient texts with scientific advancements, reflecting a comprehensive understanding that links the past and present.
  • Exposed Skin Care represents a culmination of this history, merging ancient wisdom with modern science to offer an effective and holistic approach to managing acne, drawing from centuries of human experience with this common skin condition.

Young woman with face acne

Did Ancient Egyptians Suffer from Acne? An Exploration into the World of Pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians were pioneers in various fields, including medicine and cosmetics. Their understanding of acne and skin health was far more advanced than we might imagine.

Egyptian Papyrus and Medical Texts

Around 1550 BC, the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text, documented various skin conditions and remedies. Acne was not an unfamiliar ailment to them. They had preparations and mineral baths designed to treat skin or acne issues.

Skincare Remedies and Practices

Egyptians used various remedies, including sulfur and olive oil, to deal with acne and skin inflammation. Cosmetic preparations like ointments and creams were still in use, highlighting the connection between ancient Egyptian skincare and some products today.

Ancient Greece and Acne: A Connection Rooted in History

The ancient Greeks had a foundational understanding of acne and other skin issues. Their approach to skin health reveals much about their civilization.

Greek Philosophers and Physicians

Greek physicians like Hippocrates and Aristotle played significant roles in shaping the understanding of acne. They believed the skin's pores were critical in acne breakouts.

Ancient Greek Remedies

Using remedies like sulfur, the Greeks had ways to treat acne. The word “acne” itself is derived from a Greek word. Their knowledge and practices laid the groundwork for many treatments still in use today.

Hand holding sulfuur rocks

Acne in Ancient Rome: An In-Depth Look at Roman Skincare

Like the Egyptians and Greeks, the Romans dealt with acne and other skin conditions. Their approach to skincare reveals much about ancient Rome's civilization.

Roman Medical Works

Roman physicians like Aulus Cornelius Celsus documented skin conditions, including acne, in works like "De Medicina." Theodosius advised acne treatments using specific ointments and hot baths.

Ancient Roman bathhouse

Remedies and Practices

Olive oil, mineral baths, and various creams were part of the Roman repertoire for acne. Their methods were akin to the Egyptians and Greeks, reflecting a shared ancient world understanding.

Exposed Skin Care: A Modern Approach Rooted in History

As we've explored acne throughout history, it's apparent that people in the past were as concerned with acne as we are today. While ancient remedies had their merit, the advancement in skincare has led to the creation of scientifically formulated products like those offered by Exposed Skin Care.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here's why Exposed Skin Care stands out:

  • Informed by History: Drawing insights from practices throughout history, Exposed Skin Care combines past wisdom with modern science.
  • Holistic Approach: It's not just about treating acne; the products aim at overall skin health, targeting the root causes like hormone imbalances.
  • Quality Ingredients: A blend of advanced scientific ingredients and natural extracts ensures safe and effective acne treatment.
  • Satisfying Results: With over 400,000 satisfied customers, the proof lies in the outcomes, making it a trustworthy choice for many.

Embracing both history and innovation, Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive approach that caters to the complex nature of acne, something people have been striving to understand and treat for millennia.


The quest to understand and treat acne has spanned from ancient Egypt's tombs to modern chemists' laboratories. Ancient texts have shown us that even the court physicians of Egypt were concerned with skin conditions, creating remedies for ailments like pimples and pustules.

While today's understanding may be more advanced, we can retrieve a treasure trove of knowledge from these historical accounts. In the 1800s, the industrial revolution brought about a lifestyle change that further exacerbated skin irritation. This era opened new avenues in skincare, moving beyond traditional treatments like rice bran to more scientific approaches. Acne was not a condition relegated to history but continued to evolve with society.

Modern skincare, like Exposed Skin Care, has built on this rich history, integrating ancient wisdom with modern science. Understanding the gland's role in acne, they have created products that are both effective and respectful of the past.

Acne, a condition that affects millions of people, is not merely a contemporary problem. The journey through time, from an ancient Egyptian tomb to today's laboratory, reveals a complex and captivating relationship between humans and this ever-present skin condition.

As we reflect on this history, we must appreciate the intricate balance of science and tradition that shapes our current approach to skincare. The lessons learned from the past provide a roadmap to more compassionate and effective treatment for a condition that has been a constant companion throughout human history.


Q: When was acne first documented?

A: The ancient Egyptians documented skin conditions, including acne, around 1550 BC in the Ebers Papyrus.

Q: How did ancient civilizations treat acne?

A: Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used various methods, including mineral baths, olive oil, sulfur, and ointments.

Q: Was the understanding of acne limited to these civilizations?

A: While this article focuses on Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, other ancient civilizations also had knowledge about skin conditions and treatments.

Q: How has the ancient understanding of acne impacted modern society?

A: The foundational understanding of acne in ancient times has influenced modern skincare practices, with many remedies and beliefs still relevant today.

Q: What were common beliefs about acne in ancient times?

A: Ancient physicians believed that pores, oily skin, and overproduction of sebum were key factors in acne. Philosophies like that of the Greek physician Galen in the 3rd century also related acne to puberty and hormonal changes.