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.

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
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.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.