Skip to content

Acne Health Center

Font Size

Acne: Treatment With Salicylic Acid - Topic Overview

Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in some nonprescription acne treatments. When you apply it to your skin, it dries up whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. It also causes the top layer of your skin to peel.

Products that contain salicylic acid may cause tingling and a mild redness of the skin. Use them less often if you notice that your skin becomes very red or very dry.

Recommended Related to Acne

Expert Q and A: Avoiding the Angst of Acne at Any Age

An estimated 40 million to 50 million Americans are affected by some form of acne, and not just teenagers. Although up to 80% of people aged 11 to 30 say they've been affected, it turns out that many of us, particularly women, have acne in our late 30s and even into our 50s, says Jenny J. Kim, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine. "Sometimes it is hard for patients dealing with acne to understand why, even with...

Read the Expert Q and A: Avoiding the Angst of Acne at Any Age article > >

You'll find salicylic acid mainly in pads that you rub on your skin. Brand names include Stridex and Noxzema pads.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 23, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Acne: Treatment With Salicylic Acid Topics

Today on WebMD

Girl with acne
See if you know how to control your acne.
happy woman with clear skin
Triggers and treatments for blackheads, whiteheads, and cystic acne.
 
Bride with acne
Dos and don’ts for hiding breakouts.
close-up of a young man soaping his face
Why adults get acne and how to treat it.
 
Doctors
Article
Boy cleaning acne face
Quiz
 
HPV Vaccine Future
Video
beauty cream
Article
 
Bride with acne
Slideshow
Woman applying mineral makeup
Slideshow
 
69x75_mineral_makeup.jpg
Video
Arrows pointing on teen girl blemish
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections