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FDA Warns Common Acne Fighting Ingredients May Cause Harmful Side Effects

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FDA Warns The Public
Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Safety Communication to inform health care professionals and the public about the potential dangers of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Two ingredients commonly found in Over The Counter (OTC) acne fighting skin care products in the form of gels, lotions, face washes, solutions, cleansing pads, toners and face scrubs.

Read The Label
Find out if your OTC topical acne product contains benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid by looking at the Active Ingredient(s) section of the Drug Facts label on the product package.

Types of Reactions Reported
While most consumers only experience mild irritation, itching and redness. The report stated over 40% of the severe reactions to these active ingredients start within minutes, to 24 hours after use of these products. While the packaging does warn of possible side effects like redness, burning, dryness, itching, peeling, or slight swelling. There is no mention of the possibility of rare, but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, or severe irritation, like those reported by consumers and manufactures. These hypersensitivity reactions include: throat tightness; difficulty breathing; feeling faint; or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue.

There is currently no mention of the possibility of these very severe allergic reactions on the product labels,” says Mona Khurana, M.D., a medical officer at FDA. “It’s important that consumers know about them, and that they know what to do if they occur.

If a Bad Reaction Occurs
The FDA.com list safety actions to counter an allergic reaction, including:

  • Avoid using the product if you’ve had previous allergic or hypersensitivity reactions.
  • Stop using the product if you develop hives or itching of the face or body.
  • Stop using the product and seek immediate medical attention if you develop throat tightness or swelling of the eyes, face, lips or tongue; feel faint; or have difficulty breathing.

For more information see the FDA Drug Safety Communication

Do your skin care products contain benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid? Have you suffered from any adverse affects? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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