Salicylic Acid

Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Drug Combinations
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Toxicological Effects
  • Drug Interactions
  • Genes that may be involved
  • Substrate of
  • Inhibits
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Dermi-cyl, Squamasol; Belgium: Anticors, Sicombyl; Bulgaria: Spiritus salicylicus, Urgocor Coricide; France: Antalyre, Ciella, Coricide le Diable, Disques Coricides pour Oeil de Perdrix, Feuille de Saule, Pansement Coricide pour Cors, Pommade M.O. Cochon, Sanitos, Sophtal, Transvercid, Tricosteril, Urgocor Coricide; Germany: Aknefug Liquid, Collomack Topical, Efasit Hühneraugenpflaster N, Gehwol, Gothaplast Hornhautpflaster, Guttaplast, Hansaplast Hornhaut-Pflaster, Hansaplast Hühneraugen-Pflaster, Hühneraugenpflaster mit Salicylsäure, Lygal Kopfsalbe N Salicyl-Vaselin, Salicylvaseline Lichtenstein, Scholl Hornhaut Pflaster, Scholl Hornhaut Pflaster zum Zuschneiden, Scholl Hornhaut, Schrundensalbe-Dermi-cyl, Sophtal-POS N, Spezial-Warzen-Pflaster Wurzeltod extrastark, Squamasol, URGO Salicylsäure-Hühneraugenpflaster, Urgocall, Urgocor, Urgofeel, Urgoskin, Verrucid, Warz-ab N Keratolytikum; Hungary: Mobilat N, Spiritus Salicylatus FoNo VII-N Naturland; Ireland: Acrisal, Callous Removal Pads, Carnation Callous, Carnation Vericap Verruca Treatment, Compound W, Corn Removal Pads, Corn Removers Plasters, Occlusal, Pickles, Soft-Corn Removal Pads, Thwart, Verrugon, Wartex; Italy: Trans-Versal; Latvia: Salicilskābes, Salicylic acid; Luxembourg: Contrheuma, Lygal, Sicombyl; Netherlands: Formule W, Salicylicum acidum; Poland: Callus, Corn and Callous, Miniderm, Plast URGO cor Dressing, Saliderm-Gel, Salvequick Corn, Seal and Gel; Portugal: Calicida, Transvercid, Urgocor, Verrufilm; Spain: Callicida Bálsamo Oriental, Callicida Gras, Callicida Salve, Unguento Morry, Urgocall, Verrupatch, Verruplan; Sweden: Aco Acnegel, Aco Acnelösning, Cornina, Förhårdnadsplåster Scholl, Liktornsborttagning Scholl, Salsyvase, Trans-Ver-Sal; UK: Acnisal, Bazuka Extra Strength Gel, Compound W, Corn Removal Plasters, Occlusal, Scholl Callous Removal Pads, Scholl Complete Corn Treatment Kit, Scholl Corn Removal Plasters, Scholl Polymer Gel Corn Removal Pads, Scholl Verruca Removal System, Thwart.

North America

Canada: Acne Medicated Gel, Acne Treatment Cream, Almay Clear Complexion Concealer, Artistry Blemish Control, Beauticontrol all Clear Toner, Cuticura Medicated Foaming Face Wash, Formula P6 Ont, Medicated Callus Removers, Medicated Corn Removers, Neostrata Blemish Spot Gel, Neutrogena Acne Wash Cream Cleanser, Neutrogena Acne Wash Foam Cleanser, Noxzema Triple Clean Pads, Occlusal, Phisoderm, Acne Mask, Salicylicum Acidum, Sebcur, Soluver, Zap-it!; USA: Akurza, Compound W, DHS Sal, Dr. Scholl’s Callus Remover, Freezone, Fung-O, Gordofilm, Hydrisalic, Ionil, Keralyt, LupiCare Psoriasis, Mediplast, MG217 Sal-Acid, Mosco Corn and Callus Remover, NeoCeuticals Acne Spot Treatment, Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating, Neutrogena Body Clear, Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Controlling Astringent, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash 60 Second Mask Scrub, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense, Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating, Occlusal-HP, Oxy Balance, Palmer’s Skin Success Acne Cleanser, Pedisilk, Propa pH, Sal-Acid, Sal-Plant, Salactic, SalAc, Salex, Salitop, Stridex, Tinamed, Tiseb, Trans-Ver-Sal, Wart-Off Maximum Strength, Zapzyt Acne Wash.

