Public advisory

Unauthorized skin lightening and skin treatment products may pose serious health risks

Last updated

Summary

Product
Various unauthorized health products promoted for lightening skin or treating skin conditions (such as eczema or psoriasis)
Issue
Health products - Unauthorized product
What to do

Stop using these products and consult your health care professional if you have health concerns. Report these or any unauthorized health products to Health Canada.

Affected products

Affected products
Photo Product & (Promoted Use) Hazard Identified Company Action Taken Date Added
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash (Skin treatment) Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Tokyo Beauty and Healthcare

Unit 3660 - 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2024-03-27
Mentholatum Mediquick Eczema Rash Anti-Itch Ointment (Skin conditions) Mentholatum Mediquick Eczema Rash Anti-Itch Ointment

(Skin conditions)
Labelled to contain prednisolone valerate acetate Tokyo Beauty and Healthcare

Unit 3660 - 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2024-03-27
Pair Acne Cream (Skin treatment) Pair Acne Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain ibuprofen piconol 3% Tokyo Beauty and Healthcare

Unit 3660 - 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2024-03-27
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam (Skin treatment) Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Jireh Trading & Marketing Inc.

Richmond, B.C.
Seized from warehouse and removed from online sale 2023-12-27
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam (Skin treatment) Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Oceanbuy

2600 John St., Unit 107

Markham, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-12-13
LS BL Cream LS BL Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain ketoconazole and clobetasol propionate PAG-ASA Grocery Store

201 Grande Blvd #2,

Cochrane, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-11-20
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Foody Mart Warden

355 Bamburgh Circle,

Scarborough, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-10-06
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Foody World

8 William Kitchen Rd.,

Scarborough, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-10-06
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Foody Mart Warden

355 Bamburgh Circle,

Scarborough, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-10-06
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Foody World

8 William Kitchen Rd.,

Scarborough, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-10-06
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Kiyoko Beauty

Aurora, ON
Seized and removed from online sale 2023-10-06
Brilliant Skin Brilliant Rejuv Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv

(Skin whitening)
Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kolorete Canada

4944 Joyce Street

Vancouver, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Prime Depigmenting Agent Anti-acne Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Prime Depigmenting Agent Anti-acne

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kolorete Canada

4944 Joyce Street

Vancouver, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Prime Topical Depigmenting Agent Anti-acne Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Prime Topical Depigmenting Agent Anti-acne

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kolorete Canada

4944 Joyce Street

Vancouver, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Betnovate-N Cream Betnovate-N Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Thiara Supermarket

810 Nipissing Rd,

Milton, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Esapharma Lemonvate Esapharma Lemonvate

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Esapharma Movate Esapharma Movate

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Funbact-A Funbact-A

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain betamethasone dipropionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
L'abidjanaise Crème L'abidjanaise Crème

(Skin whitening)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Neoprosone Cream Neoprosone Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Neoprosone Gel Neoprosone Gel

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Neutrotone Cream White Moon Neutrotone Cream White Moon

(Skin whitening)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Tempovate Gel Tempovate Gel

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Genesis African Food Market

1181 Finch Ave W #16,

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

1 Promenade Cir Unit I,

Thornhill, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

7070 Warden Ave.,

Markham, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

715 Central Pkwy W,

Mississauga, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

224 Hunt Club Rd Unit A,

Ottawa, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

9625 Yonge St,

Richmond Hill, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

9255 Woodbine Ave,

Markham, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

16005 Bayview Ave,

Aurora, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

297 College St,

Toronto, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam Hadalabo Pearl Barley Facial Foam

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

1800 Sheppard Ave E,

North York, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

1 Promenade Cir Unit I,

Thornhill, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

715 Central Pkwy W,

Mississauga, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

224 Hunt Club Rd Unit A,

Ottawa, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

9625 Yonge St,

Richmond Hill, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

9255 Woodbine Ave,

Markham, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

16005 Bayview Ave,

Aurora, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

297 College St,

Toronto, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash Hadalabo Pearl Barley Face Wash

