FDA warns of allergic reactions with acne products

by Matthew Perrone

Federal health officials are warning consumers who use popular anti-acne treatments about rare but potentially deadly allergic reactions that can cause swelling of the face and difficulty breathing.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday the problems have been reported with gels, face washes, pads and other products that contain two ingredients: benzoyl peroxide or . But the agency says it's unclear whether those ingredients trigger the reactions or whether some other combination of ingredients is to blame.

The over-the-counter treatments are sold as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Aveeno and other brands.

For now the agency wants consumers to stop using the products immediately if they experience tightness of the throat, breathing problems, lightheadedness or swelling of the eyes, face or lips. Users can test their sensitivity to a new treatment by dabbing a small amount on their skin for three days. If they don't experience a reaction the product can generally be used safely as directed.

An FDA analysis uncovered 131 reports of serious allergic reactions with topical acne drugs over the last 44 years. None of the cases were fatal, but 44 percent of people had to be hospitalized. Most of the problems emerged within 24 hours of first using the treatment.

Regulators stressed that these are much more serious than rashes and irritations often seen with skin products.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA warns of rare skin reactions to acetaminophen

Aug 02, 2013

(HealthDay)—The widely used painkiller acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, can cause rare but serious skin reactions and a warning about this danger will be added to product labels, the U.S. Food and ...

Taking the sting out of insect-sting allergies

Apr 11, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—Certain people with a history of systemic allergic reactions to insect stings are likely to benefit from immunotherapy to prevent life-threatening anaphylaxis and should, at the very least, ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

7 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

8 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions without risking punishment, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large ...

Infertility, surrogacy in India

8 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind and body

21 hours ago

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new UCL research.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.