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Benzoyl peroxide / salicylic acid topical Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 22, 2020.

For the Consumer

Applies to benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid topical: external kit

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad skin irritation.
  • Peeling.
  • Burning.
  • Swelling.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Skin irritation.
  • Dry skin.
  • Itching.
  • Redness.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid topical: topical pad


Allergic contact dermatitis and/or dryness have been reported with each component, both when used separately and together.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Allergic contact dermatitis, dryness/drying of skin, scaling/peeling, erythema, skin irritation (included redness, burning, itching, peeling, swelling), sun sensitivity[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Salicylate toxicity (symptoms included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, loss of hearing, tinnitus, lethargy, hyperpnea), edema[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Inova 4/1 (benzoyl peroxide-salicylic acid topical)." JSJ Pharmaceuticals, Doylestown, PA.

2. "Product Information. Cleanse & Treat (benzoyl peroxide-salicylic acid topical)." Quinnova Pharmaceuticals Inc, Newtown, PA.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.