Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is an ingredient in many skin care products sold over the counter or as a prescription.

Salicylic Acid is most commonly used to target acne or psoriasis, but has other uses as well. Salicylic acid is a key ingredient in skin care products because it is a ‘keratolytic’ agent. It works by breaking down the keratin proteins found in skin cells that clog pores and leads to scale and build up on the skin surface. This makes it an ideal agent for treating acne, blackheads, whiteheads, as well as a number of skin conditions when persistent scaling and peeling skin is present. In fact, dermatologists often recommend products with salicylic acid for a variety of different skin conditions, including warts, psoriasis, dermatitis, keratosis pilaris, and even dandruff.

The ingredient works by penetrating deep into the skin cell and helping remove the dead debris within. It acts a bit like an exfoliator, removing excess skin cells and material clogging the pores, to create a clean, smooth skin surface. The skin cells themselves grow larger, then softer, and then eventually begin to peel, showcasing the fresh, bright skin hiding underneath. By unclogging pores, salicylic acid also complements other skin care products by allowing acne medications to penetrate deep into the sebaceous glands and treat bacteria and excessive oils that can lead to breakouts.

Salicylic acid is also a major contender in the treatment of psoriasis. It helps the skin turnover and encourages the outermost layer of the skin to shed, allowing thick scales to soften and then fall off. The same is true for stubborn warts, and other conditions with thick adherent scale on the skin.

It is always important to use this product as it is recommended, using too much or using it in the wrong way will not lead to positive benefits. For example, dry skin is a very common problem for users of salicylic acid. Since it is an exfoliating ingredient, not using it as recommended could definitely lead to dry skin through excessive use. Consult with the physicians at Sanova Dermatology and discover whether salicylic acid is a good treatment for your skin condition. Treatments are available over the counter and as a prescription.

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If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists, please contact us today.

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