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Benzoic Acid and Salicylic Acid. An ointment containing benzoic and salicylic acids is known as Whitfield's ointment.

It combines the fungistatic action of benzoate with the keratolytic action of salicylate. It contains benzoic acid and salicylic acid in a ratio of 2:1 (usually 6% to 3%) and is used mainly in the treatment of tinea pedis. Since benzoic acid is only fungistatic, eradication of the infection occurs only after the infected stratum corneum is shed, and continuous medication is required for several weeks to months. The salicylic acid accelerates the desquamation. The ointment also is sometimes used to treat tinea capitis. Mild irritation may occur at the site of application