Salicylic Acid

Seton Pharmaceuticals

Disclaimer: This drug has not been found by FDA to be safe and effective, and this labeling has not been approved by FDA. For further information about unapproved drugs, click here.

Rx Only



6% Salicylic Acid Cream contains 6% salicylic acid USP with a vehicle containing Ammonium Lactate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Methylparaben, Mineral Oil, PEG-150 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, Purified Water, Stearyl Alcohol and Triethanolamine.

6% Salicylic Acid Lotion contains 6% w/w salicylic acid USP in a vehicle consisting of Ammonium Lactate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Disopropyl Adipate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Methylparaben, Mineral Oil, PEG-150 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, Purified Water and Triethanolamine. Salicylic acid is the 2-hydroxy derivative of benzoic acid having the following structure:

Chemical StructureChemical Structure


Salicylic acid has been shown to produce desquamation of the horny layer of skin while not effecting qualitative or quantitative changes in the structure of the viable epidermis. The mechanism of action has been attributed to a dissolution of intercellular cement substance. In a study of the percutaneous absorption of salicylic acid in a 6% salicylic acid gel in four patients with extensive active psoriasis, Taylor and Halprin showed that the peak serum salicylate levels never exceeded 5 mg/100 mL even though more than 60% of the applied salicylic acid was absorbed. Systemic toxic reactions are usually associated with much higher serum levels (30 to 40 mg/100 mL). Peak serum levels occurred within five hours of the topical application under occlusion. The sites were occluded for 10 hours over the entire body surface below the neck. Since salicylates are distributed in the extracellular space, patients with a contracted extracellular space due to dehydration or diuretics have higher salicylate levels than those with a normal extracellular space. (See PRECAUTIONS.)

The major metabolites identified in the urine after topical administration are salicyluric acid (52%), salicylate glucuronides (42%) and free salicylic acid (6%). The urinary metabolites after percutaneous absorption differ from those after oral salicylate administration; those derived from percutaneous absorption contain more salicylate glucuronides and less salicyluric and salicylic acid. Almost 95% of a single dose of salicylate is excreted within 24 hours of its entrance into the extracellular space.

Fifty to eighty percent of salicylate is protein bound to albumin. Salicylates compete with the binding of several drugs and can modify the action of these drugs; by similar competitive mechanisms other drugs can influence the serum levels of salicylate. (See PRECAUTIONS.)

Salicylic Acid Indications and Usage

For Dermatologic Use: 6% Salicylic Acid is a topical aid in the removal of excessive keratin in hyperkeratotic skin disorders, including verrucae, and the various ichthyoses (vulgaris, sex-linked and lamellar), keratosis palmaris and plantaris, keratosis pilaris, pityriasis rubra pilaris, and psoriasis (including body, scalp, palms and soles).

For Podiatric Use: 6% Salicylic Acid is a topical aid in the removal of excessive keratin on dorsal and plantar hyperkeratotic lesions. Topical preparations of 6% salicylic acid have been reported to be useful adjunctive therapy for verrucae plantares.


6% Salicylic Acid should not be used in any patient known to be sensitive to salicylic acid or any other listed ingredients. 6% Salicylic Acid should not be used in children under 2 years of age.


Prolonged and repeated daily use over large areas, especially in children and those patients with significant renal or hepatic impairment, could result in salicylism. Patients should be advised not to apply occlusive dressings, clothing or other occlusive topical products such as petrolatum-based ointments to prevent excessive systemic exposure to salicylic acid. Excessive application of the product other than is needed to cover the affected area will not result in a more rapid therapeutic benefit. Concomitant use of other drugs which may contribute to elevated serum salicylate levels should be avoided where the potential for toxicity is present. In children under 12 years of age and those patients with renal or hepatic impairment, the area to be treated should be limited and the patient monitored closely for signs of salicylate toxicity: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of hearing, tinnitus, lethargy, hyperpnea, diarrhea, and psychic disturbances. In the event of salicylic acid toxicity, the use of 6% Salicylic Acid should be discontinued. Fluids should be administered to promote urinary excretion. Treatment with sodium bicarbonate (oral or intravenous) should be instituted as appropriate. Patients should be cautioned against the use of oral aspirin and other salicylate containing medications, such as sports injury creams, to avoid additional excessive exposure to salicylic acid. Where needed, aspirin should be replaced by an alternative non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent that is not salicylate based.

