Salicylic Acid

Topical Keratolytic

Pregnancy

Topically applied salicylic acid is absorbed through the skin, into the bloodstream, and can cross the placenta. This means that when topical salicylic acid is used during pregnancy, it can be transferred to the fetus. The amount of salicylic acid absorbed depends on the duration of the treatment and the strength of the medication. Furthermore, the absorption increases if an occlusive dressing is applied over the salicylic acid-treated area. Salicylic acid is not the preferred treatment for acne during pregnancy because information on safety is limited. 

Category: C

Category A

Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).

Category B

Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Category C

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Category D

There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Category X

Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.

Breastfeeding

Excretion into human milk: Unknown

There is not enough information on the safety of topical use of salicylic acid during breastfeeding. However, it is unlikely that topically applied salicylic acid will appear in breast milk. Therefore, it is considered safe to use while breastfeeding. 

Do not apply salicylic acid to the nipple area and make sure the infant’s skin does not come into contact with the areas of skin that have been treated with salicylic acid.

References
  1. Medlineplus.gov. (2018). Salicylic Acid: MedlinePlus Drug Information. [online] Available at:https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a607072.html. [Accessed 17 May. 2018].
  2. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. (2018). Salicylic Acid. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0045043/. [Accessed 17 May. 2018].
  3. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. (2018). Salicylic Acid. [online] Available at: https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~0RxBx1:1. [Accessed 17 May. 2018].
  4. Uptodate.com. (2018). Salicylic Acid. [online] Available at: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/topical-salicylic-acid-drug-information?search=salicylic%20acid%20topical&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~108&usage_type=default&display_rank=1. [Accessed 17 May. 2018].
  5. Epocrates.com. (2018). Salicylic Acid. [online] Available at:https://online.epocrates.com/drugs/588510/Durasal/Monograph. [Accessed 17 May. 2018].