The Food and Drugs Authority is cautioning the general public against the use of creams, ointments, lotions and other topical preparations containing steroid for skin lightening, cosmetics and for other non- medical purposes, as one could be at risk of contracting cancer.
According to a statement signed by its Chief Executive HUDU MOGTARI , the FDA said 'It must be noted that such preparations including Betnovate, Dermovate, Tenovate, Lemonvate, Epiderm, Dexacort have been registered by the FDA as Prescription-Only-Medicines (POMs) and as such should be sold or bought only on prescription of a qualified medical doctor."
The FDA wishes to caution the general public that frequent, indiscriminate and prolonged use of such corticorsteriod-containing preparations are associated with risks including the following;
- Thinning of the skin leading to difficulty in holding the skin during surgery
- Making the affected skin more prone to damage like bruising, development or worsening of acne and permanent stretch marks.
- Hyperpigmentation, Glaucoma and even Cataracts upon prolonged application to the eyelids
- Inhibition of the skin’s ability to fight off bacterial or fungal infections.
- Absorption into the blood stream and adversely affecting other parts of the body when applied widely on the skin.
"The general public is further warned to desist from selling or buying such products from cosmetic shops, markets, hawkers, drug peddlers and from Pharmacies without the required prescription from qualified medical personnel," the statement said.
"Any person or company found selling these POM preparations from cosmetics shops, markets, lorry stations and or by hawking or peddling; or from Pharmacies without prescription will face stringent regulatory sanctions.
"We further encourage the general public to provide information on persons in any activities that are likely to endanger public health and safety with respect to FDA’s mandate through any of the following contacts numbers: 0244337235 or 0544863418," the statement added.