The FDA has issued a warning that some popular acne treatments can cause swelling of the face and difficulty in breathing in a rare, but potentially deadly allergic reaction. Two active ingredients common in acne treatments, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, are believed to be the causes.
Although, it is still unclear whether it is one of these components, or some sort of combination, that triggers a response.
The dangerous part is that the treatments are over-the-counter, no prescription necessary.
Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, and Aveeno contain those chemicals along with a few other treatments.
Consumers should check labels thoroughly.
Currently, these nonprescription acne treatments have no warning labels, requiring extra scrutiny to actually look at the ingredients.
According to the FDA, if users experience faintness, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the throat, or swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or eyes, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
There are a few lesser symptoms that can occur, such as itchiness or hives. The FDA, which has recently approved some interesting items, says to stop use if those symptoms occur as well.
The ingredients can be found in lotions, gels, solutions, washes, toners, pads, and scrubs.
The FDA goes on to advise that new users of these products should dap small amounts on their face and wait and watch for any allergic reactions that may occur. If nothing bad happens, consumers can use the acne medicines as indicated on the respective directions.
If something happens, it will happen soon.
42 percent of allergic reactions occurred within 24 hours of use.
And when something happens, it’s often serious.
44 percent of reactions required hospitalization.
So why is the FDA learning about these serious medical complications now?
Many of these acne treatments have been around for decades. But the simple truth is: these allergies are so rare that it wasn’t a concern until recently.
According to the FDA analysis, there have been 131 allergy cases – in the past 44 years. However, the bulk of those occurrences have been since 2012, meaning the problem is becoming more widespread.
Despite the severity of the patients’ breathing difficulty, no death has occurred from this problem with the acne treatments.
It is important to be informed, but it is also important to be reasonable.
No one should be afraid of these acne treatments. With proper monitoring and understanding the problem, these treatments will be safe most of the time.
Why these reactions to acne treatments are on the rise? The FDA will have to answer that.