Salicylic acid is a ubiquitous active ingredient in shampoos for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) and scalp psoriasis. While salicylic acid can be used alone, it is often combined with other therapies to address flaking, itching, and redness of the scalp and skin.
American Integrative Pharmacy (AIP), led by the compassionate Dr. Neema Yazdanpanah, provides safe and proven compounding treatments to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and nationwide.
Usage of Salicylic Acid in Shampoos
Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory and keratolytic active ingredient which is used widely in the treatment of scalp and skin conditions. There are various licensed products and applications of salicylic acid. These range from 12.0 percent gels used for the treatment of verrucas to co-formulation with prescription-only steroids for psoriasis treatment.
The usage of various salicylic acid formulations means that the instructions for use differ widely. To treat conditions of the scalp, a majority of salicylic acid shampoos are concentrated at 1.8 to 3 percent. The shampoo should be massaged well into the scalp and let to remain for a few minutes before rinsing it out. The user should repeat this process daily to every few days but ensure to read the label prior to using a medicated shampoo.
How does Salicylic Acid Work?
While aspirin and salicylic acid do not have the same role in treating scalp conditions, they are quite closely related. Salicylic acid is an ingredient in creams, shampoos, and ointments primarily for keratolytic effects and local anti-inflammatory activity. Keratolytic agents make the epidermis cells shed more easily assisting in the removal of dry, flaky skin. Salicylic acid is often called an exfoliator.
Salicylic acid’s keratolytic effects are also used in some products to enhance the penetration of corticosteroids. This improved penetration may be necessary for skin conditions in which plaques and thickened skin prevent the tissue from absorbing the steroids, reducing their effectiveness.
How effective is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is often used in the treatment of dandruff due to seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis. The FDA website lists it as a permissible active ingredient for the treatment of both these conditions.
While salicylic acid does not contain the antifungal properties required to treat seb derm, it possesses keratolytic effects which can help eliminate flaky skin. Salicylic acid renders the existing build up soft while the anti-fungal prevents future build up.
Additionally, research studies indicate that the presence of salicylic acid with an anti-fungal might amplify the strength of that anti-fungal agent.
Scalp Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition that leads to the hyperproliferation growth of skin cells. In a typical skin cycle, skin cells turnover takes around one month. In a patient with psoriasis, it can occur in a matter of a few days.
Consequently, many elevated plaques or areas of thick, scaly skin form on various body parts. Salicylic acid’s keratolytic properties help soften and eliminate the flaky skin.
American Integrative Pharmacy receives patients from Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and nationwide for a wide range of compounding treatments.
American Integrative Pharmacy is located in Lomita, CA serving residents in and around Orange County, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance and surrounding areas. Online prescription sales are available across the US.