Salicylic acid is used to manage the uncomfortable symptoms of ichthyosis, but does it have any side-effects?
Salicylic acid is a peeling agent (a keratolytic) which causes shedding of the outer layer of skin; while it’s usually a very useful treatment for many people living with ichthyosis, sometimes creams containing salicylic acid can cause skin irritation or even serious allergic reaction.
Possible - though rare! - side-effects of topical salicylic acid:
- minor skin irritation, rash, or peeling
- changes in skin colour
- difficult breathing
- dryness and peeling of skin
- hives or itching
- redness of the skin
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- tightness in the throat
- unusually warm skin
You should stop using creams containing salicylic acid and get immediate emergency medical help if you experience: difficulty in breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; vomiting or diarrhoea.
Salicylic acid should not be used on a child or teenager who has a fever, flu symptoms, or chickenpox.
Salicylates applied to the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream can cause Reye's syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition in children.
What products do we recommend for people with ichthyosis?
Although the condition can’t be cured, a mild case can generally be managed with a careful skincare routine. Check with your doctor if you need more intensive treatment, but because ichthyosis is a condition characterised by dry skin, sufferers are usually encouraged to use rich emollients to soften any scaliness and keep skin supple and well-hydrated. Our moisturisers are made to be as gentle and natural as possible, so that skin is cared for rather than irritated.
For really dry, rough or cracked skin:
Skin Salvation balm with hemp, beeswax & calendula (from £7.99 for 30ml)
For general daily maintenance:
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, hemp & olive (from £13.99 for 100ml)
Balmonds Bath & Body Oil with hemp, lavender & chamomile (£12.99 for 200ml)