Why Your Acne Might Kill You

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A man touching his face while he looks in a mirror

Did you know that acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans, and nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives, most often on the face, chest, and back.

We know, such exciting facts.

This said, there’s now some troubling news regarding this very common condition – according to AP News, federal health officials are warning consumers about the dangers of using certain types of acne treatments. Experts say that particular anti-acne products may cause potentially deadly allergic reactions.

Which Products?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the products in question include gels, face washes, pads and other products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. The agency says it’s unclear whether both those ingredients trigger the reactions by themselves, or whether some sort of combination is to blame.

The over-the-counter treatments are sold as Proactiv, Neutrogena, MaxClarity, Oxy, Aveeno and other brands.

What are the warning signs?

Consumers are being warned to to stop using their acne products immediately if they experience:

  • Tightness of the throat
  • Problems breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Facial swelling of the eyes, face or lips

In addition, dermatologists recommend performing a skin test before using a product: apply a small amount of the product on a patch of skin for three days. If no reaction is experienced, then the product is deemed to be safe to use as directed.

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