In early summer 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to research their skin care products for a harmful ingredient: Mercury. And this warning was not the first of its kind.
In 2012, the FDA made this announcement regarding the toxic ingredient which they claim was in possibly 35 products that were manufactured overseas. These skin care products claim to have anti-aging properties as well as the ability to treat acne. The New York Daily News reported the FDA findings underscoring the harmful effects of mercury. These toxic products were found in various states such as New York, California, and Texas.
According to FDA reports, these mercury-containing skin care products are seeping into the states once more. Yet again, these legally imported products are claiming to perform the following:
- Skin lighteners and enhancers
- Lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Lessening the appearance of age spots
- Treating acne-prone skin
These skincare items also come in the form of topical facial creams, lotions, and soap bars.
In an article written by Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, in the King Features Syndicate, the doctors conveyed that these products are also sold and promoted on the internet. And oftentimes, they may have no ingredients listed which should raise a red flag for the consumer – the FDA’s protocol is that all ingredients must be labeled on the product.
The ingredients to be on the lookout for include the following:
- Mercurous chloride
If the ingredients are missing and/or not in a language that a consumer understands, the best course of action is not to use the product. On the other hand, if one of the above ingredients is detected, immediately dispose the product by placing it in a sealed bag or container and contact the FDA for further instructions.
“The danger is that you’ll absorb mercury through your skin, and what accumulates can take decades to get rid of. That can trigger heart and neurological problems,” the doctors wrote. They continued, “If you’re nursing and use these products, you can pass mercury through your breastmilk. The mercury can quickly damage a baby’s developing brain and nervous system. Those skin products also produce mercury vapors, or you may leave residue on a towel and can make family members ill, too.”
Both consumers and healthcare professionals are incredibly thankful that the FDA has released this news once again and that doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz raised awareness level. It serves as a concrete reminder regarding the importance of teaming up with medical professionals who implement sterling patient care.
Dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aesthetic nurse specialists will navigate patients toward exceptional and safe skin care products while incorporating a variety of treatments for anti-aging goals. Teaming up with a healthcare professional helps ensure that they have a patient’s best interest at heart.