Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatments. It is available in concentrations of 0.5 percent to 2 percent and is available in lotions, pads or creams. Salicylic acid is effective for treating mild acne and is gentler to your skin than other acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide.
Salicylic acid combats acne by penetrating the pores and dislodging the plugs that cause blackheads and pimples. This helps restore normal skin cell shedding. Salicylic acid has no effect on sebum production or bacteria.
By unplugging follicles, salicylic acid helps reduce acne breakouts. Salicylic acid needs to be used on a continuous basis to be effective. Once it is stopped, the pores go back to being clogged and acne returns. To obtain optimal salicylic acid benefits, use the product on a consistent basis according to package instructions. The amount of salicylic acid you use will depend upon the strength of the solution and the number of times you use it each day.
There is a possibility of experiencing side effects from salicylic acid treatments. The most common is mild skin irritation. Other side effects include dry skin, peeling skin, skin redness, warm skin and flushing. It is possible to use too much salicylic acid and suffer from salicylic acid poisoning as a result. The symptoms of salicylic acid poisoning include diarrhea, confusion, rapid respiration, headache, loss of hearing, nausea, ear ringing, stomach pain, vomiting and severe drowsiness.
Because salicylic acid may cause skin sensitivity, Drugs.com recommends avoiding the use of other acne products at the same time unless recommended by a physician. This includes skin care products that contain alcohol, abrasive soaps, medicated cosmetics, peeling agents and topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide and sulfur.
Salicylic acid is a drug similar to aspirin, consulting a doctor before using when pregnant. Young children are at a higher risk of more serious side effects and skin irritation, according to Drugs.com. To reduce the risk of salicylic poisoning in children, the medication should not be used in children less than two years old and it should not be applied to large areas of the body.
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