According to a recently released statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some acne treatments, specifically those containing the active ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, can cause serious allergic reactions that are potentially deadly.
The topical acne products can cause severe allergic reactions that exceed the side effects already listed on the warning label, such as burning, dryness, itching, peeling, redness, etc.
“There is currently no mention of the possibility of these very severe allergic reactions on the product labels,” notes Dr. Mona Khurana, a medical officer at FDA. “It’s important that consumers know about them, and that they know what to do if they occur.”
To determine whether a topical acne product contains one of the active ingredients in question, simply read the Active Ingredient(s) section of the Drug Facts label.
According to the FDA, the products are marketed under varying brand names, including Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Ambi, Aveeno, and Clean & Clear.
From 1969 through 2013, the FDA received 131 reports of allergic and hypersensitivity-related adverse reactions linked with these products. Approximately 42 percent of these reactions took place within minutes to 24 hours of application.