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Salicylic Acid – What Makes Salicylic Acid So Popular?

What is Salicylic Acid?

To get things started, using salicylic acid can be of great assistance in getting rid of blackheads and reducing the severity of persistent acne. Due to the fact that it is an oil-soluble beta hydroxy acid, it has the ability to penetrate deep into your pores and fully clean them. The muck (sebum) that is trapped inside the pore can be removed with the help of salicylic acid, which works by penetrating the pore and loosening the sebum. This helps clear out your pores, which helps avoid the development of oil and dead cells, both of which can lead to acne outbreaks. In addition, “salicylic acid is structurally related to the active element in aspirin,” which indicates that it can reduce inflammation and is useful for treating both inflammatory and noninflammatory forms of acne. The acne-fighting component can be discovered in salicylic acid peels and spot treatments with higher concentrations, as well as in higher concentration salicylic acid cleansers and moisturizers sold over-the-counter.

Benefits of Salicylic Acid

Removes Excess Oil from the Pores | GREAT FOR OILINESS

Salicylic acid is an important component to have if you have oily skin since it helps remove excess oil and lowers the amount of oil that your skin produces in the future. Because it dissolves in oil, salicylic acid scrubs away dead skin cells from the inside of pores and prevents oil from accumulating. What does this have to do with anything? Because unlike other chemicals, salicylic acid can penetrate deep into your pores, where excess oil and dead skin cells are, salicylic acid can do this. Other chemicals can only reach the surface of your pores. In addition to giving a thorough washing, salicylic acid prevents sebocytes, which are the cells that generate your skin’s sebum and natural oil, from producing excess oil. Sebocytes are responsible for acne and other skin conditions.

Removes Deceased Skin Cells | UNCLOGS PORES

The removal of dead skin cells by a peeling chemical like salicylic acid helps to boost the body’s natural process of cell renewal. Because it is a desmolytic, salicylic acid breaks down the connections that hold corneocytes together (the outermost layer of skin cells). When compared to the keratolytics azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid’s desmolytic property results in a more mild exfoliation. Keratolytics offer a more thorough exfoliation, although they have the potential to be more irritating to sensitive skin. The fact that all three components are comedolytic implies that they unclog pores and stop the creation of new whiteheads and blackheads.

Prevents Future Acne | KEEPS PORES CLEAN

Because of its comedolytic properties, salicylic acid helps prevent future whiteheads and blackheads from forming. Whiteheads and blackheads, which are produced by an excess of oil on the face or dead skin cells, will not form if the pores are kept clear. Just so you know, azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two other examples of comedolytics.

Reduces the Acne Bacteria | GREAT FOR ACNE & BLEMISHES

Acne bacteria does not like oxygen (the reason why it thrives under clogged pores where no fresh air blows). Because salicylic acid has the potential to both unclog and exfoliate pores, it may allow for fresh air to enter the skin, so generating an environment that is rich in oxygen and less conducive to the bacteria that cause acne. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that although salicylic acid can reduce the activity of the bacteria that cause acne, it cannot eradicate it entirely.

If you have moderate to severe inflammatory acne, you may benefit from utilizing other chemicals, such as benzoyl peroxide, which can physically destroy the bacteria that cause acne (thank goodness). You should think about using azelaic acid if you have cystic acne.

Ameliorates Inflammation | GOOD FOR ACNE & PSORIASIS

Willow bark naturally includes salicylic acid, in addition to the molecule salicin, which may be extracted from the bark. The anti-inflammatory properties of salicin, a chemical that is linked to aspirin, are soothing to skin that is sensitive and inflamed. This suggests a reduction in the redness, inflammation, and puffiness that are associated with acne. In addition, salicylic acid is a widely used topical treatment for the inflammation caused by psoriasis.

How does Salicylic Acid work?

It is necessary for salicylic acid to initially break through to the deeper layers of skin in order for it to be effective in removing dead skin cells, acne, and sebum from the skin. Because of this, it is an effective component for fighting acne, particularly blackheads and whiteheads, particularly because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

When salicylic acid penetrates the skin, a dermatologist in Los Angeles notes that it “dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, [acts] as an anti-inflammatory, and also assists red, inflamed pimples and pustules in vanishing more quickly.”

Schueller and Dr. Wesley claim that the chemical may penetrate the skin to such a depth that it is able to tear down the connections that are present between the cells of the skin. As explained by Schueller, “once it has pierced the epidermis, the acidic part of the molecule can break down a portion of the intracellular ‘glue’ that binds skin cells together.” This is according to the theory that “once it has pierced the epidermis, the acidic part of the molecule can break down a portion of the intracellular ‘glue’

What to Consider When Utilizing Salicylic Acid

Avoid the sun’s rays

If you are going to be applying salicylic acid, you need to stay out of the direct sunshine. (If you’re going to be spending your vacation at the beach, for example, you might want to forego your regular spot treatment.) “When the layers of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface are removed, such as by means of exfoliation, the skin loses some of its physical protection from the sun’s UV rays,” adds Dr. Lortscher. “This occurs because exfoliation removes the layers of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface.” According to him, it is absolutely necessary to exercise extreme caution when applying sunscreen when under the influence of BHAs.

