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Popular Acne Treatments Linked to Deadly Allergic Reactions

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

Federal regulators are warning consumer of rare but potentially deadly allergic reactions that have been linked to the use of popular acne treatments, including brand names like Practiv, Neutrogena and Clean & Clear.

About the Acne Treatment Skin Reactions

According to an update by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), certain acne products which contain the active ingredients salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide have been linked to rare but potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

The products are sold over-the counter and are applied directly to the skin. Currently, there is no mention of the allergic reaction on the product’s labels.

Brand names that carry the ingredients in question include:

  • Ambi
  • Aveeno
  • Clean & Clear
  • MaxClarity
  • Neutrogena
  • Oxy
  • Proactiv

Types of Allergic Reactions Associated with the Acne Treatments

The FDA notes 131 reports filed between 1969 and January 28, 2013 in which consumers and manufacturers claimed the products resulted in allergic and hypersensitivity-related reactions – roughly 42 percent of the reactions occurred within 24 hours of use.

40 percent of the reports described severe allergy symptoms, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Throat tightness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Collapse

In isolated instances, the reports noted symptoms such as hives, itching of the face and/or body, and swelling of the face, lips, and eyes.

44 percent of the cases reported required hospitalization and include reactions in children as young as 11.


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