Salicylic acid is a non-prescription medication for the treatment of psoriasis that is available over-the-counter. It is available in a variety of formulations, including shampoos, creams, lotions, pads, paste, and soap.
It works as a keratolytic, a peeling agent, which removes scales from the skin. It is often combined with other topical treatments. When used to treat psoriasis, it acts as a scale lifter, helping to soften and remove psoriasis scales. (Salicylic acid is also used for the treatment of acne)
Strong salicylic acid preparations can cause irritation if left in contact with the skin for too long. The body may absorb too much salicylic acid if used over large areas of the skin.