Thursday, September 1, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Skin whitening products They may be dangerous to consumers when they contain harmful ingredients that are illegal for over-the-counter sales, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Wednesday.
The potentially harmful ingredients are hydroquinone or mercury, the agency said in a press release.
People who have used products containing hydroquinone have experienced side effects rashAnd the US Food and Drug Administration warned of permanent facial swelling and permanent skin discoloration. Meanwhile, mercury is highly toxic and can harm the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, as well as the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.
Skin-lightening products are marketed as treatments for uneven skin tone. young loveage spots, freckles and wrinkles. Companies may describe skin-lightening products as skin whitening, fading, evening, lightening or whitening products. The FDA said the products are often sold as creams, lotions, soaps or powders in stores catering to Hispanic/Latino, Asian, African or Middle Eastern communities.
These products reduce skin production melaninIt is responsible for the color of the skin, hair and eyes. But hydroquinone and mercury can build up in the body over time.
“Skin-lightening products containing hydroquinone are not authorized for sale without a prescription,” the FDA said. “However, you can obtain a prescription skin product containing hydroquinone from your healthcare provider. Use of mercury in skin-lightening products is prohibited.”
Consumers should check product labels and avoid those containing hydroquinone or mercury. Mercury can be listed as mercury chloride, calomel, mercury, mercurio, or mercury. Illegal products may be inaccurately categorized. The FDA said to avoid products with handmade labels, labels in languages other than English, or no label at all.
Report any adverse reaction from a skin product to your healthcare provider and to the Food and Drug Administration at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
The World Health Organization has more on mercury in skin products.
Source: US Food and Drug Administration, press release, August 30, 2022