Injectable skin-lightening products are potentially unsafe and ineffective, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned last week. The agency went on to add that it had not approved any of these products and they could contain harmful ingredients or contaminants.
The agency said the products — marketed for injection into a vein, a muscle, or under the skin — were being sold online and in some retail stores and health spas. The injectable skin-lightening or -whitening products claim to lighten the skin, correct uneven skin tone and clear up blemishes; some even claim to treat conditions such as liver disorders.
The FDA warned that not only do these products pose risks but also the improper or unsafe injection methods can transmit disease, cause infection and lead to serious injury. Consumers should be cautious of any product marketed online with exaggerated claims on safety and effectiveness.
Injectable skin lighteners are not the only products of concern to the FDA. The agency said that non-injectable over-the-counter skin-bleaching products can also pose safety risks and advised consumers to consult their healthcare providers before deciding to use any new product.