Salicylic Acid Acne

Reviewed on 9/17/2021

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What Is Salicylic Acid Acne Used For and How Does it Work?

Salicylic acid acne is an over-the-counter (OTC) preparation used to treat acne vulgaris.

Salicylic acid acne is available under the following different brand names: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Foam Cleanser, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in1 Foaming Acne wash, Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent, Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer, Clean & Clear Advantage Mark Treatment, Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer, Oxy Clinical Advanced Face Wash, Oxy Maximum Face Scrub, Oxy Maximum Hydrating Body Wash, Oxy Maximum Cleansing Pads, Oxy Clinical Hydrating Therapy, Oxy Clinical Foaming Face Wash, Palmers Skin Success Acne Medication Cleanser, Zapzyt Acne Wash, Zapzyt Pore Clearing Scrub, Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Face Scrub, Clearasil Daily Clear Daily Pore Cleansing Pads, Clearasil Daily Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, Benzac Skin Balancing Foaming Cleanser 0.5%, Benzac Intensive Spot Treatment 2%, Benzac Blemish Clearing Hydrator 0.5%, and Benzac Skin Refining Mask.

What Are the Dosages of Salicylic Acid Acne?

Dosages of Salicylic Acid Acne:

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Topical Lotion

  • 0.5%

Topical Cleanser

  • 0.5%
  • 2%

Topical Toner/Astringent

  • 2%

Topical Gel

  • 2%

Topical Pads

  • 2%

Topical Cream

  • 2%
  • 6%

Topical Foam/Aerosol

  • 6%

Topical Bar Soap

  • 2%

Topical Mask

  • 0.5% plus East Indian sandalwood oil and French clay

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Acne Vulgaris

Adults and Adolescents

  • Cleansers: Twice daily, gently massage cleanser onto wet face and neck until lathered; rinse thoroughly
  • Scrubs: Once daily, gently massage cleanser onto wet face and neck until lathered; rinse thoroughly
  • Cream/foam/gel: After cleansing, apply sparingly to the affected area(s) up to three times daily
  • Pads/Wipes: After cleansing, gently wipe face and neck w/ pad; do not rinse
  • Shower/bath gels/soap: Use in the shower once daily; massage over the skin; rinse well
  • Product content varies, check individual labeling

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Salicylic Acid Acne?

Side effects of Salicylic Acid Acne may include:

  • Stinging/burning of the skin
  • Skin peeling

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Salicylic Acid Acne?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Salicylic acid topical has no listed severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Salicylic acid topical has no listed serious interactions with other drugs.
  • Salicylic acid topical has no listed moderate interactions with other drugs.
  • Salicylic acid topical has no listed mild interactions with other drugs.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

QUESTION

Acne is the result of an allergy. See Answer

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Salicylic Acid Acne?

Warnings

  • This medication contains salicylic acid acne. Do not take Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Foam Cleanser, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel, Clean & Clear Advantage 3-in1 Foaming Acne wash, Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent, Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer, Clean & Clear Advantage Mark Treatment, Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Control Moisturizer, Oxy Clinical Advanced Face Wash, Oxy Maximum Face Scrub, Oxy Maximum Hydrating Body Wash, Oxy Maximum Cleansing Pads, Oxy Clinical Hydrating Therapy, Oxy Clinical Foaming Face Wash, Palmers Skin Success Acne Medication Cleanser, Zapzyt Acne Wash, Zapzyt Pore Clearing Scrub, Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Face Scrub, Clearasil Daily Clear Daily Pore Cleansing Pads, Clearasil Daily Clear Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream, Benzac Skin Balancing Foaming Cleanser 0.5%, Benzac Intensive Spot Treatment 2%, Benzac Blemish Clearing Hydrator 0.5%, or Benzac Skin Refining Mask if you are allergic to salicylic acid acne or any ingredients contained in this drug.
  • Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Moles
  • Birthmarks
  • Eyes
  • Facial warts or warts on mucous membranes
  • Warts with hair growing from them
  • Genitals
  • Infected, reddened, or irritated areas

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information is available.

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Salicylic Acid Acne?"

Long-Term Effects

  • Prolonged use or application to large areas (risk for salicylism)
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Salicylic Acid Acne?"

Cautions

  • Topical use only
  • Avoid contact with eyes

Serious allergic reactions

  • Rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation reported
  • Instruct patients to stop using their topical acne product and seek emergency medical attention immediately if they experience hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., throat tightness, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue)
  • Also, instruct patients to stop using the product if they develop hives or itching
  • These serious hypersensitivity reactions differ from the local skin irritation that may occur at the product application site (e.g., redness, burning, dryness, itching, peeling, or slight swelling)

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use salicylic acid acne with caution during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done. There is no information on the use of salicylic acid acne while breastfeeding. Pregnant or breastfeeding patients should seek the advice of their health professional before using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/neutrogena-clean-and-clear-salicylic-acid-999346

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