Salex Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Food Interaction and all others data.

Salicylic acid has a potent keratolytic action and a slight antiseptic action when applied topically. It softens and destroys the stratum corneum by increasing endogenous hydration which causes the horny layer of the skin to swell, soften, and then desquamate. At high concentrations, salicylic acid has a caustic effect. It also possesses weak antifungal and antibacterial activity.

Salicylic acid treats acne by causing skin cells to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up. This effect on skin cells also makes salicylic acid an active ingredient in several shampoos meant to treat dandruff. Use of straight salicylic solution may cause hyperpigmentation on unpretreated skin for those with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick phototypes IV, V, VI), as well as with the lack of use of a broad spectrum sunblock. Subsalicylate in combination with bismuth form the popular stomach relief aid known commonly as Pepto-Bismol. When combined the two key ingredients help control diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, and even gas. It is also very mildly anti-biotic.

Trade Name Salex
Generic Salicylic Acid
Salicylic Acid Other Names 2-Carboxyphenol, 2-Hydroxybenzoic acid, ácido salicílico, Acidum salicylicum, O-carboxyphenol, O-hydroxybenzoic acid, Salicylic acid
Type Topical, Topical Bar, Topical Cream, Topical Film, Extended Release, Topical Foam, Topical Gel, Topical Kit, Topical Liquid, Topical Lotion, Topical Ointment, Topical Pad, Topical Shampoo, Topical Soap, Topical Solution
Formula C7H6O3
Weight Average: 138.1207
Monoisotopic: 138.031694058
Protein binding

Salicylic acid is about 90% plasma protein bound.

Groups Approved, Investigational, Vet approved
Therapeutic Class Topical salicylic preparation
Available Country United States,
Last Updated: September 19, 2023 at 7:00 am


6% Salex: This topical preparations treat the following common scaly conditions:

  • Chronic atopic dermatitis
  • Lichen simplex
  • Psoriasis
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Ichthiosis

12% Salex: This topical preparations treat the following common scaly conditions:

  • Warts (small excessive growths of skin caused by a type of virus. Warts often occur on the fingers or on the back of the hands).
  • Verruca (occurs only on the sole of the feet and can be painful. It often looks like a small white ring of skin with a black dot in the centre).
  • Corns and Calluses (are hard, thick pads of skin caused by pressure and friction. They usually occur on the feet due to poorly fitting shoes and can occur on the hands).

Salex is also used to associated treatment for these conditions: Acne, Actinic Keratosis (AK), Alopecia Areata (AA), Atopic Dermatitis (AD), Blackheads, Chronic Eczema, Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, Corns, Dandruff, Dermatitis, Contact, Dermatitis, Eczematous, Dermatitis, Eczematous of the scalp, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE), Foot Callus, Fungal skin infection, Furuncle, Hand Eczema, Hyperkeratosis, Hyperkeratosis follicularis et parafollicularis, Infections, Fungal, Infections, Fungal of the Skin Folds, Infections, Fungal of the face, Infections, Fungal of the feet, Infections, Fungal of the hand, Keratosis Palmaris et Plantaris, Lichen, Lichen Plano-Pilaris, Lichen Planus (LP), Lichen simplex chronicus, Molluscum Contagiosum, Musculoskeletal Pain, Neurodermatitis, Palmo-Plantar Pustulosis, Plantar Warts, Pruritus, Psoriasis, Psoriasis Vulgaris (Plaque Psoriasis), Psoriasis of the scalp, Rash, Ringworm of the Skin, Ringworm of the scalp, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis of the Scalp, Skin Infections, Bacterial, Verrucous Psoriasis, Warts, Calluses, Corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses, Keratinization disorders, Scaling, Scaling of skin, Scalp seborrhea, Superficial Fungal skin infection, Keratolysis

How Salex works

Salicylic acid directly irreversibly inhibits COX-1 and COX-2 to decrease conversion of arachidonic acid to precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Salicylate's use in rheumatic diseases is due to it's analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. Salicylic acid allows cells of the epidermis to more readily slough off. Because of its effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos used to treat dandruff. Salicylic acid is also used as an active ingredient in gels which remove verrucas (plantar warts). Salicylic acid competitively inhibits oxidation of uridine-5-diphosphoglucose (UDPG) with nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD) and noncompetitively with UDPG. It also competitively inhibits the transferring of the glucuronyl group of uridine-5-phosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA) to a phenolic acceptor. Inhibition of mucopoly saccharide synthesis is likely responsible for the slowing of wound healing with salicylates.


Salex dosage

Topical/Cutaneous (Adult)-

Hyperkeratotic and scaling skin conditions: As 1.8-3% preparation: Apply to affected area of the skin and/or scalp 1-4 times daily.

Acne: As 0.5-2% preparation: Apply thinly to affected area 1-3 times daily, reduce to once daily or every other day if dryness or peeling occur.

Warts and calluses:

  • As 12-40% plaster: Fit over the wart/callus for 48 hr, repeat process 48 hrly as needed until wart/callus is removed (up to 12 wk for warts or up to 14 days for calluses).
  • As 5-17% preparation in collodion-like vehicle: Apply a small amount to sufficiently cover wart/callus and allow to dry. Repeat 1-2 times daily until wart/callus is removed (up to 12 wk for warts or up to 14 days for calluses).
  • As 15% preparation in karaya gum-glycol plaster vehicle: Smoothen warts with emery board and place a drop of warm water prior to application. Apply the plaster in the evening and leave in place for at least 8 hr to be removed in the morning. Repeat process 24 hrly, if necessary up to 12 wk.