Latin America

Argentina: Callicida Dr. Pies, Duofilm Plantar, Koal, Salpad, Verrutopic As Apósito, Verrutrix; Brazil: Ionil; Mexico: Duoplant, Excelsior.


Japan: Petrolatum salicylate, Salicylic acid, Speel plaster M.

Drug combinations

Salicylic Acid and Betamethasone

Salicylic Acid and Flumetasone

Salicylic Acid and Fluorouracil

Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid

Salicylic Acid and Mometasone

Salicylic Acid and Prednisolone

Salicylic Acid and Tretinoin

Salicylic Acid and Triamcinolone

Salicylic Acid and Zinc Oxide

Salicylic Acid, Dimethyl Sulfoxide, and Tretinoin

Salicylic Acid, D-Panthenol, Pilocarpine, and Pyridoxine (Vitamin B~6~)

Salicylic Acid, Boric Acid, Econazole, Griseofulvin, Hydrocortisone, and Neomycin

Other Salicylic Acid combinations: Acetic Acid; Allantoin; Alpha-Bisabolol; Avene; Belladonna; Benzalkonium; Bioazufre Fluid; Boric Acid; Caffeine; Calcium Pantothenate; Camphor; Capsicum Oleoresin; Capsicum Tincture; Cedar Stain; Celandine Tincture; Centella asiatica; Chloramphenicol; Chondroitinpolysulfat; Coal Tar; Collagen; Cortico-Adrenal Extract; Cyclopiroxolamine; Dexpanthenol; Diflorasone; Dithranol; Econazole nitrate; Enoic acid amide; Enterococcus faecalis; Escherichia coli (hydrolyzate); Ethyl Methyl Salicylate; Flumetasone pivalate; Gentamicin; Glycol Salicylate; Glycolic Acid; Griseofulvin; Hamamelis virginiana; Heparin Sodium; Humic Acids; Hydrocortisone; Inositol; L-Carnitine; Menthol Salicylate; Mometasone Furoate; Mucopolysaccharide Polysulfate; Neomycin; Panthenol; Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B~5~); Piroctonaolamina; Potassium Nitrate; Pseudomonas aeruginosa (proteolysates); Resorcinol; Retinol (Vitamin A); Rhubarb Anthraquinone Extracts; Rhubarb Root; Sabal; Sodium Propionate; Sodium Salts; Staphylococcus aureus (lysate); Streptococcus pyogenes (proteolysates); Sulfur Colloid; Sweet Almond Oil; Tanin; Tea Tree Oil; Tocopherol (Vitamin E); Triclosan; Tricopeptides; Urea; White Clay; Yeast Extract; Zinc Oxide; Zinc Salicylate; Zinc Undecylenate


Salicylic Acid: C~7~H~6~O~3~. Mw: 138.12. Benzoic acid, 2-hydroxy-. CAS-69-72-7.

Pharmacologic Category

Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents; Keratolytic Agents. Acne Products. (ATC-Code: D01AE12; S01BC08).

Mechanism of action

Exact mechanism(s) of action not elucidated. Appears to soften and destroy stratum corneum by increasing endogenous hydration, which causes cornified epithelium (horny layer) of skin to swell, soften, and desquamate. In low concentrations, has keratoplastic activity (correction of abnormal keratinization). At concentrations ≥1%, has keratolytic activity (causes peeling of skin). At concentrations ≥20%, has caustic effect. Has weak antifungal and antibacterial activity. May promote penetration of other active ingredients and have comedolytic effect. Requires moisture to exert its action on skin and for maceration and desquamation of epidermal tissue.

Therapeutic use

Seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis of body and scalp, dandruff, and other scaling dermatoses. Removal of warts, corns, and calluses. Acne.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Unlabeled use


Hypersensitivity to salicylic acid or any component of the formulation. 6% salicylic acid cream, lotion, and gel contraindicated in children <2 years of age.

Warnings and precautions

Caution in diabetes. Caution in poor circulation. For external use only. Not for application to areas which are irritated, infected, reddened, birthmarks, genital or facial warts, eyes or mucous membranes.



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