Salicylic acid is a colorless organic beta hydroxy acid. It chemically resembles acetylsalicylic acid which is an active component of the Aspirin. This substance is very potential and can be of great help in reduction of erythema and inflammation of the skin. This is why salicylic acid is one of the main components of numerous acne skin care products. Acne is an unsightly and sometimes very painful skin condition which occurs on oily parts of the skin and may be in different forms (pimples, boils, painful nodules etc.).
Acne typically affect teenagers and adolescents. Still, this medical condition may even occur during pregnancy and is caused by hormonal changes. Even though acne is successfully treated with products containing salicylic acid it is not advisable to prescribe these products to pregnant women. This particularly refers to large doses of salicylic acid which may cause serious damage and complications in pregnant women.
Indications for Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid can be applied in oral or topical form. As for topical form of the medications it is available in a form of a lotion or cream. This acid is used for medical and cosmetic purposes. As it has been already mentioned salicylic acid possesses amazing anti-inflammatory properties and can successfully alleviate pain and fever. Certain forms of salicylic acid may help with muscle pain and joint stiffness. Still, this acid is predominantly used in cosmetic industry where it represents significant ingredient of many skin care products. It is also used in treatment of acne, psoriasis and can successfully remove warts, calluses, corns and dandruff. Salicylic acid is excellent exfoliant. Once applied it removes dead skin cells and this way it helps in unclogging of the skin pores. This is very important for people suffering from acne. And finally, salicylic acid is used as a food preservative.
Salicylic Acid and Pregnancy
All the products which contain salicylic acid must be administered in pregnant women with high doses of precaution. This particularly refers to high doses of salicylic acid.
Application of small doses of topical products which contain salicylic acid is considered safe even for pregnant women. Still even if it is used topically large doses of this acid are strictly forbidden. This limit exists since the skin may absorb salicylic acid and lead to increased levels of the acid in the blood. Pregnant women are generally advised not to use topical creams (particularly those containing salicylic acid) for a longer period of time.
Oral form of salicylic acid is definitely forbidden in pregnancy. This form causes serious side effects and some of them are intracranial bleeding, increased risk for miscarriage, increased risk for birth defects, and heart and lung disorders of newborn babies. If taken in extremely high doses salicylic acid leads to acidosis which is in some cases life-threatening.