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Generic Name: Salicylic acid topical [sal-i-sil-ik-as-id-top-ik-al]
The Brand Names are Acnevir, Bensal HP, Cerave Sa, Cerave Sa Renewing, and Clear and Clear Blackhead Eraser Facial Scrub… Display all 65 brands
Classes of Drugs: Topical acne agents, topical keratolytic

What is Acnevir?

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic (peeling agent) that results in the shedding of the skin's outer layer.

Acnevir (for your skin) can be used for treatments of acne and dandruff, seborrhea, and the condition known as psoriasis, as well as to get rid of the appearance of calluses, blemishes, and warts.

Acnevir can also be utilized to treat conditions not covered in this medication guideline.


Acnevir could result in a rare but severe allergic reaction or severe skin discomfort. Stop using this medication and seek emergency medical assistance if you suffer from the following symptoms: itching, hives, trouble breathing, feeling lightheaded, or swelling on your lip, face, tongue, or throat.

Before you Take This Drug

It is not recommended to use Acnevir if you're allergic to it.

Utilizing Acnevir when a child is a teenager and has flu manifestations and chickenpox could result in an extremely fatal disease known as Reye's syndrome.

Consult a pharmacist or doctor to determine if the medicine is safe for you to take if you are:

  • The kidney or liver;

  • Diabetes

  • Problems with blood circulation.

Consult a physician before applying this medicine if you are nursing or pregnant.

How to Take Acnevir?

Acnevir can be found in varieties, including gel, liquid cream, ointment foam shampoo, soap pads for cloth, and skin patches.

Follow the directions on the label or according to the prescription of your physician.

Take it only in the mouth. It is recommended to use topical medicines solely on the skin.

Acnevir may cause a mild, but serious, allergic reaction or extreme irritation to the skin. Use a small amount of the drug in a "test dose" on 1 or 2 skin spots daily for 3 days. If there isn't any reaction to the drug, then you can begin to use the entire dosage on the fourth day.

There is a possibility that you will need to shake the medication before using it. Be sure to follow the directions provided on the label of the product.

Don't use Acnevir to treat any illness that hasn't been evaluated by your physician.

The symptoms you experience may not improve for a few days. Contact your physician if your symptoms don't improve or worsen.

Keep this medication in its original bottle at room temperature, free of heat and moisture.

Be sure to keep the foam canister clear of flames or extreme temperatures. It could explode when it becomes excessively warm. Avoid burning or puncturing an empty aerosol container.

What Happens if I Miss a Dose?

Acnevir can be used as needed. If you're following the dosing schedule, avoid the missed dose. Don't take more than two doses at once.

What Happens if I Overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency treatment or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222 if you have accidentally ingested the medication.

What Should be Avoided?

Avoid applying Acnevir to wounds that are open or to windburned, sunburned, dry, or itchy skin.

Cleanse your mouth with water if the medicine is ingested into the mouth or eyes.

The medicine could be flammable. Avoid using near-extreme temperatures or flames that are open. Clean your hands before using an appliance for styling hair (such as a curling or straightening iron). The high heat can trigger the drug to burn and cause skin burns. Avoid smoking until the gel has dried completely on the skin.

Avoid taking other medications for the area you are treating with Acnevir unless your physician advises you to.

Side effects of Acnevir

Acnevir is a drug that can trigger a rare but serious allergic reaction or serious skin irritation. This reaction can happen just several minutes after applying the drug in the first place, within one day, or even longer.

Take off Acnevir and seek medical assistance if you exhibit indications that indicate reactions to an allergen that include itching, hives, itching or burning sensations, difficulty breathing or feeling lightheaded, or swelling of your face, mouth, lips, tongue, or throat.

Mild effects

  • Extreme headache severe headaches, constant ringing in your ears, issues with hearing, trouble thinking, severe headaches;

  • Intense stomach pains, vomiting, or diarrhea;

  • A euphoric feeling that makes you feel like you're about to faint;

  • breath shortness 

  • Dryness, severe burning, or irritation to the sensitive skin

Adverse side effects

  • Mild itching, rash, or peeling

  • Variations in the color of the treated skin (usually lightning).

It isn't a comprehensive listing of all side effects. Other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on adverse effects. The best way to report adverse reactions is to call the FDA at 1-800-fda-1088.

Interaction With other Drugs

Skincare products will not affect other medicines that you take; however, many medications are in a relationship. Discuss with your doctor the medicines you are currently taking, which include prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbs.