Salicylic acid is used on the skin/scalp to treat psoriasis and other dry, scaly skin conditions. It belongs to the same class of drugs as aspirin (salicylates). This medication should not be used in children younger than 2 years.
Salicylic acid causes the skin to shed dead cells from its top layer by increasing the amount of moisture in the skin and dissolving the substance that makes the cells clump together. This effect makes it easier to shed the skin cells, softens the top layer of skin, and decreases scaling and dryness.
Wet hair and scalp with water. Apply shampoo to scalp. Work the shampoo into a lather and then rinse off. Use as often as directed by your doctor. Once your condition has improved, your doctor may direct you to use this product only occasionally or to stop using it.
This medication should be used on the skin/scalp only. Be careful to avoid your eyes, nostrils, mouth, and genitals. If contact occurs, flush the area with cool water for 15 minutes. Be careful when applying this medication because it can irritate normal skin around the treated area.
Do not use large amounts, apply more often, or use for a longer time than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but the chance for side effects may be increased.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Burning, redness, and peeling skin near the treated area may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using salicylic acid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this product, tell your doctor if your skin is cut, scraped, or irritated.
Though it is unlikely to occur, children may be at greater risk for side effects from absorbing this medication into the blood stream while using this drug. This medication is similar to aspirin and therefore should not be used in children or teenagers with a virus infection (e.g., chicken pox, flu) because of the risk of developing a serious condition (Reye's syndrome).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
If you have recently received the medication listed above, or if you plan to receive it, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting salicylic acid.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: other aspirin/salicylate products.
Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter aspirin products you may take and any skin products you may use, including cosmetic products (e.g., alpha hydroxy acid) or medicinal products (e.g., creams for joint/muscle aches).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, hearing problems, tiredness, fast breathing.
Do not share this medication with others.
Avoid getting this medication on clothing, wood, plastic, metal, or other surfaces because it can cause damage.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not freeze. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Sorry. No images are available for this medication.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet