Salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, is isolated naturally from willow tree bark. It is used to treat skin disorders such as acne, corns, warts, and dandruff, to name a few. The percentage of salicylic acid used to treat these disorders varies between 1 and 60%.
As an acne medication, it is common for a low percentage of salicylic acid to be used with applicator pads, like Stridex pads. Paints and plasters containing a high percentage of salicylic acid are used to eliminate warts and corns.
This is yet another example of organic compounds encountered in the Organic 211 laboratory that have real world applications.[Back to Marshall Fellowship]