Consumer Warning for Acne Products
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Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

FDA Issues Consumer Warning for Acne Products

If you are using over the counter acne products the FDA warns that you may be at risk for severe allergic reactions which at time can be life-threatening.

The FDA has issued a warning for acne products containing the active ingredients BENZOYL PEROXIDE OR SALICYLIC ACID. Aside from potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, they also pose risk for severe irritation of the body's largest vital organ - the skin.

Common Side Effects of Topical Acne Medications Containing Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Salicylic Acid

- life-threatening allergic reaction
- burning of the skin
- itching, peeling, redness, swelling at sight application on skin

The FDA warns that there is currently no warning on product labels regarding the potential side effects OR what to do if they occur.

As a note, you should always check the product ingredients before the time of purchase as well as be prepared for side effects which can occur due to drugs contained within the acne product.

Acne Products Containing Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Salicylic Acid

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These acne-treating products are available in the following forms: gels, lotions, face washes, solutions, cleansing pads, toners, and facial scrubs.

Number/Percentage of Consumer-Related Incidents Connected to Acne Products Containing Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Salicylic Acid

There have been 131 incidents reported to the FDA since 1969 through January 2013. Adverse reactions from the acne produce typically occurred within minutes to 24 hours following application/use in 42% of the users who ranged in age from 11 to 78 years.

Types of reactions included tightening in the throat, shortness of breath, wheezing, decreased/low blood pressure, fainting or collapse, hives, itching - even where product was not applied, swelling of the eyes, face and lips.

The FDA notes that it cannot determine if reactions were triggered by active or inactive product ingredients - or a combination of both.

Zero deaths have been reported related to acne products containing benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid. However, 44% of the reported cases required hospitalization.

What to Do Before Applying Acne Products

First and foremost - consult with your doctor OR dermatologist before use of product. If you have already used the product, if you experience itching or mild hives - discontinue use immediately and notify your doctor. If you experience the more serious side effects - such as difficulty breathing or swelling, seek medical emergency treatment.



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