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid T&T Supermarket

1800 Sheppard Ave E,

North York, ON
Removed from sale 2023-09-13
Activ Clobe Cream Activ Clobe Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
BETACET-N Cream BETACET-N Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone dipropionate and neomycin Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Cream Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Cream Product tested by Health Canada and found to contain tretinoin and hydroquinone Camrose Luxe Shoppe

Camrose, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-04-19
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Dorton's Online shop.yyc

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-06
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Dorton's Online shop.yyc

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-06
>Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner) Brilliant Skin Essentials

Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner)
Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Dorton's Online shop.yyc

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-06
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Camrose Luxe Shoppe

Camrose, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-06
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner) Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner) Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Camrose Luxe Shoppe

Camrose, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-06
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Cream Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kausch International Goods

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-01
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner) Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Topical Solution (Toner) Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kausch International Goods

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-01
Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set Labelled to contain hydroquinone and tretinoin Kausch International Goods

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-01
Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Toner Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Toner Product with similar packaging (previously removed from sale) was tested and found to contain tretinoin Kausch International Goods

Calgary, AB
Removed from the warehouse location and from online sale 2023-03-01
Dermaglow Extra Whitening Cream Dermaglow Extra Whitening Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Dermaglow Extra Whitening Face Cream Dermaglow Extra Whitening Face Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Dermo Cream Dermo Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Globatin antiMarks Complexion Lightening Cream Globatin antiMarks Complexion Lightening Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Medvate Cream Medvate Cream (Skin whitening) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Alharameen Style & Decor Shop

255 28 Street SE #200

Calgary, AB
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Betnovate-N 25 g Betnovate-N 25 g (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate and neomycin Desi Mandi Store

1515 N Service Rd

Burlington, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
Betnovate-N 20 g Betnovate-N 20 g (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate and neomycin Desi Mandi Store

1515 N Service Rd

Burlington, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-05-18
LS BL Cream LS BL Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain ketoconazole and clobetasol propionate Bags Clothing and Beyond

Rosthern, SK
Removed from sale 2023-05-18
Beneks’ Fashion Fair Cream (Skin treatment)

Beneks’ Fashion Fair Cream

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate

De Chosen African Market

116 6800 Memorial Drive Calgary, AB

Seized from retail location

2023-07-27

Funbact-A (Skin treatment)

Funbact-A

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain betamethasone dipropionate and neomycin sulphate

De Chosen African Market

116 6800 Memorial Drive Calgary, AB

Seized from retail location

2023-07-27

Visita Plus (Skin treatment)

Visita Plus

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain betamethasone dipropionate and neomycin sulphate

De Chosen African Market

116 6800 Memorial Drive Calgary, AB

Seized from retail location

2023-07-27

Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set (Skin whitening)

Brilliant Skin Essentials Brilliant Rejuv Set

(Skin whitening)

Labelled to contain tretinoin

Pinas-Sabay Canada and Y&Y Online Retail

Surrey, B.C.

Seized from warehouse location and removed from online sale

2023-07-27

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 1 (Skin treatment)

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 1

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain tretinoin

Pinas-Sabay Canada and Y&Y Online Retail

Surrey, B.C.

Seized from warehouse location and removed from online sale

2023-07-27

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 2 (Skin treatment)

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 2

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain tretinoin

Pinas-Sabay Canada and Y&Y Online Retail

Surrey, B.C.

Seized from warehouse location and removed from online sale

2023-07-27

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 3 (Skin treatment)

Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solution 3

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain tretinoin

Pinas-Sabay Canada and Y&Y Online Retail

Surrey, B.C.

Seized from warehouse location and removed from online sale

2023-07-27

RDL Babyface Solution (Skin treatment)

RDL Babyface Solution

(Skin treatment)

Labelled to contain tretinoin

Pinas-Sabay Canada and Y&Y Online Retail

Surrey, B.C.

