Adverse effects

Salicylic acid is known to cause skin irritation that presents as erythema, dryness and peeling; this was evident in the RCT evidence located.

Table 13.3 Randomised controlled trials of salicylic acid

Author

Comparators

Number

Duration

Severity

Blinding

NIL

IL

Outcomes

Comments

Shalita 198967

1. Salicylic acid 2% cleanser

2. BP 10% wash

30

2 +2

1/2

0

34 20

No side-effects reported

Crossover; no wash-out period; no LTF; results not valid as phase 1 only 2 weeks and no wash-out period; BP group higher NIL count at baseline; short contact

Eady et al. 1996ยป

1. Salicylic acid 2%

2. Vehicle

114

12

1/2

2

46* 26

28* 9

1>2 all lesions; Irritant dermatitis both groups but greater Incidence In 1; % decrease total lesions: 40 v 16*

15 LTF; not ITT; both in alcoholic lotion

Roth 196463

1. Salicylic acid 1-5%

2. Placebo

30

10

1/2

0

Salicylic acid reported as greater reduction but no Intergroup comparison; burning In 10/15 salicylic acid group

Number, number patients enrolled; severity (1 = mild; 2 = moderate; 3 = severe); duration (weeks); blinding (0 = open; A = assessor; P = patient); (N)IL, (non)-lnflammatory lesions; decrease from baseline;*, statistically significantly superior (P<0-05); LTF, lost to follow up; ITT, intentlon-to-treat

Number, number patients enrolled; severity (1 = mild; 2 = moderate; 3 = severe); duration (weeks); blinding (0 = open; A = assessor; P = patient); (N)IL, (non)-lnflammatory lesions; decrease from baseline;*, statistically significantly superior (P<0-05); LTF, lost to follow up; ITT, intentlon-to-treat

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