Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne products could cause “serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation.”
Products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid may cause “hypersensitivity reactions” including throat tightness, difficulty breathing, faintness, or swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue, and hives or itching, the web site Refinery 29 reports. Dr. Mona Khurana, a medical officer at the FDA says that the product labels currently make no mention “of the possibility of these very severe allergic reactions,” and “it is important that consumers know … what to do if they occur.”Among the products that prompted the FDA’s concern are Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, and store brands. The products are available in such forms as gels, lotions, face washes, cleansing pads, and toners.
The FDA advises anyone who experiences a serious reaction to immediately stop using the product and to seek immediate medical attention.
Dermatologists recommend that acne sufferers test for an allergic or sensitivity reactions before using an acne product on larger areas of skin. The product can tested at home, on a small patch of skin on the inside of the forearm, according to Refinery 29. Dr. Doris Day, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center, says that there are effective acne products that don’t contain salicylic aide or benzoyl peroxide. Retinoids, like Tazorac and Retin-A, as well as Aczone are well tolerated by many people, according to Dr. Day.