Seized from warehouse location and removed from online sale

2023-07-27

DGF Drugfield Penicillin Ointment (Skin treatment) DGF Drugfield Penicillin Ointment (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain penicillin potassium African Foodways Market

1-282 St. Anne's Road

Winnipeg, MB
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Haloderm (Skin treatment) Haloderm (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain clobetasol propionate African Foodways Market

1-282 St. Anne's Road

Winnipeg, MB
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Betamethasone Valerate and Neomycin Skin Cream (Skin treatment) Betamethasone Valerate and Neomycin Skin Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Thiara Supermarket

3899 Trelawny Cir,

Mississauga, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Betamethasone Valerate and Neomycin Skin Cream (Skin treatment) Betamethasone Valerate and Neomycin Skin Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Thiara Supermarket

4265 Thomas Alton Blvd,

Burlington, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Betnovate-N Cream (Skin treatment) Betnovate-N Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Thiara Supermarket

3899 Trelawny Cir,

Mississauga, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Betnovate-N Cream (Skin treatment) Betnovate-N Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Thiara Supermarket

4265 Thomas Alton Blvd,

Burlington, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
MUHI Bug Repellant Cream (Skin treatment) MUHI Bug Repellant Cream (Skin treatment) Labelled to contain dexamethasone Kiokii and...

9350 Yonge St,

Richmond Hill, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
MUHI Bug Repellant Cream (Skin treatment) MUHI Bug Repellant Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain dexamethasone T&T Supermarket Unit 1115,

1800 Sheppard Ave. E

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Erythromycin Ointment Erythromycin Ointment

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain erythromycin G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.

1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.

Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
999 Ointment (yellow/orange) 999 Ointment (yellow/orange)

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain ketoconazole G&R Ginseng Trading Ltd.

1365-4540 No. 3 Rd.

Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
999 Ointment (yellow/orange) 999 Ointment (yellow/orange)

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain ketoconazole Yang Sheng Health Food Ltd.

1131-3779 Sexsmith Rd.

Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
999 Ointment (red) 999 Ointment (red)

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain dexamethasone Yang Sheng Health Food Ltd.

1131-3779 Sexsmith Rd.

Richmond, B.C.
Seized from retail location 2023-08-15
Betnovate-N Cream (Skin treatment) Betnovate-N Cream

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain betamethasone valerate Global Choice Foods Ltd.

150 Rainbow Creek Drive

Vaughan, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-23
HADO LABO Gokujyun Hatomugi Blemish + Oil Control (Skin treatment) HADO LABO Gokujyun Hatomugi Blemish + Oil Control

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Sukoshi Mart

1800 Sheppard Ave E

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-23
HADO LABO Gokujyun Trouble Care Skin Conditioner (Skin treatment) HADO LABO Gokujyun Trouble Care Skin Conditioner

(Skin treatment)
Labelled to contain aminocaproic acid Sukoshi Mart

1800 Sheppard Ave E

North York, ON
Seized from retail location 2023-08-23

Issue

Health Canada is advising about unauthorized health products for lightening skin or treating skin conditions (such as eczema or psoriasis) that may pose serious health risks. The products are labelled to contain or have been tested and found to contain dangerous ingredients. Health Canada updates the table when it finds unauthorized health products for skin lightening. Links to previous tables with affected products are also available below.

Unauthorized health products have not been approved by Health Canada, which means that they have not been assessed for safety, effectiveness and quality. Unauthorized health products can pose many health dangers, including:

  • They may contain ingredients not listed on the label. This includes ingredients like prescription drugs, possibly at doses exceeding maximum recommended amounts. Prescription drugs should be taken only under the supervision of a health professional because they may cause serious side effects. Using a product that contains ingredients that the consumer is not aware of increases the chance of dangerous allergies and interactions with other medications and foods.
  • The label may indicate a dangerous ingredient or combination of ingredients. For example, it could list a drug that should be available only by prescription from a health care professional, or a combination of ingredients that Health Canada does not permit because of serious health risks.

Health Canada maintains this page so that the public can easily identify products they may have purchased and take appropriate action. You are encouraged to check back regularly for updates. Advisories on safety issues involving other types of products are available in the recalls and safety alerts database.