Side Effects

An allergic reaction (shortness of breath, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, face or tongue or hives) or severe skin irritation.


Oral rat LD50: 891 mg/kg. Inhalation rat LC50: > 900 mg/m3/1hr. Irritation: skin rabbit: 500 mg/24H mild. Eye rabbit: 100 mg severe. Investigated a mutagen and reproductive effector.


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


Do not use other topical preparations on the treated area unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider. They may interfere with treatment or increase skin irritation.

Food Interaction

No interactions found.

Volume of Distribution

The volume of distribution is about 170 mL/kg of body weight.

Elimination Route

About 10% is excreted unchanged in the urine.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding use

Pregnancy Category C. If used by nursing mothers, it should not be used on the chest area to avoid accidental contamination of the child.


It should not be used in any patient known to be sensitive to Salex or any other listed ingredients.

Special Warning

Salex is used in children over 2 years.

Acute Overdose

An overdose of Salex topical is unlikely to occur. If you do suspect an overdose or if the medication has been ingested, call a poison control center or emergency room for advice.

Storage Condition

Store at a temperature below 25° C.

Innovators Monograph

You find simplified version here Salex

Salex contains Salicylic Acid see full prescribing information from innovator Salex Monograph, Salex MSDS, Salex FDA label


What is Salex used for?

Salex is used to help clear and prevent pimples and skin blemishes in people who have acne.

How safe is Salex?

Salex is considered safe overall, it may cause skin irritation when first starting. It may also remove too much oil, resulting in dryness and potential irritation.

What are the common side effects of Salex?

Common side effects of Salex are include:

  • Difficult breathing.
  • dryness and peeling of skin.
  • fainting.
  • hives or itching.
  • redness of the skin.
  • swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue.
  • tightness in the throat.
  • unusually warm skin.

Is it safe to use Salex everyday?

Yes it is considered ok to use salicylic acid every day, however, due to it sometimes resulting in the skin becoming irritated many skin experts and dermatologists suggest using the acid in moderation, starting by applying it 3 times a week and if there are no signs of any reactions.

Is Salex safe long term?

Extended use in healthy adults may result in extreme skin irritation.People with chronic conditions like kidney or liver disease should check with their doctor about prolonged exposure to Salex. It should not be used for infants or children less than 12 years old.

Is Salex safe during pregnancy?

You'll find Salex in many products, but it's worth investigating the risks and weighing them against the benefits. Topical Salex is pregnancy-safe, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

Is Salex safe during breastfeeding?

No information is available on the clinical use of Salex on the skin during breastfeeding. Because it is unlikely to be appreciably absorbed or appear in breastmilk, it is considered safe to use during breastfeeding.

Should I use Salex in the morning or night?

Salex may be used morning and night. Because it's so gentle, it may also be applied as a midday spot treatment.

How long should I leave Salex on my face?

You get the maximum benefit when you adjust your skin to start using it twice a day. But, if you are sensitive to Salex and using it up regularly left your skin dry, red, and peeling, then use it as a toner and leave it up for up to 30 seconds and then rinse off.

Is Salex poisonous?

While the use of household Salex products at low concentrations is generally considered safe, in high concentrations,Salex is capable of causing moderate chemical burns. If ingested, this chemical can also lead to dangerous intoxication.

Is it safe to put Salex on my face?

Salex works best when applied to your entire face (avoid eyes, lips, and mouth) because it removes dead skin cells from your pores and cleans out excess oil from pores.

Does Salex thin skin?

Salex may help with acne temporarily, but over the long term can dry and thin your skin.

How long does it take Salex to work?

When using Salex or other acne treatments, it may take 6-8 weeks to start noticing results.

Does Salex turn skin white?

Yes, this is normal. Salex is a keratolytic agent and works by peeling off the outer layers of the skin. This can look unsightly and by all means cover it but it is not entirely necessary.

What is the best way to use Salex?

Salex is best incorporated into a cleanser for gentle exfoliation, or a treatment serum designed to keep blemish-prone skin balanced and under control.

Do I need to wash off Salex?

Wipe the pad over the affected areas. Do not rinse off medicine after treatment.

How often should I use Salex face wash?

Salex most will recommend use twice daily. But always be sure to read the product label and you use it as instructed.

Can I leave Salex overnight?

So make sure to wash it all off in the evening.It's also good for fading acne scars and smoothing skin tone and complexion. We recommend using our Salex Peel after cleansing, and (in the evening only) following with the Fruit Acid Gel Peel.

Can you put Salex in oil?

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, then a Salex cleanser is a must. It helps tone oil levels and prevent pore clogging.

Who should not take Salex?

Salex topical can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction or severe skin irritation. Stop using Salex 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.

What happens if I miss Salex?

Salex topical is used when needed. If you are on a dosing schedule, skip any missed dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

Can you overdose on Salex?

Some people take it as a mild blood thinner. Because aspirin is available over the counter, it's tempting to think it's safe. However, it's possible to overdose on it. Salex overdose can be deadly, so it's a medical emergency.
*** Taking medicines without doctor's advice can cause long-term problems.