Salicylic acid 6% - topical
Salicylic acid 6% - topical
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.
This medication is for use on the skin only. 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 as directed by your doctor, usually once daily at bedtime. 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 often. 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 lasts or gets worse.
Burning, redness, and peeling skin near the treated area may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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.
People who use this drug for a long time or over large areas of skin may rarely have serious side effects caused by this drug entering the bloodstream. Children younger than 12 years and people with liver or kidney problems are more at risk. Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur:
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:
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 medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children may be at greater risk for rare side effects from absorbing this medication into the bloodstream. (See Side Effects for more information.) This drug is similar to aspirin. Children and teenagers younger than 18 years should not use this drug if they have chickenpox, flu, or any undiagnosed illness or if they have recently received a vaccine. In these cases, this drug may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this product 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.
Some products that may interact with this drug are:
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.
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 away from heat. Do not freeze. Store the foam canister upright. The contents of this canister are under pressure. Do not burn or puncture the canister. 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.
HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Information last revised August 2023.
Copyright(c) 2023 First Databank, Inc.
Selected from NATIONAL DRUG DATA FILE (NDDF) data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc., 2019. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider.
The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your health care professional. You should consult your health care professional before taking any drug, changing your diet, or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.