What you should do

What companies should know:

  • Selling unauthorized health products in Canada is illegal.
  • When Health Canada identifies unauthorized products that may pose serious health risks, Health Canada takes appropriate action to prevent further distribution and informs the public. This includes working with the Canada Border Services Agency to help prevent further importation of unauthorized products.

Additional information

Previous recalls or alerts
Background

Aminocaproic acid is a prescription drug used to decrease bleeding in various clinical situations. Aminocaproic acid has not been approved for topical use in Canada. Exposure to aminocaproic acid on the skin may affect the skin, and the drug may be absorbed through the skin into the blood. Side effects may include a general feeling of discomfort, muscle aches and pain, kidney damage, seizures, low blood pressure, slow heart beat, blood clots, and swelling caused by fluid build-up.

Betamethasone dipropionate, betamethasone valerate and clobetasol propionate are highly potent corticosteroid prescription drugs that are applied to the skin to treat inflammatory skin conditions. Side effects include skin irritation and, with prolonged use, skin weakening or deterioration. Adverse effects from using too much include decreased ability to fight infection, symptoms of adrenal gland suppression (i.e., low blood pressure, low blood sugar, weight loss, muscle pain, gastrointestinal problems and severe fatigue) or Cushing's syndrome (i.e., high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, muscle weakness, bone loss and severe fatigue), depending on how much has been absorbed. These drugs should not be used by pregnant or nursing people.

Dexamethasone is a prescription corticosteroid drug available in Canada as tablets, injections, and eye ointments, and is used to treat inflammatory conditions or to suppress the immune system. Dexamethasone as an ointment is not approved as an anti-itch medication. Side effects for topical corticosteroids include skin atrophy (thin and fragile skin with reduced elasticity), skin blood vessel changes (e.g., spider veins), skin colour changes, stretch marks, swelling, dry skin, burning sensations, local irritation, rashes, redness, itching, thinning hair or excessive hair growth, infections and allergic reactions. Topical corticosteroids absorbed through the skin may cause side effects throughout the body, especially when used over a large surface area and for a long time. This risk is greater in children, who may absorb proportionally larger amounts and be more susceptible to experiencing these side effects. Systemic side effects could include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blurred vision, uneven heartbeats, weakness and swelling. Dexamethasone should not be used by people who are allergic to dexamethasone or to any ingredient in the formulation, people who have systemic fungal infections, or people who have received live virus vaccines. Dexamethasone is generally not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Erythromycin is an antibacterial prescription drug used for the prevention and treatment of specific infections. In topical format (applied to the skin), it is used in combination with another drug to treat moderate acne. Possible reactions include local skin irritation (peeling, itching, burning sensation, redness or tenderness) or other skin changes (change in colour, oiliness or swelling), inflammation, or irritation of the face, eyes and nose. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include swelling of the face, mouth, throat, lips and/or eyes, difficulty breathing, burning and/or painful red eyes, eye tearing and skin reactions (rashes, blisters and hives). Misuse or overuse could lead to bacteria growth that could become resistant to the antibiotic erythromycin, which means that treatment may not work in the future.

Hydroquinone is a prescription drug when it is greater than a 2% concentration and a natural health product at a concentration of 2% and under. It is used topically (applied to the skin) to lighten areas of darkened skin caused by different conditions (e.g., sun exposure, skin damage, pregnancy, medications or age). It should not be used by people who are allergic to hydroquinone or who are taking medicines that make their skin more sensitive to light. Hydroquinone is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding people, or for children. It should be used with caution in those who have previously had cancer. Side effects include skin reactions such as redness, dryness, cracked skin, burning, stinging, peeling, itching, increased sensitivity to sunlight, sunburn, blisters and scarring. It may cause skin discolouration (i.e., blue or black discolouration or white patches or spots) that, in some cases, can be disfiguring. In laboratory animals, it has been associated with cancer after long-term exposure.