Due to potential risk of developing Reye’s syndrome, salicylate products should not be used in children and teenagers with varicella or influenza, unless directed by a physician.

6% Salicylic Acid

Cream & Lotion

Instructions for Best Results

For best treatment results, follow these step-by-step instructions every day. If you have any questions, please call your dermatologist.

  1. Cleanse
  2. Medicate
  3. Moisturize-if needed

Step 1. Cleanse:

If possible, soak the affected area in warm water for about 5 minutes. Then, wash the affected area with Hydrating Cleanser and gently pat dry.

Step 2. Medicate:

Apply 6% Salicylic Acid Cream or Lotion thoroughly to the affected area. Gently massage until 6% Salicylic Acid Cream or Lotion is evenly distributed.

Step 3. Moisturize — if needed:

If needed, apply a moisturizer to the affected area. Use a moisturizer like 6% Salicylic Acid Moisturizing Cream or Lotion that can help repair the skin barrier to maintain its protective function. Gently massage 6% Salicylic Acid Moisturizing Cream or Lotion into the affected area until all the Cream or Lotion is absorbed into the skin.

6% Salicylic Acid Cream or Lotion should not be used in any patient known to be sensitive to salicylic acid or any other listed ingredients. 6% Salicylic Acid Cream or Lotion should not be used in children under 2 years of age. Excessive erythema and scaling conceivably could result from use on open skin lesions.



Included is a complimentary 12 oz. bottle of Hydrating Cleanser

  • Gently cleanses and prepares the skin for medication without causing further dryness and irritation to conditions like psoriasis and ichthyosis
  • Continues to deliver skin-nourishing ingredients such as ceramides-even after rinsing that help repair the skin barrier to maintain its protective function

Remember to include Hydrating Cleanser in your daily treatment regimen. It is also an Ideal facial cleanser.

Cleanse before applying 6% Salicylic Acid Cream or Lotion to help get the most out of your treatment. After your condition is cleared, continue to use Hydrating Cleanser to help keep the skin healthy.


For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes and other mucous membranes.

Drug Interactions

The following interactions are from a published review and include reports concerning both oral and topical salicylate administration. The relationship of these interactions to the use of 6% Salicylic Acid is not known.

Due to the competition of salicylate with other drugs for binding to serum albumin the following drug interactions may occur:
Sulfonylureas Hypoglycemia potentiated.
Methotrexate Decreases tubular reabsorption; clinical toxicity from methotrexate can result.
Oral Anticoagulants Increased bleeding.
Drugs changing salicylate levels by altering renal tubular reabsorption:
Corticosteroids Decreases plasma salicylate level; tapering doses of steroids may promote salicylism.
Acidifying Agents Increases plasma salicylate level.
Alkalizing Agents Decreased plasma salicylate levels.
Drugs with complicated interactions with salicylates:
Heparin Salicylate decreases platelet adhesiveness and interferes with hemostasis in heparin-treated patients.
Pyrazinamide Inhibits pyrazinamide-induced hyperuricemia.
Uricosuric Agents Effect of probenemide, sulfinpyrazone and phenylbutazone inhibited.

The following alterations of laboratory tests have been reported during salicylate therapy:

Thyroid Function Decreased PBI; increased T3 uptake.
Urinary Sugar False negative with glucose oxidase; false positive with Clinitest with high-dose salicylate therapy (2-5g q.d.).
5-Hydroxyindole acetic acid False negative with fluorometric test.
Acetone, ketone bodies False positive FeCl3 in Gerhardt reaction; red color persists with boiling.
17-OH corticosteroids False reduced values with >4.8g q.d. salicylate.
Vanilmandelic acid False reduced values.
Uric acid May increase or decrease depending on dose.
Prothrombin Decreased levels; slightly increased prothrombin time.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

All resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.