Dr. Jaishree Sharad
Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist
What Is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a commonly used medicinal ingredient to treat everything from warts and calluses to ringworm, acne, and dandruff. It is found naturally in certain foods and was originally sourced from Salix alba, or white willow bark, and myrtle.
Salicylic acid works safely by effectively stripping away the outermost layer of skin called the epidermis. It increases the amount of moisture in the skin and dissolves the substance that makes the cells clump together. This effect makes it easier to shed the dead skin cells, softens the top layer of skin, and decreases scaling and dryness.
So, by safely and gently removing the outermost layer of skin, salicylic acid helps prevent fungal infections and recurring dandruff from developing over a long period of time.
Salicylic acid is completely safe and shampoos with salicylic acid are widely used across the world. It is listed on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines as one of the most important medicinal ingredients in the world.
Salicylic Acid In Daily Skin And Hair Care Routine
Washing your scalp with ketoconazole salicylic acid shampoos is the best-established way of including it in your hair care routine.
When used topically in a shampoo with salicylic acid, it strips away the outermost layer of the skin and washes the dead skin off your scalp, every time you shampoo and condition your hair. Unlike the other most common ingredients present in shampoo, salicylic acid on the scalp enters the pores of your skin and cleans from inside. This prevents the build-up of oil and helps to unclog your hair follicles. The result is healthier hair growth and fewer skin issues, such as recurring dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.
To put in simple words, we can say that, if you are noticing dandruff or an itchy scalp caused by dry skin, salicylic acid for dandruff is worth considering as an addition to your hair care regime.
How To Use Salicylic Acid On Scalp?
Like any other medication, a salicylic acid shampoo works properly, only if you use it correctly. Use as often as directed by your dermatologist. Once your condition has improved, your dermatologist may direct you to use this product only occasionally or to stop using it.
Follow these steps for the proper usage of a Salicylic Acid Shampoo like Head & Shoulders:
- Wet your hair and scalp thoroughly with warm water.
- Apply the Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff shampoo directly to the scalp and add more as per the requirement.
- Work the shampoo into a lather by gently massaging your scalp. Do not scrub or rub the shampoo through your ends.
- Allow the shampoo to rest for around 5 minutes at a time.
- Rinse thoroughly by gently rubbing your hair and massaging them.
- Follow up with the Head & Shoulders conditioner to end sections of your hair to add moisture. If you do not want to use a conditioner separately, you can use Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 range which contains the mix of a shampoo and conditioner in one bottle!
- Shampoos containing Salicylic acid are to be used on the skin/scalp only.
- Be careful to avoid your eyes, nostrils, mouth, and genitals. If contact occurs, flush the area with cool water for 15 minutes.
- Be careful when applying salicylic acid shampoo on the scalp as it can irritate normal skin around the treated area.
- Avoid using the shampoo in large amounts.
Is Salicylic Acid Safe to Use?
Salicylic acid is viewed as a very effective and safe ingredient for treating dry skin and scalp conditions like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.
The commonly reported side effect of salicylic acid is skin irritation. Although it is rare and usually very mild, if you are facing it frequently then it should be discussed with your dermatologist immediately.
Related side effects may include:
- Burning sensation
- Redness on the scalp
- Broken or increased dry skin
Although an allergic reaction to salicylic acid is rare, professional medical help is recommended if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Red rash that spreads rapidly
- Swelling extending to the face
- Breathing difficulties
- Hives & dizziness
Salicylic acid dandruff shampoo is used in relatively small quantities as part of hair health and as a preventive measure for dandruff. It can be used frequently as a normal shampoo to free up and wash away excess skin sebum and to keep your hair and scalp in optimal condition.
Salicylic acid is the easiest and widely available treatment option for scalp conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and recurring dandruff. Head & Shoulders shampoos are carefully created with the optimal amount of salicylic acid to treat recurring dandruff and other scalp conditions, so that you get a healthier scalp which will lead to better hair health overall.