Salicylic Acid

Indications

6% Salicylic Acid: This topical preparations treat the following common scaly conditions:
  • Chronic atopic dermatitis
  • Lichen simplex
  • Psoriasis 
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Ichthiosis
12% Salicylic Acid: This topical preparations treat the following common scaly conditions:
  • Warts (small excessive growths of skin caused by a type of virus. Warts often occur on the fingers or on the back of the hands).
  • Verruca (occurs only on the sole of the feet and can be painful. It often looks like a small white ring of skin with a black dot in the centre).
  • Corns and Calluses (are hard, thick pads of skin caused by pressure and friction. They usually occur on the feet due to poorly fitting shoes and can occur on the hands).

2% Salicylic Acid: This topical preparation is indicated in-
  • Mild to moderate acne
  • Blackheads and whiteheads
  • Redness & swelling of face
  • Pimples
  • To prevent future acne breakouts

Description

Salicylic Acid is available by prescription only as a topical aid in the removal of excessive keratin in hyperkeratotic skin disorders including verrucae and the various ichthyoses (vulgaris, sex-linked and lamellar), keratosis palmaris and plantaris, keratosis pilaris, pityriasis rubra pilaris and psoriasis (including body, scalp, palms and soles).

Pharmacology

Salicylic Acid has a potent keratolytic & a slight antiseptic action when applied topically to the skin. In low concentrations, the drug has keratoplastic activity (correction of abnormal keratinization) & in higher concentrations, the drug has keratolytic activity (causes peeling of skin). Salicylic Acid softens & destroys the stratum corneum by increasing endogenous hydration (water concentration), probably because of decreased pH, which causes the cornified epithelium (horny layer of the skin) to swell, soften, & then desquamate. Necrosis of normal skin has been associated with overuse of the drug. At high concentrations, Salicylic Acid has a caustic effect. Moisture is essential for Salicylic Acid to exert its action on the skin and for maceration and desquamation of epidermal tissue to occur. The drug has weak antifungal & antibacterial activity.

Dosage & Administration

6% & 12% Salicylic Acid: Apply to affected area once daily. Hydrate area for 5 minutes prior to application if possible. Occlude the area at night. Wash off in morning. Salicylic Acid is used in children over 2 years.

2% Salicylic Acid: Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area once daily in 1st week then 2 to 3 times daily from 2nd week and rub gently. After 3-5 minutes rinse face with cool water. Salicylic Acid is used in children over 2 years.

Interaction

Do not use other topical preparations on the treated area unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. They may interfere with treatment or increase skin irritation.

Contraindications

It should not be used in any patient known to be sensitive to Salicylic Acid or any other listed ingredients.

Side Effects

An allergic reaction (shortness of breath, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, face or tongue or hives) or severe skin irritation.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy Category C. If used by nursing mothers, it should not be used on the chest area to avoid accidental contamination of the child.

Precautions & Warnings

For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes and other mucous membranes.

Overdose Effects

An overdose of Salicylic Acid topical is unlikely to occur. If the medication has been ingested or an overdose is suspected, the patient needs to be hospitalized immediately.

Therapeutic Class

Topical salicylic preparation

Storage Conditions

Do not store above 30°C. Keep away from light and out of the reach of children.
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