FDA warns consumers against buying cosmetic numbing creams online 

Numbing creams are often used for anyone getting a tattoo, piercing, laser treatment, or another painful cosmetic procedure. They have been available in different forms for decades, and can be helpful when it comes to minimising pain. 

However, the FDA has now warned consumers about the excessive levels of lidocaine found in some numbing creams being sold online, which may lead to unexpected reactions.

The FDA is particularly concerned because these creams often contain concentrations of lidocaine that surpass the permitted limits for over-the-counter topical pain relief products.

Additionally, the agency has said that it will take the matter extremely seriously. It has already issued letters to six different companies, including NumbSkin’s manufacturer, notifying them that their products are in violation of federal law.

In a statement, the agency said, “When these products that contain high concentrations of lidocaine intended to be used before or during certain cosmetic procedures are applied in ways that could lead to increased absorption of the drug product through the skin, it may lead to serious injuries such as irregular heartbeat, seizures, and breathing difficulties. These products may also interact with medications or dietary supplements a consumer is taking.”

The FDA also pointed out that it’s more important than ever for consumers to protect themselves, especially if they’re buying products online for medical reasons. To stay safe, the agency has advised anyone buying numbing creams or gels to: 

  • Check the label: Refrain from using any over-the-counter product containing more than 4% lidocaine, as these carry extra health and safety risks. 
  • Apply sparingly: Avoid excessive application, especially on already irritated skin.
  • Avoid covering with plastic wrap or any occlusive material.

Furthermore, anyone experiencing adverse effects from these creams is urged to promptly report to the FDA through its MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. This enables the FDA to take necessary actions to safeguard the public from potentially harmful products.

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