Chemical Component Summary

Identifiers2-hydroxybenzoic acid
FormulaC7 H6 O3
Molecular Weight138.12
Isomeric SMILESOC(=O)c1ccccc1O

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count16
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count16
Aromatic Bond Count6
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00936 Different stereochemistry
NameSalicylic acid
  • approved
  • vet_approved
DescriptionA compound obtained from the bark of the white willow and wintergreen leaves, and also prepared synthetically. It has bacteriostatic, fungicidal, and keratolytic actions. Its salts, the salicylates, are used as analgesics.
  • 2-Carboxyphenol
  • 2-Hydroxybenzoic acid
  • O-carboxyphenol
  • O-hydroxybenzoic acid
  • Choline magnesium trisalicylate
  • Sodium salicylate
Brand Names
  • 24 Hour Pimple Punisher
  • 28 Remedy Acne Pore Deep Cleanser
  • 28 Remedy Balancing Toner 10ml
  • AF Foam Sen
Affected OrganismHumans and other mammals
IndicationKey additive in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, callouses, corns, keratosis pilaris and warts.
PharmacologySalicylic acid treats acne by causing skin cells to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up. This effect on skin cells also makes salicylic acid an active ingredient in several shampoos meant to treat dandruff. Use of straight salicylic solution may cause hyperpigmentation on unpretreated skin for those with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick phototypes IV, V, VI), as well as with the lack of use of a broad spectrum sunblock. Subsalicylate in combination with bismuth form the popular stomach relief aid known commonly as Pepto-Bismol. When combined the two key ingredients help control diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, and even gas. It is also very mildly anti-biotic.
Mechanism of actionSalicylic acid directly and irreversibly inhibits the activity of both types of cyclo-oxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2) to decrease the formation of precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxanes from arachidonic acid. Salicylate may competitively inhibit prostaglandin formation. Salicylate's antirheumatic (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) actions are a result of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. It works by causing the cells of the epidermis to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth. Because of its effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos used to treat dandruff. Salicylic acid is also used as an active ingredient in gels which remove verrucas (plantar warts). Salicylic acid inhibits the oxidation of uridine-5-diphosphoglucose (UDPG) competitively with nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD) and noncompetitively with UDPG. It also competitively inhibits the transferring of glucuronyl group of uridine-5-phosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA) to the phenolic acceptor. The wound-healing retardation action of salicylates is probably due mainly to its inhibitory action on mucopolysaccharide synthesis.
Route of administration
  • Cutaneous
  • Dental
  • Intravenous
  • Oral
  • Topical
  • Acids, Carbocyclic
  • Alcohols
  • Amines
  • Amino Alcohols
  • Ammonium Compounds
  • D01AE12
  • N02BA04
  • S01BC08
  • 24:16.00
  • 28:08.04.24
  • 84:28.00
  • 92:02.00*
CAS number69-72-7
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682