Salicylic acid is a colorless crystalline organic, beta hydroxy acid. It is found naturally in most plants where it functions as a plant hormone, or it can be manufactured synthetically. It is best known for its application in acne treatments, but is also used for exfoliating skin and as an anti-inflammatory treatment. It can be found in a number of unexpected, everyday products such as aspirin, muscle rubs, shampoo, mouthwashes, toothpaste, general skin care products and even foods.
What is Salicylate Sensitivity?
Salicylate intolerance is a chemical sensitivity where the body displays an adverse reaction to what is normally considered a normal level of salicyclate. Because it is present in so many products, people are often exposed to salicylate acid several times a day. Over exposure can eventually lead to salicylate sensitivity, intolerance and allergies.
Unfortunately, salicyclate sensitivity often goes undiagnosed. As a relatively new condition that has only come to light in the later part of the 20th century, most people – including many doctors – are simply unaware of salicycate sensitivity. They often attribute the symptoms to unspecified allergies or dismiss them entirely. To further complicate matters, salicyclate acid is often found in "natural" products as it can be naturally derived in essential oils. Many consumers equate "natural" with "safe" or "hypoallergenic", which in reality is not the case. Hemlock and poison oak are natural, after all, but you certainly don't want those natural ingredients in your toothpaste!
What are the Symptoms of Salicylate Sensitivity?
If you suffer from salicylate sensitivity, you may experience one or several of the following symptoms:
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Nasal congestion
- Itching, skin rash or hives
- Swelling of hands, feet or face
- Stomach pain
- Sensitive skin-like symptoms
How Can You Treat Salicylate Sensitivity?
If you suspect that you may be suffering from salicylate sensitivity, intolerance or allergies, the best course of action is to actively seek out salicylate free products. Choose salicylate free toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and skin care. Your skin is essentially your body’s largest organ, so pay special attention to anything applied to the skin.
Have Additional Questions About Treating Salicylate Sensitivity?
Contact Cleure at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly 1-888-883-4276 (U.S.) or 1-805-981-7600 (International). We would be happy to help.
About the Author: Dr. Flora Stay is a wellness expert, author, speaker, practicing dentist and professor at the University of Southern California. She first introduced her SLS-free toothpaste line in 1993. Unprecedented demand for SLS-free products impelled the Cleure line to also offer salicylate-free personal care products, including hair care, skin care and makeup.