The FDA Issues a Warning Regarding Skin Lightening Creams

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Wednesday that skin lightening products may be detrimental to customers if they contain toxic substances that are prohibited from being sold over-the-counter.

The government stated in a news release that mercury or hydroquinone are the potentially hazardous chemicals.

According to the FDA, users of hydroquinone-containing treatments have experienced rashes, face swelling, and irreversible skin discoloration as side effects. Mercury, on the other hand, is extremely poisonous and can harm the immune, neurological, and digestive systems, as well as the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.

Uneven skin tone, acne, age spots, freckles, and wrinkles are all conditions that skin lightening solutions are promoted to cure. Skin bleaching, fading, evening, brightening, or whitening products are some of the terms used by businesses to describe skin lightening goods. According to the FDA, the goods are frequently offered as creams, lotions, soaps, or powders in stores that serve the Hispanic/Latino, Asian, African, or Middle Eastern groups.

These items restrict the skin’s ability to produce melanin, which determines the colour of the skin, hair, and eyes. Mercury and hydroquinone, however, can accumulate in the body over time.

The FDA declared that hydroquinone-containing skin whitening products were not permitted for sale over-the-counter. “However, your doctor may be able to prescribe you a hydroquinone-containing skin cream. Mercury is not allowed to be used in skin-lightening products.”

Consumers should read product labels carefully and steer clear of any that contain mercury or hydroquinone. Mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric, mercurio, or Hg are all possible names for mercury. It’s possible that illegal goods have incorrect labels. According to the FDA, stay away from products with handwritten labels, labelling in languages other than English, or no labels at all.

Contact your doctor and the FDA at or 1-800-FDA-1088 to report any negative skin product reactions.

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On mercury in skin care products, see further information from the World Health Organization.

SOURCE: News release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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