Salicylic acid

What is it?

Salicylic acid (SAL) is a type of crystalline organic acid that is derived from the metabolism of salicin. On top of  being an important active metabolite of aspirin, it is most likely best known for its use as a key ingredient in topical anti-acne, pimples and skin blemishing medicine.

How it works?

Topical salicylic-acid treats acne by minimising redness and swelling of the acne. It also unplug blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink. It treats other skin problems by softening  thickened skin in order to falls off easily.

What to expect?

When you start using salicylic-acid for acne removal, your skin may become irritated or dry at the beginning. This is a normal condition for most acne treatments. In order to prevent dryness and irritation, you have to use the treatment less often at the beginning i.e. apply  it in a small amount to one or two small affected areas of the skin for about 3 days.). After your skin has adjusted to the treatment, it is time to apply the treatment more often.

Topical SAL should only be used for external skin treatment, and should not be swallowed. Be cautious not to get it in your nose, mouth or eyes, If you do it accidentally, flush the area with water for about 15 minutes.

Before using salicylic acid let your physician know if you:

  • Are breast feeding or pregnant
  • Are allergic to any medicine
  • Have Diabetes
  • Have Poor circulation

How should salicylic acid be used?

  • Only apply to the areas of the affected skin
  •  Do not apply to all parts of your body at the same time. Ask your specialist in this regard.
  • Unless your doctor tells you to do, do not cover your skin with bandage or dressing after applied topical salicylic acid
  • To get the full benefits of the medicine may take several weeks or months. So do not worry when your skin condition worsen during the first few days after applying it since your skin condition may adjust to the medication.  
  • As usual, read the package label very carefully. You will find a lot of information about the product.
  • Do not use it for a longer time than recommended, unless instructed  by your doctor.

Do not use topical salicylic-acid to the red, swollen, broken,

irritated, or infected skin.

Ways to apply various treatment options

SAL is an active ingredient in most acne products. And the way we apply various treatment products to the infected area are different. The following shows how each treatment type applied to the infected surface.

Lotion, ointment or cream, lotion:

  • Apply enough treatment in order to cover the affected area, and rub it smoothly.


  • Before using SAL gel, use soaked pack to the affected spot for a minimum of 5 minutes. Talk to your dermatologist If you have any issue about this.
  • Apply enough gel in order to cover the affected areas, and rub it smoothly.


  • clean the pad over the affected areas.
  • Don't rinse off medicine after treatment.

In order to remove any medicines from your hand, wash them

after applying it unless your hands are being treated.


Unless directed by your physician, do not use the following on the same affected spot as salicylic acid:

  • harsh soaps or cleansers
  • Alcohol-containing preparations
  • Any products containing a peeling agent
  • Soaps or cosmetics that dries your skin
  • Cosmetics containing medical ingredients.
  • Other topical medicine for the skin

Salicylic-acid may cause a serious condition especially in children or if you have some diseases such as kidney or liver. To avoid any complications, talk to your doctor when you have vomiting, dizziness, nausea, loss of hearing etc.

› Salicylic Acid

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