Video:How Salicylic Acid Treats Acnewith Dr. Debra Jaliman
Salicylic acid unclogs pores which helps to clear acne breakouts. Watch this About.com video to learn how different concentrations of salicylic acid will work for different skin types in order to treat pimples.See Transcript
Transcript:How Salicylic Acid Treats Acne
Hi this Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist and author of the book Skin Rules, Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist, here for About.com to talk about how salicylic acid treats acne.
Concentration of Salicylic Acid in Acne Medication
Salicylic acid can be found over-the-counter in many concentrations. It ranges from half a percent all the way up to 2%. And it's great for unclogging your pores. What it does is it pulls those dead skin cells off the surface and as we know when dead skin cells block your pores they aggravate acne. So what we can do, is we can start with .5% if you have sensitive skin or tend towards a more dry skin. If you have very oily skin you may want to look for a 2% salicylic acid formulation.
Salicylic acid comes in many forms: it comes in gels, it comes in liquids, like in toners and it also comes in impregnated pads so you can find a form of salicylic acid that agrees with your skin the best. I suggest that you start by using salicylic acid once a day and see how your skin does. After about 4 weeks if you find that you don't have enough exfoliation with the salicylic acid, you can work yourself up to twice a day or you can increase the concentration of the salicylic acid that you are using.
Who Should Avoid Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and it is relate to aspirin, so we don't recommend that salicylic acid be used by pregnant women. It's one time where we tell our patients not to use salicylic acid, because as you know pregnant women are not allowed to use aspirin. The other thing is, if you have eczema, or rosacea, you may want to steer clear of salicylic acid because it can be very irritating. So, if you have acne and rosacea or acne and eczema, or very sensitive skin, you may want to avoid salicylic acid.
If you have any other questions about how salicylic acid works for acne, please go to About.com.