Q. Is salicylic acid a known rosacea trigger? I just purchased a new cleanser and noticed this in the ingredient list.
A. Salicylic acid is not one of the most commonly named triggers or irritants in National Rosacea Society patient surveys, but reactions often vary from one individual to another. To test whether the new cleanser may affect your individual case, try it on a sensitive area away from the face, such as the neck or lower arm. If you do experience irritation or an outbreak after using the new cleanser, you may be able to pinpoint salicylic acid as one of your individual triggers. However, if the cleanser also contains other ingredients that are frequently cited as irritants in patient surveys — such as alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil — it may be difficult to identify exactly which ingredient is triggering your flare-ups.