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 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 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.
How to use salicylic acid topical
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 lasts or gets worse.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor 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, get medical help right away 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 so it should not be used by children or teenagers younger than 18 years with a virus infection (such as chicken pox, flu) or if they have recently received a vaccine because of the risk of developing a serious condition (Reye's syndrome).
During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center 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. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Keep all medications 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.
Are you currently using salicylic acid topical?
This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.
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.