BENZOIC acid + SALICYLIC acid ointment = Whitfield’s ointment

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    Therapeutic action

    • Fungistatic and keratolytic agent


    • Dermatophyte infection of the scalp (tinea capitis), in combination with a systemic antifungal
    • Dermatophyte infection of the glabrous skin and skin folds:
      • alone, if lesions are localised, non-extensive
      • in combination with a systemic antifungal, if the lesions are extensive

    Forms and strengths

    • Benzoic acid 6% + salicylic acid 3% ointment, tube or jar


    • Child and adult: one application 2 times daily, in a thin layer, to clean and dry skin


    • 3 to 6 weeks, depending on clinical response

    Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions

    • Do not apply to exudative lesions, mucous membranes or eyes.
    • May cause: skin irritation, local benign inflammation.
    •  In case of secondary bacterial infection, start appropriate local or systemic treatment before applying Whitfield’s ointment.
    • In case of contact with eyes or mucous membranes, flush immediately with plenty of water.
    • Pregnancy: no contra-indication
    • Breast-feeding: no contra-indication


    • Whitfield’s ointment is not included in the WHO list of essential medicines.


    –  Below 25 °C

    Once the ointment has been exposed to a high temperature, the active ingredients are no longer evenly distributed: the ointment must be homogenized before using.