Salicylic acid is used on the skin to treat psoriasis and other dry, scaly skin conditions. This medication is also used to help remove dead skin from warts, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. It belongs to the same class of drugs as aspirin (salicylates). This medication should not be used by 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 "cement" between the cells. This makes it easier to shed the skin cells, softens the top layer of skin, and decreases scaling and dryness.
How to use salicylic acid topical
For best results, soak the skin area in warm water for at least 5 minutes before using this medication. After soaking, gently wipe off any loose skin with a clean, soft cloth. Do not rub. Apply a thin film of medication to the affected area, once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Cover the area loosely if directed by your doctor. When you wake up, gently wash off the medication. Wash hands after use, unless you are using this medication to treat the hands.
If you are using the foam, shake the can well before using. Before using a new can, prime the container by pressing down for 3 to 5 seconds until foam appears. Spray the foam onto the hand, then apply. After applying the foam, gently rub it in until it disappears.
Moisture is very important to help the medication work, so your doctor may direct you to cover the treated area to help hold moisture next to the skin. Do not cover the area with ointment, plastic/waterproof bandages, tight-fitting clothing, or tight dressings unless directed by your doctor. Doing so may increase side effects. If you are treating an area that is difficult to cover, your doctor may direct you to moisten the skin with wet packs or baths or to use the medication more frequently. Use exactly as prescribed.
This medication may be used on the body, the scalp, the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet. 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 it more often, or use it for a longer time than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but the chance for side effects may be increased.
You will usually see some improvement in 2 to 3 days, but it may take longer to get the full benefit. Once your skin has improved, your doctor may direct you to use this product only occasionally or to stop using it. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
You Might Also Like
Are you currently using salicylic acid topical?
This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.
Free RX Coupon
Save up to 80% on your prescriptions.
Save up to 80% on your prescription with WebMDRx
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.