Avoid using it during pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to avoid salicylic acid. According to Dr. Lortscher, it is best to steer clear of salicylic acid during pregnancy. This is because aspirin has been linked to congenital malformations in newborns, severe blood loss after delivery, and other complications that might arise during pregnancy. You may instead make use of cleansers that are available without a prescription and include benzoyl peroxide. These cleansers have a distinct chemical makeup and may be used without risk during pregnancy.

Avoid using it if your skin is too dry

In most cases, the use of salicylic acid is more useful for oily skin. According to Dr. Lortscher, “since salicylic acid can be drying, it is best for oily skin types that can take a tiny bit of dryness.” This recommendation comes from the dermatologist.

If you have dry skin, he recommends that you use extreme caution when using benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to your face. Try products with lower amounts of salicylic acid, such as one percent rather than two percent (which is the max amount considered safe amongst the general public). Because the substance is only in contact with the skin for a shorter amount of time when using cleansers and washes, he contends that these are superior than leave-on creams and lotions, which are applied to the skin and left there.

It is present in strawberries

In point of fact, salicylic acid can be found in the fruit of the strawberry. According to Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified NYC dermatologist, assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, “strawberries are rich in beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid, as well as other ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which aid in acne reduction.” If you slice half a cup of strawberries, you may mix them up and apply the paste to your face for ten minutes. She asserts that this will help clear up acne and pimples in the process. This strawberry mask is a completely risk-free and pleasurable do-it-yourself alternative that provides a chance to take a vacation from product while still receiving the benefits of salicylic acid. While many store-bought treatments might be just as gentle on the face, this strawberry mask is a completely risk-free and pleasurable do-it-yourself option. (And to top it off, a quick trip to the spa for some much-needed self-care.)

It can cause irritation if employed improperly

According to Jaliman, salicylic acid can cause irritation if it comes into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, groin, or any injured skin. It can also cause irritation if it is inhaled.

“Salicylic acid can become hazardous if taken too aggressively or for an extended period of time,” says Paul Dean, M.D., a dermatologist at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic in San Diego and the founder of Skin Resource M.D. “Salicylic acid can become hazardous if taken for an extended period of time,” says Paul Dean, M.D. It can peel away the topmost layer of the skin, in addition to producing acute irritation and excruciating pain. According to him, for instance, concentrations on the face that range from 17 to 27 percent should not be utilized (although you won’t find concentrations in this range in a standard cleanser that you buy over-the-counter). Continual use may cause your skin to become dry and thin, which may result in an increase in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; however, this side effect can be avoided by changing the dosage and the number of times it is used. 

Talk to your dermatologist about how often and for how long you should use the product. As a general rule, Dr. Lortscher recommends that patients avoid using salicylic acid on a daily basis. Instead, start with one or two days per week, and then talk to your dermatologist about whether or not you should increase the frequency. (Also, avoid doing these other showering gaffes that might lead to dry skin.) 

Utilize items formulated for your situation

The percentage of concentration is quite high, and it varies significantly from product to product. “What is built for warts is not necessarily designed for acne,” argues Dr. Garshick. “What is meant for warts is not always made for acne.” If you choose to use a wart-removal solution with a concentration of 17 percent as a spot treatment for your imperfections, your skin will most likely become rather irritated as a result of the treatment. You can save unnecessary discomfort by getting individual treatments for each of your skin conditions.

It complements glycolic acid effectively

However, unlike salicylic acid, glycolic acid does not irritate the skin and can be used in conventional skin care products. “Glycolic acid, like salicylic acid, eliminates dead skin cells and reduces inflammation associated with acne and other skin disorders,” explains Dr. Dean. “However, unlike salicylic acid, glycolic acid can be used in conventional skin care products.” According to him, glycolic acid is ideal for renewing your skin, restoring collagen, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles because it is typically present in anti-aging moisturizers or face masks in low quantities. “It would be beneficial to use products that include both glycolic acid and salicylic acid since glycolic acid replaces skin moisture while salicylic acid depletes it,” he says about the combination of the two acids.

Side Effects of Salicylic Acid

It is possible to consume an unsafe amount of salicylic acid if you utilize it. The most significant negative effect of salicylic acid is its propensity to irritate and dry the skin of individuals who are unusually sensitive to its effects or who use it in an excessive amount. Depending on the product’s concentration as well as the number of times it is used, certain people’s skin may get dry, peel, become red, or experience irritation. However, the amount of salicylic acid contained in the vast majority of over-the-counter cleansers and lotions is often less than two percent. “It is possible to have good tolerance for it when it is utilized appropriately,”

When salicylic acid is used, there is a remote but significant risk of experiencing an unpleasant reaction. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should immediately stop using this medicine and seek medical attention. hives, itching, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or neck are all symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

Also cease using topical salicylic acid and call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • A severe headache, ringing in the ears, problems with hearing, as well as cognitive difficulties;
  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • A feeling of nausea and lightheadedness, as if one were about to faint;
  • A challenging time breathing;
  • Burning, dryness, or irritation of the skin to an extreme degree.

Common adverse effects of topical salicylic acid may include:

  • Skin may experience mild irritation, redness, or peeling;
  • Color changes in treated areas of the skin may also occur (usually whitening)

Salicylic acid topical can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using salicylic acid topical and get emergency medical help if you have: hives, itching; difficult breathing, feeling light-headed; or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have:
liver or kidney disease; diabetes; or blood circulation problems.  Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Work Cited :

Arif, T. “Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review”.

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