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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.

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10 Tips for Preventing Acne

1. Keep your face clean. Whether or not you have acne, it's important to wash your face twice daily to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin's surface. Washing more often than twice daily is not necessarily better; it may do more harm than good. Use warm, not hot, water and a mild facial cleanser. Using a harsh soap (like deodorant body soap) can hurt the already inflamed skin and cause more irritation. Avoid scrubbing your skin harshly with a washcloth, exfoliating...

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

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    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.
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