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Salicylic Acid - Beautopedia

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), an oil soluble substance which comes from willow bark, birch bark and wintergreen leaves. It’s used in skin care products to treat imperfections and skin disorders. It’s also used medicinally to relieve aches and pains and alleviate fevers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Benefits of Salicylic Acid?

Since it has numerous uses for skin conditions, Salicylic Acid is found as a key ingredient in a variety of products. Skin creams containing the acid can be used to treat acne, warts, corns, calluses, psoriasis and chicken skin. It can also be added to shampoo products to treat dandruff. In a peel, it has potential to improve fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation and can also lighten the skin.

How Does Salicylic Acid Work?

Once applied, Salicylic Acid helps your epidermis skin cells to shed by loosening the outer layer of the skin. It opens up clogged pores and neutralizes the bacteria within the pores.  The pore diameter tightens up, which prevents pores from clogging up again and enables new cells to generate.

How Does Salicylic Acid treat Acne?

Salicylic Acid exfoliates the outer layers of the skin and penetrates inside the pores. It cleans out the walls of the pores by killing bacteria and eliminating clogging residue. This treatment especially helps blackheads (also known as comedones). It also helps to dissolve whiteheads. Some practitioners use it with benzoyl peroxide to eliminate any remaining bacteria which Salicylic Acid brings to the surface of the skin. Once the pores are clean, this enables the skin to regenerate fresh skin cells uninhibited by bacteria and blockage. People with oily skin who are prone to acne should use this method to cleanse facial skin on a regular basis.

Can Salicylic Acid Help Psoriasis?

The FDA in the US has approved Salicylic Acid as an effective treatment for psoriasis. Because of its exfoliating abilities, Salicylic Acid helps psoriasis by softening and removing the scales which often form on affected areas. Another approved method is coal tar, which is more commonly used for treating psoriasis. Be careful when applying high concentrations of these products, they ma y cause your skin to dry out and redden even more.

What Are Salicylic Acid Peels Used For?

A salicylic acid peel has anti-aging benefits. It breaks down and sheds the outer layers of the epidermis, even more so than microdermabrasion and glycolic peels. It helps to renew the skin at a deeper level, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. It cannot however treat deep wrinkles and lines. Many practitioners also use Salicylic Chemical Peels to control skin which is prone to acne and acne breakouts.

Are There any Risks with Using Salicylic Acid Peels?

As with any treatment, there are risks, complications and side effects which you should be aware of. There’s a possibility of an allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis. If you are allergic to aspirin should not use Salicylic Acid. If you have facial herpes, cold sores or open sores on your face, then you may need to wait until this condition subsides. Otherwise, the sores can flare up. Salicylic Acid may aggravate eczema or rosacea. If not performed properly, it can also exacerbate melisma (even though it’s often used to treat this condition). As with other chemical peels, there’s also a risk of hyperpigmentation, infection, scarring and demarcation lines.

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