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Salicylic Acid


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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: AliclenT;Beta Sal® [OTC];Clean & Clear® Advantage® Acne Cleanser [OTC];Clean & Clear® Advantage® Acne Spot Treatment [OTC];Clean & Clear® Advantage® Invisible Acne Patch [OTC];Clean & Clear® Advantage® Oil-Free Acne [OTC];Clean & Clear® Blackhead Clearing Daily Cleansing [OTC];Clean & Clear® Blackhead Clearing Scrub [OTC];Clean & Clear® Deep Cleaning [OTC];Clean & Clear® Dual Action Moisturizer [OTC];Clean & Clear® Invisible Blemish Treatment [OTC];Compound W® One Step Invisible Strip [OTC];Compound W® One Step Wart Remover for Feet [OTC];Compound W® One-Step Wart Remover for Kids [OTC];Compound W® One-Step Wart Remover [OTC];Compound W® [OTC];Curad® Mediplast® [OTC];Denorex® Extra Strength Protection 2-in-1 [OTC];Denorex® Extra Strength Protection [OTC];Dermarest® Psoriasis Medicated Moisturizer [OTC];Dermarest® Psoriasis Medicated Scalp Treatment [OTC];Dermarest® Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo/Conditioner [OTC];Dermarest® Psoriasis Medicated Skin Treatment [OTC];Dermarest® Psoriasis Overnight Treatment [OTC];DHST Sal [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Callus Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Clear Away® One Step Wart Remover [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Clear Away® Plantar Wart Remover For Feet [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Clear Away® Wart Remover Fast-Acting [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Clear Away® Wart Remover Invisible Strips [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Clear Away® Wart Remover [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Corn Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Corn/Callus Remover [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Extra Thick Corn Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Extra-Thick Callus Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® For Her Corn Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® OneStep Callus Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® OneStep Corn Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Small Corn Removers [OTC];Dr. Scholl's® Ultra-Thin Corn Removers [OTC];DuoFilm® [OTC];Freezone® [OTC];Fung-O® [OTC];Gets-It® [OTC];Gordofilm [OTC];Hydrisalic® [OTC];Ionil Plus® [OTC];Ionil® [OTC];Keralyt®;Keralyt® [OTC];LupiCare® Dandruff [OTC];LupiCare® Psoriasis [OTC];MG217® Sal-Acid [OTC];Mosco® Callus & Corn Remover [OTC];Mosco® One Step Corn Remover [OTC];Neutrogena® Acne Stress Control [OTC];Neutrogena® Advanced SolutionsT [OTC];Neutrogena® Blackhead EliminatingT 2-in-1 Foaming Pads [OTC];Neutrogena® Blackhead EliminatingT Daily Scrub [OTC];Neutrogena® Blackhead EliminatingT [OTC];Neutrogena® Body Clear® [OTC];Neutrogena® Clear PoreT Oil-Controlling Astringent [OTC];Neutrogena® Maximum Strength T/Sal® [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Stress Control [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash 60 Second Mask Scrub [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Foam Cleanser [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne [OTC];Neutrogena® Oil-Free Anti-Acne [OTC];Neutrogena® Rapid Clear® Acne Defense [OTC];Neutrogena® Rapid Clear® Acne Eliminating [OTC];Neutrogena® Rapid Clear® [OTC];OXY® Body Wash [OTC];OXY® Chill Factor® [OTC];OXY® Daily Cleansing [OTC];OXY® Daily [OTC];OXY® Face Wash [OTC];OXY® Maximum Daily Cleansing [OTC];OXY® Maximum [OTC];OXY® Post-Shave [OTC];OXY® Spot Treatment [OTC];OXY® [OTC];P&S® [OTC];Palmer's® Skin Success Acne Cleanser [OTC];Sal-Plant® [OTC];Salactic® [OTC];Salex®;Salvax;Scalpicin® Anti-Itch [OTC];Selsun blue® Deep Cleaning Micro-Bead Scrub [OTC];Selsun blue® Naturals Island Breeze [OTC];Selsun blue® Naturals Itchy Dry Scalp [OTC];Stridex® Essential Care® [OTC];Stridex® Facewipes To Go® [OTC];Stridex® Maximum Strength [OTC];Stridex® Sensitive Skin [OTC];Thera-Sal [OTC] [DSC];Tinamed® Corn and Callus Remover [OTC];Tinamed® Wart Remover [OTC];Trans-Ver-Sal® [OTC];Virasal®;Wart-Off® Maximum Strength [OTC];Zapzyt® Acne Wash [OTC];Zapzyt® Pore Treatment [OTC]
    • Brand Names: Canada: Duofilm®;Duoforte® 27;OcclusalT-HP;Sebcur®;Soluver®;Soluver® Plus;Trans-Plantar®;Trans-Ver-Sal®

    • It is used to treat pimples (acne).
    • It is used to treat dandruff.
    • It is used to get rid of calluses, corns, and warts.
    • It is used to treat psoriasis.
    • It is used to control seborrheic dermatitis.
    • It works at lower strengths to soften and shed unwanted skin.
    • It works at higher strengths to get rid of warts on the skin.


    How to take

    • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Pimples (acne):
    • Creme, cloth, foam, or liquid cleanser:
    • Use on clean affected skin 1 or 2 times each day or as you have been told by your doctor.
    • Put a thin layer on the affected part and work into a lather and rinse.
    • Wet cloth with water before use.
    • Shower/bath gels or soap:
    • Use to clean every day in the shower or bath.
    • Work into a lather and rinse.
    • Gel, pad or patch:
    • Wash affected skin and pat dry.
    • Let skin dry for 5 minutes before putting on patch.
    • Put patch on the affected skin before bedtime.
    • Take off patch in the morning.
    • Put a thin layer of gel on the affected part and rub in gently.
    • Use pad to put on a thin layer of salicylic acid to affected part.
    • Do not leave pad on skin.
    • If peeling happens, lower the number of times the drug is used.
    • Use 1 to 4 times every day or as you have been told by your doctor.
    • Callus, corns, or warts:
    • Wash affected skin and pat dry.
    • You may soak the affected part for 5 minutes.
    • Shake foam well before use.
    • Put foam on affected part and rub in gently.
    • Put gel or liquid on affected part and let dry.
    • Trim patch to cover the affected skin.
    • 40% patches are used once every other day.
    • Take off patch (15%) or rinse off gel in the morning.
    • You may repeat 1 or 2 times a day or as you have been told by your doctor.
    • Dandruff, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis:
    • Some products may be left in place overnight.
    • Cream, ointment:
    • Put on clean, dry skin.
    • Put on up to 4 times a day or as you have been told by your doctor.
    • Do not put ointment on the face or scalp.
    • Shampoo:
    • Wet hair before shampoo.
    • Work into hair or affected skin gently.
    • Leave on hair for a few minutes.
    • Rinse fully.
    • Put on 2 to 3 times a week or as you have been told by your doctor.

    Missed Dose

    • Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.



    • If you have an allergy to salicylic acid or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.


    • If you have any blood flow problems, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
    • If you have chickenpox or the flu, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • Patch:
    • The patch may have metal. Take off the patch before an MRI.

    Side Effects

    • Skin irritation.
    • Rash.
    • Dizziness.
    • Headache.
    • Peeling.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Ringing in ears.
    • Very bad dizziness.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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