When shopping for skincare products, have you ever wondered what the ingredient “salicylic acid” is? Salicylic acid is a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. It works by increasing the moisture content in the skin and dissolving the substance that causes the skin cells to stick together. It is very useful in the treatment of everything from acne to warts. For instance, it breaks up the sticky cells in skin pores that create blackheads and whiteheads. It is also used to treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis since salicylic acid acts as a “keratolytic” to loosen keratin (a protein that forms the structure of skin). As a result, thickened, scaly plaques of skin shed more easily.

Over the counter Salicylic Acid preparation is a reasonable choice for mild acne and other conditions. If it is not effective consider a consultation with a Board Certified Dermatologist.

If you would like to learn about the many treatments our practice provides, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. A member of the same family of drugs as aspirin (salicylates), salicylic acid also exerts an anti-inflammatory effect.