The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that a number of best-selling acne medications can cause severe skin irritation and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. Products reported to cause these problems include Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, as well as store brands. Consumers have been advised to discontinue use of these acne products immediately if they begin itching or developing hives.
FDA Warning: Acne Products May Cause Life-Threatening Reactions
According to an FDA Warning issued June 25, 2014, over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne products have been linked to hypersensitivity allergic reactions that can cause symptoms which may include:
- Throat tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Feeling faint
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
These allergic reactions may occur within minutes to a day or longer after the product is applied, and are different from skin irritation problems that are already warned about on the medications’ labeling including:
- Slight swelling
According to the FDA:
“… it cannot be determined if the serious hypersensitivity reactions were triggered by the acne products’ active ingredients, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, the inactive ingredients, or by a combination of both. FDA is continuing to monitor and evaluate this safety issue, and will work with manufacturers regarding any future label changes that would address the risk of severe hypersensitivity reactions.”
Acne Solution Product List
The following acne products have been linked to allergic reactions:
- Clean & Clear
- Store brands
These products come in a variety of formulations including gels, lotions, face washes, solutions, cleansing pads, toners and face scrubs.
Before using any of the acne medications listed above, apply a small amount to affected areas for three days to make sure you don’t develop an allergic reaction. If no symptoms occur, follow the directions on the product’s labeling.