Discover how to effectively treat a salicylic acid burn with these three proven methods.
From soothing the affected area to preventing future burns, learn how to heal your skin and keep it healthy with these expert tips.
Do Salicylic Acid Burns Go Away?
Yes, salicylic acid burns do go away. The severity of the burn will determine how long it takes for a person to recover from salicylic acid burns.
Most salicylic acid burns are minor and heal on their own within a few days.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, salicylic acid is a weak acid with a pH of 3.0 to 3.8 when in solution.
This means that it is not strong enough to cause severe burns or skin damage on its own, but it can cause irritation or drying of the skin if left on for too long.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that over-the-counter (OTC) medications containing salicylic acid should not be used for longer than 10 days without consulting a physician first
Prolonged use of OTC products containing salicylic acid can increase the chances of developing side effects such as skin irritation and/or redness, peeling and scaling of the skin, dryness, and itching.
Some people may also experience more serious symptoms such as abdominal pain, black stool, bloody stools, and diarrhea
These symptoms are likely due to intestinal bleeding caused by the breakdown of red blood cells due to prolonged use of OTC medication.
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Does Salicylic Acid Cause Burns?
Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells and make way for new ones.
It’s a common ingredient in many skincare products, including acne treatments and anti-aging creams.
Salicylic acid has the ability to cause chemical burns if you use too much of it or leave it on your face for too long.
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, salicylic acid can cause irritation or even an allergic reaction if applied in excess.
How to Use Salicylic Acid Without Causing Burns
Use a pea-size amount of salicylic acid.
Apply the salicylic acid to your skin and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Moisturize after using salicylic acid.
Don’t use salicylic acid on broken skin or if you have open wounds or cuts on your face.
If you do, there’s a higher chance that the product will burn your skin and cause an infection because there’s less protection over those areas of your skin due to the breakage in its barrier function (which keeps germs out).
Don’t use salicylic acid products near eyes, around eyelids, or over large areas of skin at once (like entire arms).
3 Effective Ways to Treat a Salicylic Acid Burn
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient found in many skincare products, including acne treatments, wart removers, and exfoliants.
However, if not used properly, it can cause skin irritation and burns. If you’ve experienced a salicylic acid burn, don’t worry. Here are three effective ways to treat it:
1. Rinse with Cool Water
The first step in treating a salicylic acid burn is to rinse the affected area with cool water. This will help to remove any excess acid and cool down the skin. Avoid using hot water or rubbing the area, as this can cause further irritation.
2. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is known for its soothing and healing properties, making it a great natural remedy for burns. Apply a generous amount of aloe vera gel to the affected area to reduce inflammation and promote healing. You can use fresh aloe vera from the plant or store-bought aloe vera gel.
3. Use a Hydrocortisone Cream
If the burn is particularly severe, you may need to use a hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Apply the cream to the affected area as directed on the packaging. Keep in mind that overuse of hydrocortisone cream can cause skin thinning, so use it sparingly and only as directed.
How Long Does a Salicylic Acid Peel Last?
The length of time your salicylic acid peel lasts depends on the strength of it.
The stronger a peel is, the longer it will last. A weak salicylic acid peel has a shorter lifespan than a strong one.
The duration of effect can be anything from 30 minutes to 2 weeks.
For example, an 8% salicylic acid peel typically lasts for about 1 week.
However, if you use higher concentrations (20% and above) it could last up to two weeks or more!
How Often Should You Use a Salicylic Acid Peel?
How often you should use a salicylic acid peel depends on multiple factors. The most important of these are:
- Your skin type
You should be more careful when using an exfoliant if you have dry or sensitive skin since this will make it easier to burn your face.
If you do have dry or sensitive skin, stay away from high-strength peels and stick with milder ones instead.
- Strength of the peel
A stronger acid has more power than a milder one—but it also has more potential to damage the skin if used incorrectly.
Use caution when trying out new peels that are stronger than what you usually use.
Start off with only a small amount at first (e.g., half) before applying full-strength peels so that you don’t accidentally overdo it and cause burns.
Can You Put Salicylic Acid on Popped Pimples?
You should not use salicylic acid on popped pimples. Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant and can cause further damage to the skin.
When you pop your pimple, you are opening it up to more dirt and bacteria getting inside it which can lead to an infection or scarring if not treated properly with antibiotic ointment and/or hydrocortisone cream.
The added inflammation caused by popping your pimple can also exacerbate any sensitivity issues that someone may have from having acne-prone skin in the first place (i.e., dryness, redness).
Instead of using salicylic acid on popped pimples, we recommend using benzoyl peroxide products such as Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser 2-in-1 Daily Foaming Wash for Sensitive Skin or Stridex Maximum Strength Acne Treatment Pads (box of 25)
What Happens if You Use Too Much Salicylic Acid?
Using a salicylic acid product too often or in high concentrations can cause skin irritation, dryness, and redness.
Overuse can also make your skin more sensitive to UV light.
If you use a salicylic acid product that contains 2% or higher of the ingredient for longer than two weeks, it’s possible for your skin to develop flaking and peeling as it sloughs off dead cells.
As you can see, salicylic acid has a lot of benefits for your skin. It’s great for acne, warts, and other issues that cause you to feel self-conscious.
It’s also an effective way to exfoliate without having to schedule an expensive appointment at a spa or buy pricey products.
Still, you should always be careful when using this chemical on your skin.
If you feel like something isn’t right or that it’s causing irritation in any way, stop using it and seek medical attention immediately!