Salicylic acid lotions can benefit many skin conditions, but they can cause skin irritation if they're not applied correctly. Knowing how and when to use salicylic lotion is the best way to ensure that you benefit from the treatment.
If you're using salicylic acid lotion to treat acne, you'll need to incorporate an extra step into your nighttime skin care routine. Simply cleanse your face -- and any other area where you'll be applying the lotion -- and then spread a thin layer of the lotion on your skin [source: WebMD]. In the morning, wash the lotion off your skin and complete your normal morning skin care routine. If the lotion causes your skin to dry, apply an oil-free moisturizer to the area [source: Mayo Clinic]. You can use most over-the-counter lotions more than once a day if needed, but be sure to talk to your dermatologist first if you're using a prescription-strength lotion.
If you're using salicylic acid lotion to treat warts or calluses, soak the affected area in warm water for five minutes to soften the skin. Then apply salicylic acid lotion one to two times a day until the wart or callus disappears. This will usually take up to 12 weeks for warts and up to two weeks for calluses [source: Mayo Clinic]. Also, try to avoid getting salicylic acid on unaffected areas -- it can cause skin irritation [source: WebMD].
Keep reading to learn how salicylic acid can help you get a closer shave.