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Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid

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By Medicover Hospitals / 29 Nov 2020
Medicoverhospitals.in | Medicine | Salicylic Acid
  1. Salicylic Acid uses
  2. Salicylic Acid side effects
  3. Salicylic Acid dosage
  4. Salicylic Acid storage
  5. Frequently asked questions
  6. Citations

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid, well known for reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping the pores clear. Salicylic acid can be found in OTC (over-the-counter) products. These are also available in prescription-strength formulas. Salicylic acid is best for mild acne i.e. blackheads and whiteheads.

How does Salicylic Acid work?

When the hair follicles get clogged with dead skin cells and oil -blackheads, whiteheads or pimples often appear. Salicylic acid goes in the skin and works to dissolve the dead skin cells clogging your pores.

Salicylic Acid Uses:

The medications are used on the skin for treating common skin and foot warts. Salicylic acid helps the wart to peel off gradually. This is also used to remove corns and calluses. The product should not be applied on the face or on moles, birthmarks and genital/anal warts. Salicylic acid comes in the form of cloth (wipe used to cleanse the skin), cream, lotion, liquid, gel, ointment, shampoo and patch to apply to the skin or scalp.

Salicylic Acid Side effects

Some of the common side effects of Salicylic Acid are:

  • Skin Irritation
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness or Weakness
  • Headache
  • Fast breathing

Serious Salicylic Acid Side Effects:

  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
  • Itching
  • Swelling of eyes, face, lips and tongue

If you have any of these serious symptoms immediately contact your doctor for further assistance. In any case, due to Salicylic acid if you get any kind of reactions in your body try avoiding it.

A doctor advised you to take the medicines by seeing your problems and the benefits of this medicine are greater than the side effects. Majority of the people who use this medicine don’t show any side effects. Get medical help immediately if you get any serious Salicylic acid side effects.

Precautions:

Before using Salicylic acids be aware of the following things:

  • Allergies:Talk to your doctor if you’re allergic to salicylic acid or any other medications.
  • Drug interactions:Most of the medicines don’t interact with salicylic acid. Before using these medicines inform your doctor.If you have following medical problems please consult your doctor immediately:
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Blood vessel disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chicken Pox
  • Flu

If you’re using salicylic acid for treating acne, the skin may become dry or irritated at the beginning of the treatment. To prevent this, use the product very less at first and gradually begin to apply the product when your skin is adjusted with the products. Avoid applying salicylic acid on broken, red, swollen, irritated or infected areas.

Salicylic acid toxicity:

It is rare but can occur from topical application of salicylic acid. For reducing the risk follow some precautions:

  • Don’t apply salicylic acid products in large areas of the body.
  • Avoid for a longer period of time.
  • Don’t use air-tight dressings, like plastic wrap

If you’re facing these problems avoid using salicylic acid:

  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • Tinnitus
  • Hyperpnea

How to use Salicylic Acid?

Your dermatologist will suggest a dosage according to the type of the skin and skin current condition. They also recommend it for 2 or 3 days. Apply it to a small area or affected skin to test the reaction before applying it into the entire area.

Cream, lotion or ointment:

Apply medicine to cover the affected area and rub it gently.

Gel:

Before using the gel apply wet packs on the affected area for 15 minutes. Apply gel on the affected area and rub it gently.

Pad:

Wipe the pad on the affected area. Don’t rinse off medicine after treatment.

Plaster for warts, corns or calluses:

  • Medicines are flammable and don't use near heat or flame.
  • Avoid breathing in the vapors from medicine.

Dosage:

Form Percent of Salicylic acid How often to use
Gel 0.5-5% Once per day
Lotion 1-2% 1 to 3 times a day
Ointment 3-6% As needed
Pads 0.5-5% 1 to 3 times a day
Soap 0.5-5% As needed
Solution 0.5%-2% 1 to 3 times a day

Salicylic acid is also used for higher concentrations as a peeling agent for the treatment of:

  • Acne
  • Acne Scars
  • Acne Spots
  • Melasma

Missed Dosage:

The skipped dose causes no problem. But with some medication, it won’t work if you don’t take the dosage on time. If you miss a dose some sudden chemical change may affect your body. In some cases, your doctor would advise you to take the prescribed medicine as soon as possible if you have missed the dose.

Overdose:

Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have used more than the prescribed salicylic acid there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.

Warnings for some serious health conditions:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:Salicylic acids are safe to use in pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using salicylic acid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You will get advice based on your situations especially with regard to medications and other medical conditions.
  • Storage:

    Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. The exposure of medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC). Before taking Salicylic acids consult your Doctor. In case if you face any problems or get any side effects after taking Salicylic acids rush immediately to your nearby hospital or consult your doctor for better treatment. Carry your medications always in your bag while travelling to avoid any immediate emergencies. Follow your prescription and follow your Doctor advice whenever you take Salicylic acids.

    Salicylic acids vs. Benzoyl Peroxide

    • Skin Irritation
    • Dizziness
    • Headache
    • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
    • Eczema
    • Seborrheic Dermatitis
    • Psoriasis
    • Dizziness
    Salicylic Acid
    Benzoyl Peroxide
    It’s a beta hydroxy acid used for reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping the pores clear. Salicylic acid can be found in OTC (over-the-counter) products. Benzoyl Peroxide is the effective acne-fighting ingredient available without any prescriptions.
    Some of the common Salicylic Acid side effects are: Some of the common Benzoyl Peroxide side effects are:
    Your dermatologist will suggest a dosage according to the type of the skin and skin current condition. They also recommend it for 2 or 3 days. Apply it to a small area or affected skin to test the reaction before applying it into the entire area. Benzoyl peroxide uses 2.5 percent concentration which causes less drying and irritation and then moves to 5 percent concentration. It is used twice in a day.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    The medications are used on the skin for treating common skin and foot warts. Salicylic acid helps the wart to peel off gradually. This is also used to remove corns and calluses.
    It helps to unclog pores but also has the presence of mild chemical irritants. The creams work as a drying agent which can cause redness and flaking.
    Yes, it is safe to use salicylic acid everyday. But before using the cream take doctors advice.
    Salicylic acid can burn your skin and can also cause skin irritation.

    Citations:

  • Salicylic Acid, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2006.32075.x
  • Salicylic Acid Uses, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4725.2003.29384.x
  • Salicylic Acid Side-Effects, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1524-4725.1999.08145.x