Salicylic acid is a drug used to treat skin problems caused by thickening and hardening of the skin, such as fish eyes and warts on the skin of the hands and feet. Salicylic acid can also be used to help overcome and prevent the appearance of acne.
Salicylic acid works by increasing skin moisture and facilitating the exfoliation process of dead skin cells. In overcoming acne, salicylic acid works by relieving inflammation (swelling and redness), as well as cleaning clogged pores.
Some medicinal products containing salicylic acid can be purchased freely in pharmacies. However, for formulations or preparations of salicylic acid that are more appropriate to the skin condition of each person, a consultation and prescription is required from a doctor. Its use should also be under the supervision of a doctor.
Salicylic acid uses
If you’ve ever been or are experiencing acne complaints, definitely familiar with salicylic acid medications. Yes, salicylic acid is commonly used in the treatment of acne. But not only that, this drug can also be used to overcome skin problems such as hyperkeratotic (hardened skin), scaling (abnormal or accumulated upper layer of skin that makes the skin scaly), wart, and callus (thickening of the skin on the palms and feet).
Salicylic acid benefits
The common use of salicylic acid is to overcome skin problems. Here are some indications of salicylic acid:
- Fish eyes
- Warts on hands or feet
- Overcoming acne and preventing acne from reappearing
Although overcoming warts is one of the functions of salicylic acid, salicylic acid cannot be used for genital warts, warts on the face, hair-overgrown warts, warts on the nose, warts on the mouth, moles, and birthmarks.
How salicylic acid works
Salicylic acid has a keratolytic effect or removes the keratin layer outside the skin. It is useful to increase the moisture of the skin by softening or shedding the horn layer of the skin (keratin). Salicylic acid also helps dead skin cells fall out quickly and helps the moisture content in the skin to be maintained.
Salicylic acid storage
Here are the salicylic acid storage instructions to be aware of:
- Store at temperatures between 15-30°C.
- Store salicylic acid in a dry and non-damp place, do not store it in the bathroom.
- Avoid salicylic acid from light or direct sunlight.
- Avoid salicylic acid drugs out of reach of children and pets.
- If the drug has entered the expired period, do not dispose of the drug carelessly, discuss with the pharmacist about the instructions for disposal of this drug.
Salicylic acid dosage
The dose of salicylic acid drugs should be adjusted to the condition of the patient’s skin, the patient’s response to salicylic acid drugs, as well as drug preparations. When viewed from the skin problems that must be addressed, here is the division of the dose:
To overcome acne, the dose of drugs with salicylic acid content that should be used is as much as 0.5% to 2%. Use 1 to 3 times a day.
Overcoming Calluses and Warts
To overcome calluses and warts, apply drugs with salicylic acid content for 2 days or 48 hours if using drugs with salicylic acid preparations as much as 12 to 40%. While if the drug used contains salicylic acid preparations as much as 5 to 17% with additional collodion, then the use is only sufficient until calluses and warts dry out.
Salicylic Acid Side Effects
Side effects do not necessarily occur in any use of the drug. However, seek medical help immediately in case of serious side effects.
Side effects that may occur due to the use of salicylic acid, among others:
- Mild skin irritation
- Skin rash
- Dry skin
- Skin discoloration
- Heat on the skin
- Toxicity or salicylic poisoning characterized by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lethargy, and diarrhea.
Salicylic acid contraindications
Do not use this drug if you have a medical condition, such as:
- History of allergies to salicylic acid
- Children or adolescents with fever, flu symptoms, or chicken pox
Salicylate applied to the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream can cause Reye’s syndrome.
- Image: Adam Rędzikowski, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.