Ibuprofen piconol 3% is a topical (applied to the skin) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve burns. Health Canada has not approved any drugs containing ibuprofen for topical use. Ibuprofen absorbed through the skin may cause side effects throughout the body, especially when used over a large surface area and for a long time, or on damaged skin. Topical ibuprofen may cause serious side effects in people who are allergic to ibuprofen, aspirin or other NSAIDs, or who are asthmatic. Use of topical ibuprofen may also cause serious side effects such as stomach and intestinal bleeding, renal (kidney) dysfunction or failure, or cardiovascular dysfunction or failure in people who have problems with these organs. Topical ibuprofen can also cause serious side effects in people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, such as delayed and increased duration of labour.

Ketoconazole is a prescription antifungal drug typically used to treat skin and scalp infections. It should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. When applied to skin, common side effects include severe irritation, itchiness and stinging. Contact dermatitis (an itchy or painful rash) and painful allergic reactions have been reported more rarely. Ketoconazole should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding people unless directed by a health care professional.

Neomycin sulfate is an antibiotic prescription drug and should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Side effects include allergic reactions that range from mild skin reactions (itching, rash and hives) to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Side effects such as damage to nerve tissue or the central nervous system, inner ear, and organs responsible for hearing and balance, and reduced kidney function have occurred in patients taking neomycin orally (by mouth) or when applied on the skin to open wounds or damaged skin. As well, when not used as directed, neomycin sulphate could increase the risk of infections resistant to neomycin or other antibiotics. Neomycin sulphate should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding people unless directed by a health care professional.

Penicillin potassium is an antibacterial prescription drug used for the prevention and treatment of specific infections. Penicillin has not been approved for use in ointments for topical use in Canada. Allergic reactions to penicillin may include swelling of the face, mouth, throat, lips, eyes, difficulty breathing and skin reactions (itchiness, flushing, hives), abdominal distress (cramping, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea) and low blood pressure. Serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity (anaphylactoid) reactions have been reported in patients receiving penicillin. Severe skin reactions that may also affect other organs have been reported in association with penicillin. Prolonged use of antibiotics may lead to yeast or fungal overgrowth. Misuse or overuse of penicillin may lead to the growth of bacteria that will not be killed by penicillin (resistance). This means that penicillin may not work in the future.

Prednisolone valerate acetate is a prescription corticosteroid drug available in Canada as eye drops used to treat inflammation of several parts of the eye. It has not been approved for use in creams or ointments in Canada. Common side effects for topical corticosteroids include skin atrophy (thin and fragile skin with reduced elasticity), skin blood vessel changes (e.g., spider veins), change in skin color, stretch marks, swelling, dry skin, burning sensation, local irritation, rash, redness, itching, thinning hair or excessive hair growth, infections and allergic reactions. Topical corticosteroids absorbed through the skin may cause side effects throughout the body, especially when used over a large surface area and for a long time. This risk is greater in children, who may absorb proportionally larger amounts and be more susceptible to side effects. Systemic side effects could include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, blurred vision, uneven heartbeats, weakness, and swelling. Prednisolone acetate should not be used in patients who are allergic to prednisolone acetate or to any ingredient in the formulation. Prednisolone acetate is not to be used in children and is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Tretinoin in topical format (applied to the skin) is a prescription drug used to treat acne. Topical tretinoin should not be used during pregnancy as it has been associated with birth defects. It should also not be used by those who are breastfeeding or by children under 12 years old, or by individuals who have inflamed or irritated skin, have a previous skin cancer or undiagnosed skin lesions, who are taking medicines that make their skin more sensitive to light, or who have an allergy to tretinoin. Tretinoin may cause pain, irritation, itchiness, redness, or swelling at the site of application. It may damage skin, change skin colour, and increase sensitivity to sunlight or tanning beds, causing sunburns. Using tretinoin in combination with hydroquinone may increase some of the side effects of tretinoin.

Details
Original published date:
Alert / recall type
Public advisory
Category
Health products - Drugs
Companies
Published by
Health Canada
Audience
General public
Identification number
RA-73103
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