Posts tagged with "American Academy of Dermatology"

Neutrogena recalls Light Therapy Acne Masks, due to risk of eye injuries

July 22, 2019

Many consumers have “seen the light” when it comes to over-the counter acne LED-light therapy masks—and that’s not necessarily a good thing. In fact, earlier this month, Neutrogena issued a recall of its masks, according to The New York Times;  citing a “theoretical risk of eye injury” to a subset of users who have underlying eye conditions or are taking medicine that makes them sensitive to light.

The Times reported that Neutrogena said in a statement that its July 5 recall followed “reports of mild, transient visual adverse events, combined with a growing scientific discussion around the safety of blue light.”

A spokesperson told the news outlet that the “adverse events” had been caused by the Neutrogena masks; although she did not specify how many such events had taken place. She also said that no particular study or expert had informed the company’s decision to recall the masks.

But that is not the only brand that uses visible blue and red lights to treat facial acne. And it may not be the only mask that is causing problems—problems which the Australian Department of Health recently said could cause retinal damage or impair peripheral vision after repeated therapy with the lights.

Among the most popular among these devices are the Lacomri 7 Color LED Light Therapy Acne Mask, Convinsimo Light Therapy Acne Face Treatment, Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, and Pulsaderm Acne Clearing Mask.

They all use the same treatment technology, explains the American Academy of Dermatology.

And that also may mean that they might share another problem: Such devices kill facial bacteria that could turn into pimples; they are not effective against existing blackhead, whiteheads, acne cysts, or nodules, the academy explains.

Indeed, says the academy, “Most people see clearing, but not 100%”—and “results vary from person to person.”

News of the recalls in the United States and in Australia was for the most part missed by consumers . A spokesperson for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the Times that the agency was “aware of the recall” and was looking into it.

The mask was released by Neutrogena in October 2016. Actress Lena Dunham endorsed it on Instagram and said her post was not an advertisement. The product was awarded Best of Beauty in 2017 by Allure magazine..)

Dr. Rachel Nazarian, with Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, told the news outlet that only recently had concerns about blue light cropped up, and that they mostly referred to people who had baseline medical conditions that caused their retinas to be more sensitive to light.

But she said that Neutrogena’s mask did not offer enough eye protection. While she planned to continue to use LED treatments in her own practice, she said she used much stronger eyewear than was provided by the company.

“It shouldn’t be used in such a cavalier form,” Dr. Nazarian said. “If you’re using the right eyewear protection, you should be fine.”

Research contact: @nytimes

The best protection under the sun

June 26, 2018

It is finally summer—and Americans are leaving their homes in droves to enjoy the balmy temperatures and sunshine in their backyards, parks, pools, and beaches. Most of us feel that moderate exposure to sun improves our health, appearance, and mood. But we also know that too much of a good thing can be dangerous—causing everything from skin rashes to sunburns, to sun poisoning to cancer. So why is it that so few of us use sunscreen when we are out and about?

Indeed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, fewer than 15% of men and 30% of women report applying sunscreen to their faces and other exposed skin when they leave the house (or the office) for more than an hour. Women are more likely than men to apply sunscreen to their faces, in order to avoid the aging effects of too much sun—–perhaps accounting for their greater usage.

Sunscreen use is particularly low among men, non-Hispanic blacks, people with less sun-sensitive skin, those who do not get the recommended amount of weekly aerobic physical activity, and people with lower incomes (under $60,000), the CDC reports.

Another demographic that is likely to skimp on sunscreen is teenagers. Following a study by William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, in 2011, lead researcher Corey Basch, an associate professor in the school’s Department of Public Health, commented, “Unfortunately we found a decrease in the overall percentage of teens who reported wearing sunscreen—[down] from 67.7% in 2001 to 56.1% in 2011.

And even when they do look for sunscreen, many Americans don’t know which type really is best for them. According to the Food and Drug Administration , that would be “broad spectrum” brands that protect against both ultraviolet A and B radiation with an SPF of 30 or higher. UVA rays are believed to be responsible for the aging and wrinkling of skin; UVB rays are the culprit that causes cancer.

That seems easy enough, but, the CDC again has some bad news for us: Nearly 40% of sunscreen users were unsure if their sunscreen provided broad-spectrum protection.

Top brands

For those who could use some help with their choices, Consumer Reports ranks commercially available sunscreens each year. According to the researchers at Consumer’s Union, the following products scored 81 or higher overall and were rated excellent or very good for UVA and UVB protection:

  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60 ($36, or $7.20 an ounce, score of 100);
  • Equate Sport Lotion SPF 50 ($5, or 63 cents an ounce, score of 99; and
  • BullFrog Land Sport Quik Gel SPF 50 ($8.50, or $1.70 cents an ounce, score of 95).

The magazine also rated the top spray and stick sunscreens—two of which rated highly:

  • Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ ($6, or $1 an ounce, score of 100); and
  • Up & Up (Target) Kids Sunscreen Stick SPF 55 ($8, or $6.67 an ounce, score of 85).

Among natural sunscreens, California Kids #Supersensitive Lotion SPF 30+ scored highest. It received an overall score of 55 and costs $20 a package, or $6.90 an ounce.

The report recommends against using sprays on kids until researchers know more about the dangers of inhaling them. If you do use them, Consumer Reports suggest spraying the solution onto your hand, then rubbing it into your skin.

Application tips

Among the recommendations for applying such products are the following, according to the American Academy of Dermatology:

  • Apply sunscreen generously 15 minutes before going outdoors;
  • Use enough—at least one ounce for an adult (about the amount you can hold in your palm) to fully cover your body;.
  • Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet, and legs;
  • Use a balm with an SPF of at least 15 for your lips; and
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Finally, using sunscreen should not be your only defense against the sun. For the best protection, the experts  says, stay in the shade and wear protective clothing, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses, as well as sunscreen.

Research contact: 1-800-CDC-INFO