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What Is Salicylic Acid?

Views: 276     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-07-27      Origin: Site


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What Is Salicylic Acid?

The chemical formula for salicylic acid is HOC6H4COOH. It is an odorless, bitter-tasting substance that is both an aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) precursor and metabolite. It is a plant hormone that has been classified as an experimental teratogen by the EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory. The word "salix," which means "willow tree" in Latin, was used to describe and derive the object. Some anti-acne treatments contain it as an ingredient. Salicylates are the names for the salts and esters of salicylic acid.



The outer layer of the skin is frequently removed with the use of the medicine salicylic acid. As a result, it is applied to treat ichthyosis, ringworm, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, and warts.Salicylic acid, like other hydroxy acids, is a common component in skincare products for the treatment of warts, calluses, keratosis pilaris, acanthosis nigricans, ichthyosis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

Uses in manufacturing

Salicylic acid is a bactericide, an antiseptic, and a food preservative. Other medications, such as 4-aminosalicylic acid, sandulpiride, and landetimide (through salethamide), are made from salicylic acid. Acetylsalicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, is made primarily from salicylic acid. Salicylic acid's phenolic hydroxyl group is esterified with an acetyl group from acetic anhydride or acetyl chloride to create aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA).

Other derivatives include choline salicylate, which is applied topically to treat mouth ulcer pain, and methyl salicylate, which is used as a liniment to reduce joint and muscular pain. Aminosalicylic acid has been used as an antitubercular drug and is frequently used in conjunction with isoniazid. It is used to promote remission in ulcerative colitis.

Mechanism of action

Salicylic acid controls COX-1 enzyme activity to reduce the production of prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory. Salicylate may reduce prostaglandin synthesis through competition. Salicylate's analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms are what give it its antirheumatic (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) effects.

When salicylic acid is applied to the skin's surface, the epidermis' cells slough off more easily, avoiding clogged pores and creating space for new cell development.Salicylic acid competes with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide to prevent the oxidation of uridine-5-diphosphoglucose (UDPG), but not UDPG itself. Additionally, it hinders the transfer of the uridine-5-phosphoglucuronic acid's glucuronyl group to the phenolic acceptor by competitive means.
Salicylates' ability to delay wound healing is most likely a result of their inhibition of the production of mucopolysaccharides.


High quantities of salicylic acid can enter the blood when salicylic ointments with high salicylic acid concentrations are used topically; this necessitates hemodialysis to prevent further issues. Salicylic acid may have teratogenic potential; however, cosmetic use of the medication carries little risk. The aggregate plasma concentration of salicylic acid was substantially below the limit for acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), even in the worst-case scenario where someone used numerous topical treatments containing salicylic acid.

Use of salicylic acid-containing cosmetics is safe for pregnant women because oral aspirin (which results in significantly higher salicylic acid plasma concentrations than dermal salicylic acid applications) poses no significant risks with regard to the frequency of stillbirth, birth defects, or developmental delay.

Dietary sources

In plants, salicylic acid can be found in free form as well as in carboxylated esters and phenolic glycosides. According to several studies, these plants contain salicylic acid, which humans may detectably metabolize.

Beer, coffee, tea, several fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, almonds, and olive oil are examples of foods and drinks high in salicylates. Low salicylate content can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, sweets, breads, and cereals. A low-salicylate diet may be necessary for some people who are sensitive to dietary salicylates because they may experience allergic response symptoms such as bronchial asthma, rhinitis, gastrointestinal problems, or diarrhea.

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