The FDA has a current argument circulating throughout the news that warns the public of severe allergic reactions to topical acne treatmentsAt Skintherapy Acne Clinic we treat acne successfully by creating a personal program using consistent topical treatment, extractions and chemical peels. We have seen nothing but success using this regimen and would like to take a second to deconstruct this topic and talk about exactly what you should and shouldn't be taking away from the statements and arguments presented by the news and the FDA.
Please see this Boston Globe article before reading ahead.
Is there a large chance that you will have a severe & life threatening reaction to topical acne treatments?
According to the recent Health and Wellness article for the Boston Globe, the FDA warned the public that topical acne treatments "containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, have been linked to hypersensitivity reactions such as throat tightness, difficulty breathing, feelings of faintness, and swollen eyes, face, lips, and tongue."
Could it be true that some folks will end up being allergic to these topical products? Yes, and that is simply because allergies exist. People can be allergic to many different things. Isn't it very common to be allergic to certain foods? I know many people who have life threatening allergies to seafood, does this mean that all seafood should be banned or made difficult to get? Allergic reactions to topical acne treatments should not be considered likely, just as food allergies are not considered likely. Yes, you could have a reaction, but in most cases these products are extremely helpful to your skin condition rather than hurtful to your body.
That being said, it is important to let your skin adapt to any new product that you start using. Acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can be irritating to anyone's skin so it is smart to build up your use slowly. In most cases, a steady build up of product use results in a clear complexion and little to no irritation or reaction.
What are the other options to treat acne & do they have possible side effects as well?
The honest truth about treating Acne is that a steady habit of topical product use is the safest and most productive answer to clearing your skin.
While most acne specialist do not believe in the use of antibiotics, there are many doctors who believe in antibiotic treatment for acne. This is unfortunate because antibiotics pose more of a risk to our health than topical products. Please compare the below statistics:
According to the Center for Disease Control, "Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection."
The above Boston Globe article, states that "the FDA says it has received 131 reports over the past 45 years of severe reactions to topical products that resulted in hospitalizations 44 percent of the time, but haven't been linked to any deaths."
If the FDA is researching any type of acne treatment, they should be more concerned with acne fighting antibiotics, as these pose a much higher risk of serious health problems and frankly, fail to fight acne with any success in the first place.
So, should warning labels actually be considered for these products?
Warning labels would not be hurtful, as long as they are the type of warning that reminds folks to start out slowly with their products and build up their skins tolerance rather than discourage them on topical acne treatments all together. It would be extremely hurtful to cause such a hype around potential allergic reactions that those who suffer from acne are discouraged from getting the most correct and successful acne treatment, which is topical products.
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