Salicylic Acid For Acne: Is Salicylic Acid Good For Treating Acne?

Salicylic Acid For Acne: Is Salicylic Acid Good For Treating Acne?

Salicylic Acid for Acne: Is Salicylic Acid good for treating acne?

Is Salicylic Acid good for treating acne? It is definitely one of the best lines of defense against acne, spots and pimples. It does lack a few significant anti-bacterial qualities if we would do a comparison to other active agents like benzoyl peroxide though.
However, it's strongly believed that this specific active ingredient can aid the skin to absorb various other active ingredients. You can use it as an addition to other topical treatments for acne and spots if you want.
Scientifically, it is a BHA or beta-hydroxy acid. These natural acids are usually found in fruits and plants. So considering that it`s naturally occurring, it perhaps won't hurt to try it out.

Salicylic Acid and Skin

Salicylic acid is generally an exfoliating agent. Think of the skin as a tapestry of loose fabrics bound by strong chemical forces. It acts on these chemical bindings to allow the outermost dead layers to fall off the skin, easily with no pian.
This helps the skin to restore itself naturally, without using harsh chemicals. Due to the fact that the issue with acne lies beneath the outer surface of the skin, the peeling mechanism allows for its careful renewal.
Lots of chemicals have good effects on the skin. However, the treatment of acne requires particular mechanisms. That's why estheticians and dermatologists judge over-the-counter topical products according to their effectiveness on treating acne and not on their effectiveness in making the skin healthier, etc.
Does salicylic acid impact the production of the oily substance on the skin? The answer is , no. It has no any effects on the production itself. What it does is, it removes the oil. Since it`s a cleansing agent, not a chemical agent that has an effect on the natural processes of the skin.

Salicylic Acid-Based Cleanser for Acne

Over-the-Counter Salicylic Acid products
If mixed, most combinations that had been created to treat acne vulgaris make use of all possible chemicals that won't counter-act each other. Because salicylic acid doesn't contradict chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, it may be found in the products like:
  • Clean and Clear
  • Clearasil
  • Neutrogena
  • PanOxyl
  • Other generic OTC topical gels & creams
The degree of concentration of this chemical in products is uniform. The lowest concentration is 0.5%. The highest concentration is 2%. These concentrations can be found in the following types of products:
  • Astringents
  • Cleansers
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Washes
  • Pads
Additionally, the formulas frequently include sulfur. Sulfur is a highly effective cleansing agent; however, its effectiveness in eliminating acne and spots has not been scientifically proven.
Over-the-Counter salicylic acid works most effectively for mild pimples and comedonal acne. It won't have much impact on more severe types of acne; you'll need prescription products for that.
Regardless of what type of salicylic acid product you use, ensure you're applying it over the whole face or affected body area. Dabbing it precisely on pimples won't help. Apply over the entire affected area so the med can stop pore blockages and help get rid of microcomedones (tiny blemishes you can`t yet see).

Professional Salicylic Acid Treatments
Salicylic acid is also used as a chemical peel agent. Salicylic acid peels are more powerful than OTC products, of 20% and up to 30% in strengths.
These chemical peels exfoliate much more deeply than over-the-counter products containing salicylic acid, so they can aid in treating moderate acne and, in some cases, even severe acne. They're usually safe for all skin types, even medium to dark skin complexions since salicylic acid peels won't cause hyperpigmentation.
You certainly must not do these kinds of peels yourself at home. You should only do them at your dermatologist's office, medical spa, and day spas. To get the best results, you'll have to have more than just one peel.
Salicylic acid peels typically aren't used as the only acne treatment in regimens. They're usually used together with another acne medication. If these peels are the best course of treatment for your acne, your dermatologist can help decide.

Is it okay to use salicylic acid for treating acne daily?

Although it's tempting to load up on salicylic acid to get results as fast as you can, I don't recommend it. As with any type of chemical exfoliant, you should plan on easing salicylic acid into your regimen (For instance: once every 3 days until you see your skin got used to it). People who have dry skin or sensitive conditions like rosacea and eczema should go ahead with caution and under the guidance of their dermatologist.

How long does it take to see results from Salicylic Acid when treating acne?

It takes some time to see it work. You'll probably start seeing some results only from 4 to 6 weeks, after that you should keep using it for long-term effects. You shouldn't expect any overnight magic - good skin requires consistency and patience. Keep using it for at least a month until you begin thinking about next steps. Again, remember to talk to your dermotologist about what's good for you and your skin (things that work for your friends or Amazon reviewers, might not always be the best treatment for you).

Side effects from Salicylic Acid usage

Salicylic acid isn`t the miracle acne treatment if you were looking for one. Use it for preventing the incidence of even more lesions if you decide to use it. However, it will do minimal for the most inflamed lesions and pustules that you already have.
One of the most common side effects is - skin dryness. Use some oil-free moisturizers if the dryness becomes too severe. Apart from lotions and creams, there are also moisturizing soaps and facial washes which help a lot.
You are very likely to get more significant side effects if you're using salicylic acid in conjunction with other acne treatment products, like benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids.

Precautions to be aware of when using Salicylic Acid for acne

Although salicylic acid is available in OTC products you can grab at your local supermarket, you should ideally talk to your doctor/dermatologist before using it. Consider to discuss following:

  • Allergies. If you've experienced allergic reactions to salicylic acid or other topical medications before, let your doctor know.
  • Use in children. Because their skin absorbs salicylic acid at a higher rate than adults, children may be at more risk of skin irritation. Salicylic acid should not be used for children under the age of 2.
  • Drug interactions. Some medications do not work well together with salicylic acid. Tell your doctor what medications you're taking at the moment.
You should also let your doctor know if you have any of the following medical conditions, as these might affect their decision to prescribe you salicylic acid or not:.
  • diabetes
  • blood vessel disease
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • flu (influenza)
  • chickenpox (varicella)
Salicylic acid toxicity
Salicylic acid toxicity is quite uncommon, but it can happen. To minimize your risk, stick to these recommendations:
  • do not use for extended periods of time
  • do not use salicylic acid products on large areas of your body
  • do not use under air-tight dressings, like plastic wrap
Stop using salicylic acid right away and see your doctor if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
  • headache
  • confusion
  • lethargy
  • buzzing or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • nausea
  • hearing loss
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • increase in breathing depth (hyperpnea)
Using salicylic acid for acne while pregnant or breastfeeding
Topical salicylic acid should be safe to use while pregnant. However, you should talk to your doctor if you're thinking about using it and are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can then get best advice for your situation, especially if you are taking other medications or have some medical conditions. You must not apply it to any areas of your body that might come into contact with an infant's skin or mouth.

Is Salicylic Acid Good For Treating Acne? Final words

If you have minor blackheads, rough bumpy skin, or mild pimples, over-the-counter salicylic acid acne products will most definitely do the job. OTC salicylic acid won't do much for more serious, inflamed acne breakouts. Professional salicylic acid peels can be a great add-on treatment, but normally they are not used as the only treatment for acne, spots and pimples.
Not exactly sure if salicylic acid is the appropriate acne treatment for you? Your dermatologist is the best person to talk to, don't be shy to talk to him/her and ask for advice.