benzoic acid and salicylic acid (topical)
Generic Name: benzoic acid and salicylic acid (topical) (ben ZOE ic AS id and SAL i SIL ik AS id)
Brand Name: Bensal HP, Whitfields Ointment
What is benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
Benzoic acid helps prevent infection caused by bacteria. Salicylic acid helps the body shed rough or dead skin cells.
Benzoic acid and salicylic acid topical (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to treat skin irritation and inflammation caused by burns, insect bites, fungal infections, or eczema.
Benzoic acid and salicylic acid may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before using benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to benzoic acid, salicylic acid, or polyethylene glycol.
It is not known whether benzoic acid and salicylic acid will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether benzoic acid and salicylic acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Benzoic acid and salicylic acid is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I use benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
This medicine is usually applied 2 times per day. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Benzoic acid and salicylic acid is for use only on the skin. Do not use this medicine on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina, rinse with water.
Wash your hands before and after applying benzoic acid and salicylic acid.
Gently rinse the affected skin with saline or water before treating it with this medicine. Pat the skin dry with a clean towel or cotton gauze.
Apply a generous amount of the medicine and spread it evenly to form a 1/8-inch thick layer over the treated area.
It is best to apply this medicine to your skin with a clean cotton swab. Throw the swab away after one use. You may also apply the medicine to a cotton gauze pad and then place the gauze over your skin.
Keep the treated skin area clean and expose it to air whenever possible.
Do not cover the treated skin area with an adhesive bandage unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not allow the tip of the medicine tube to touch any surfaces, including the skin you are treating.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 7 days, or if they get worse while using benzoic acid and salicylic acid.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
Avoid using wet packs or wet-to-dry packs on the treated skin areas. They can make this medicine less effective.
Avoid getting the medicine in your eyes, mouth, or nose. If it does get into any of these areas, rinse with water.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with benzoic acid and salicylic acid unless your doctor tells you to.
Benzoic acid and salicylic acid side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning or skin irritation; or
burning sensation for longer than 10 days.
Common side effects may include:
warmth or a burning sensation (may last up to 5 minutes after applying).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect benzoic acid and salicylic acid?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied benzoic acid and salicylic acid. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about benzoic acid and salicylic acid topical.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
Date modified: March 15, 2017
Last reviewed: September 30, 2014