Salicylic Acid Cream

|Salicylic Acid Cream

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Salicylic Acid Cream

Generic Name: Salicylic Acid Cream 2% and Gel 2% (sal-ih-SILL-ik AS-id)
Brand Name: Examples include Fostex and Stridex Body Focus

Salicylic Acid Cream is used for:

Treating acne. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Salicylic Acid Cream is a topical salicylate. It works by causing the skin to swell, soften, and then slough or peel in areas where it is applied.

Do NOT use Salicylic Acid Cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Salicylic Acid Cream

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Salicylic Acid Cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with Salicylic Acid Cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib)
  • if you have liver or kidney problems, a skin infection, skin irritation, diabetes, or poor blood circulation

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Salicylic Acid Cream. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticoagulants, (eg, heparin, warfarin), aspirin, methotrexate, or sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide) because the risk of side effects may be increased by Salicylic Acid Cream

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Salicylic Acid Cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Salicylic Acid Cream:

Use Salicylic Acid Cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Wash and thoroughly dry the affected area. Apply a thin layer of Salicylic Acid Cream to cover the entire affected area. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed. Unless your hands are being treated, be sure to wash your hands after each use.
  • If you miss a dose of Salicylic Acid Cream, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Salicylic Acid Cream.

Important safety information:

  • Salicylic Acid Cream is for external use only. Avoid getting Salicylic Acid Cream in your eyes, nose, or mouth, or on the genitals. If contact with your eyes occurs, flush with water for 15 minutes. Do not inhale the vapors of Salicylic Acid Cream.
  • Overuse of topical products may worsen your condition.
  • Do not use Salicylic Acid Cream longer or more often than recommended by your doctor or on the package label.
  • Check with your doctor before use if you have a condition that covers a large area of the body.
  • Be sure to apply Salicylic Acid Cream only to the affected area and not to normal healthy skin.
  • Do not use Salicylic Acid Cream on skin that is irritated, infected, or reddened.
  • Do not use Salicylic Acid Cream on open skin wounds, moles, birthmarks, genital warts, warts on the face, or warts growing hair.
  • Do not use any other medicines or drying products on your skin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
  • Salicylic Acid Cream may interfere with certain lab test results. Make sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are using Salicylic Acid Cream.
  • Salicylic Acid Cream is extremely flammable. Do not store or use Salicylic Acid Cream near a fire or other open flame.
  • Salicylic Acid Cream may be harmful if swallowed. If you may have taken Salicylic Acid Cream by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • Salicylic Acid Cream contains a salicylate, which has been linked to Reye syndrome. Do not use Salicylic Acid Cream on children or teenagers during or after chickenpox, flu, or other viral infections without checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Caution is advised when using Salicylic Acid Cream in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Salicylic Acid Cream during pregnancy. It is unknown if Salicylic Acid Cream is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are using Salicylic Acid Cream.

Possible side effects of Salicylic Acid Cream:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dry, peeling, red, or scaling skin.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe irritation.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; diarrhea; dizziness; loss of appetite; loss of hearing; mental disturbances; nausea; rapid or difficult breathing; ringing in the ears; seizures; sluggishness; vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Proper storage of Salicylic Acid Cream:

Store Salicylic Acid Cream at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Salicylic Acid Cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Salicylic Acid Cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Salicylic Acid Cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Salicylic Acid Cream. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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