5 Health Benefits Of Using Salicylic Acid While Breastfeeding

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Salicylic acid is an organic acid that treats skin redness and inflammation. Although the medication works effectively, women worry about the safety of salicylic acid while breastfeeding.

There are chances salicylic acid can pass into breast milk. To avoid the side effects of this medication, you should use it in limited quality and less frequently. However, before using salicylic acid, it is important to consult your doctor to understand its safety.

Read on to know about the safety of salicylic acid in nursing mothers and its health benefits.

What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a colorless organic acid, which belongs to the class of beta hydroxy acids. The acid is similar to acetylsalicylic acid, a prominent compound in aspirin. Salicylic acid is highly effective in minimizing inflammation and redness of the skin, which is why many use it to treat skin conditions like acne, inflammation and other skin problems while breastfeeding. Remember that you need to limit the use of salicylic acid while nursing your baby to ensure her safety.

Health Benefits Of Salicylic Acid While Breastfeeding:

Check out here amazing benefits of using salicylic acid while nursing:

1. Minimizes Pain:

Ingredients like aspirin make salicylic acid an effective analgesic. Many foods possess salicylic acid and help relieve pain. Experts recommend that you consume natural plant extracts rich in salicylic acid as an effective remedy to cure pain (1).

2. Treats Acne:

Salicylic acid is a highly effective remedy for treating acne post delivery. The acid helps unclog pores and reduces swelling and inflammation. Several skin lotions, gels, and cleansers contain 0.5% to 2% salicylic acid. You can use the gels on the affected skin while breastfeeding (2). Make sure you don’t use copious amounts; a thin layer would work. Use facial cleansers with the help of cotton balls soaked in warm water.

3. Cures Common Warts:

Skin warts are annoying and ugly to boot. Salicylic acid effectively cures common warts (2). Gels that contain it help cure warts of all sizes, ranging from tiny to large ones. Since the acid is keratolytic medication, it easily dissolves the keratin that forms the thick dead skin on the top of the wart and its inner part.

4. Treats Corns And Calluses:

Calluses and corns are thick dead skin present under the soles, palms and feet in nursing moms (2). Keratolytic properties of the salicylic acid dissolve the corn and thick layer that covers it. The acid is safe to use topically while breastfeeding (3). You can use drops, applicators, pads, and plasters that contain salicylic acid.

5. Treats Dandruff:

Dandruff can be irritating to lactating moms. It is a result of the scalps’ dry skin flaking. Salicylic acid softens the skin and prevents the formation of flakes. You can use dandruff treatment shampoos containing 1.8% to 2 % salicylic acid. Rub the shampoo on the scalp, allow it to soak for some minutes, and then wash your head thoroughly. Soon the itchy, annoying dandruff will disappear (4).

Is Salicylic Acid Safe While Breastfeeding?

High doses of salicylic acid can be harmful to your newborn, as it can pass into the breast milk. Avoid the oral consumption of foods or products containing the acid. Topical application of the acid to cure skin inflammation and other skin hazards can be safe while breastfeeding. Make sure you use a small amount of the acid once or twice daily when applying it topically. Seek professional advice before you use salicylic acid while lactating. Physicians may recommend alternative treatments for your skin ailments and ensure your dear little angel suffers no harm (2).

Pain, swelling, and acne may be common in lactating mothers. However, you must consult your healthcare provider before resorting to ointments or gels such as salicylic acid while breastfeeding. Topical application of the acid is typically harmless, but avoid consuming products with salicylic acid to prevent it from reaching the baby through your breastmilk. Although it can help relieve pain and treat dandruff and acne, over-application may have negative impacts. Your doctor can suggest the right amount to use during breastfeeding and some safer alternatives.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Kay H Steen et al.; (1995); Topical acetylsalicylic
    salicylic acid and indomethacin suppress pain from experimental tissue acidosis in human skin.
  2. Salicylic Acid Topical.
  3. Salicylic Acid.
  4. J.J. Leyden et al.; (1987); Effects of sulfur and salicylic acid in a shampoo base in the treatment of dandruff: a double-blind study using corneocyte counts and clinical grading.
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Mindy Cockeram

Mindy Cockeram is a Childbirth and Breastfeeding Educator currently residing in Southern California, where she teaches at a non-profit hospital. Her career began after the birth of her second child when she changed career direction and trained as an antenatal teacher with the National Childbirth Trust in London, England. She taught childbirth classes for both the Wimbledon & Wandsworth Branch... more

Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more