Skin-Lightening Cream Could Cause Nerve Damage, CDC Report Warns
TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A skin-lightening cream from Mexico that contained poisonous mercury left a California girl with important central fearful gadget harm, medical doctors document in a case learn about.
Many weeks after her preliminary hospitalization, the girl calls for “ongoing tube feeding for nutritional support” and can not discuss or take care of herself, in keeping with the authors.
The cream contained a type of natural mercury referred to as methylmercury. This is the primary identified case of methylmercury poisoning within the United States in just about 50 years.
“Most harmful skin-lightening creams are intentionally tainted with inorganic mercury. But in this case, the patient used a skin-lightening product containing organic mercury, which is far more toxic,” mentioned learn about senior writer Dr. Paul Blanc, of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and California Poison Control System.
Organic mercury may cause “profound damage” to the central fearful gadget that can even irritate after use ends, he mentioned.
The girl first sought scientific lend a hand for involuntary muscle motion and weak point in her shoulders and fingers, the case learn about reported. After two weeks of outpatient care, she was once admitted to a sanatorium with signs that integrated blurry imaginative and prescient, unsteady gait and issue talking. Blood and urine checks showed mercury poisoning.
Her circle of relatives informed medical doctors that she were the usage of skin-lightening lotions from Mexico two times an afternoon for seven years, in keeping with the case learn about revealed Dec. 19 within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The girl underwent chelation treatment, a remedy for heavy steel poisoning, however her situation did not support. She was once transferred to UCSF, the place checks discovered that the surface cream she used contained methylmercury.
“Central nervous system toxicity, as in this case, is the hallmark of organic mercury — it typically comes on after weeks to months of exposure. Once manifested, it quickly progresses and often worsens, despite removal of any further exposure,” Blanc mentioned in a UCSF information unlock. “Unfortunately, chelation therapy, which is effective in inorganic mercury poisoning, has not been established to be efficacious for methylmercury.”
Consumers can take a number of steps to give protection to themselves, mentioned learn about co-author Dr. Craig Smollin, of UCSF’s emergency division and scientific director of the California Poison Control System’s San Francisco Division.
When purchasing pores and skin lotions, test that the product has a protecting foil seal below the lid, Smollin prompt.
“Purchase creams from well-known stores and avoid those with hand-made labels or without labels. Ingredients must be listed, and directions and warnings should be in English,” he mentioned within the information unlock.