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Generic name: salicylic acid topical [SAL-i-SIL-ik-AS-id-TOP-ik-al]

Brand names: Acnevir, Bensal HP, cerave SA, cerave SA Renewing, Clean, and Clear Blackhead Eraser Facial Scrub,… Show all 65 brands
Drug class: Topical keratolytics

What is Virasal?

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent (peeling) that causes the outer skin layer to shed.The skin is treated with Virasal for acne, seborrhea, psoriasis, and to remove warts, corns, and calluses.This medication guide does not list all possible uses of Virasal.

Virasal side effects

Virasal may cause an allergic reaction that is rare but can be severe. These reactions can occur within minutes of applying the medicine or even a day later.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using Virasal immediately and seek emergency medical attention: hives; itching; difficulty breathing; feeling lightheaded; swelling on your face, lips, or tongue; or swelling in your throat, face, lips, or tongue.

Stop using Virasal immediately and consult your doctor if:

  • Severe headache; ringing in the ears; hearing problems; mental problems
  • Severe stomach pains, nausea, or diarrhea.
  • A feeling of lightheadedness, as if you could pass out.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe burning, irritation, or dryness of the skin.

Virasal can cause the following side effects:

  • Minor skin irritation; rash or peeling
  • Changes in the coloration of treated skin (usually bleaching)

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.

Similar/related drugs

Topical salicylic acid, topical silver nitrate, topical cantharidin, compound W, and wart remover


Virasial can cause an allergic reaction that is rare but severe, or a severe skin irritation. If you experience hives, itchiness, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, or swelling in your face, lips, or throat, stop using the medicine immediately and seek emergency medical attention.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to Virasal, then it is best not to use the product.Use of Virasal by a child with flu symptoms or chickenpox may cause Reye’s syndrome.

If you suffer from:

  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Blood circulation problems

Consult your doctor before taking this medication if you're pregnant or nursing.

How to take Virasal?

Virasal comes in many forms: liquids, gels, lotions, creams, foams, shampoos, cloth pads, and skin patches.

Follow the instructions on the label or those prescribed by your doctor.Take it only by mouth. Topical medicines are only to be used on the skin.Virasal may cause an allergic reaction, which is rare but can be serious. It can also cause severe skin irritation. As a "test dosage", apply a small amount to one or two small areas of skin every day for three consecutive days. On the fourth day, if you don't have an adverse reaction to the medication, use the full amount prescribed.

Shake the medication before using it. Please follow all the instructions on the label.Use Virasal only after consulting your doctor.Your symptoms should subside over the next several days; if they worsen or don't improve as expected, contact your physician immediately.Keep this medicine at room temperature and away from heat, moisture, andthe foam canister should be kept away from flames or heat. If the canister gets too warm, it may explode. Empty aerosol canisters should not be punctured or burned.

What happens if I miss the dose?

When needed, Virasal should be used. You should not take any missed doses if you have a regular dosing regimen. Never use two doses in one go.

What happens if I overdose?

If anyone accidentally swallows the medicine, seek emergency medical care or call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Use Virasal only on wounds that are closed. Do not use it on skin that is sunburned or windburned.If the medication comes into contact with your eyes or mouth, rinse thoroughly with water immediately.

This medicine is flammable. Avoid using near-open flames or high heat. Before using a hair styler (such as a straightening or curling iron), wash your hands to remove the medicine. The medicine could ignite and burn the skin if heated to high temperatures. Smoking is not allowed until the gel has dried completely on your skin.

Do not use other medications to treat the same areas that you have treated with Virasal unless your doctor has prescribed it.

Interaction with other drug

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Inform your doctor of all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies.