Salicylic Acid Uses

Hey Friends, have you ever thought of applying an acid to your skin. The idea seems imbecile. Right? But it is true that you can apply and take advantage of some acidic products on your skin; and this is my today’s theme to write and let you know about an acid which you can use topically to combat many of your dermal issues. So, the name of the acid is Salicylic acid and here I will discuss each and every detail about Salicylic acid uses and benefits. 

Before that, let’s get to know about salicylic acid.

What is Salicylic Acid and its Uses ?

Salicylic acid is an organic acid which is colorless and crystalline in nature. In chemical terms, it is lipophilic monohydroxy benzoic acid. It is used not only in topical ointment but also present in commonly used painkiller aspirin.  Being a key ingredient in topical preparations, it is used for the treatment of many skin problems such as in the treatment of acne, protuberance of skin especially on the fingers and hands’ backside called warts, ringworms etc.

Nowadays, there are many products with salicylic acid. They come in different forms and shapes. Skin lotions, serums, creams, salicylic acid face wash, and more. Even SPF products contain some form of salicylic acid.

Now wonder how does the salicylic acid perform an action on skin for treatment of such irksome dermal problems. How it gets rid of diseases are inside the skin? The answer is a little complicated for layman like us but anyways we must know about it. Right? So, get ready pals, you are going to know the mechanism of salicylic acid to treat skin challenges.

As I already said, salicylic acid is hydroxy benzoic acid, now chemically, hydroxy means the one containing hydroxyl group (OH) in its structure and this hydroxyl group is separated from the acidic group (COOH) by two carbon atoms. Since it contains benzoic group, so comes under the category of organic acid, which means it is lipophilic in nature. This structure makes the salicylic acid more suitable for deeper penetration in the skin and relieving skin problems such as acne.

But salicylic acid also acts on the top layer of the skin by breaking down the stuck cells together. Upper layer of skin is composed of a protein called keratin. Salicylic acid acts on keratin by loosening it, due to this debris in the upper layer of skin (sticking of cells together which causes blockage of pores) gets removed. 

Blockage in skin pores makes the skin cells to stick with each other which hinders the natural process of skin shedding and causes acne. Now as salicylic acid can penetrate deeply inside the skin pores, making it the best constituent in dermatological products for removal of blackheads and whiteheads.

Now if we are counting the benefits of using salicylic acid for topical use, I would like to state one more advantage of salicylic acid and that is using it on scalp for removal of dandruff. I am damn sure that this is the most common problem that everyone has to suffer through. And see salicylic acid acts as boon for this issue. But be cautious to use if you are allergic to it.

Now as salicylic acid is lipophilic in nature, it may not suit the people with dry and sensitive skin. Salicylic acid may cause itching, redness or rashes on the skin on early application, but if the problem persists, immediately stop using it and small talk to a dermatologist is a must. It is generally not prescribed to pregnant women. Also, if you are suffering from blood clot and your physician has prescribed you a blood thinner, you should not use salicylic acid containing product without his concern.

As per FDA guidelines, concentration of salicylic acid can vary from 0.5 to 2% but there are some products which are more effective than the other. 

By Caitlyn

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