[Pounds Sterling]950 for Skin Cream; That's the Sort of Deal Patients Get from the Rip-Off Clinics Say MPs

Daily Mail (London), December 13, 1999 | Go to article overview

[Pounds Sterling]950 for Skin Cream; That's the Sort of Deal Patients Get from the Rip-Off Clinics Say MPs


Byline: CLARE KITCHEN

PATIENTS with skin diseases are being cheated by unregulated clinics which charge up to [pounds sterling]950 for treatment creams worth just [pounds sterling]2.50.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS) says patients, desperate after being fobbed off by GPs, are vulnerable to fraudsters claiming to offer miracle cures.

Some are persuaded to spend thousands of pounds on creams and potions which are neither necessary nor effective. Sometimes they are even dangerous.

One young woman told the group that a clinic advised her to spend [pounds sterling]1,000 on treatment or risk going bald by 30.

Towards the end of the first year's course, in which there had been no noticeable change in her hair, she was told she had been misdiagnosed. She was urged to spend another [pounds sterling]1,000 for a different treatment.

Another clinic sold a teenage girl two tiny pots of cream for [pounds sterling]900 to treat her acne.

Pharmaceutical analysis of the creams showed they contained no active ingredient and could never have made any difference to her skin.

Analysis of another cream sold by a London clinic for [pounds sterling]950 found it contained the equivalent of white soft paraffin worth [pounds sterling]1 and steroids worth [pounds sterling]1.50.

Far from curing skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, dermatologists say creams from such clinics can actually cause further problems. One cream to treat psoriasis was found to contain a potent steroid. Although the cream did clear up the condition, steroids should only be used on the skin under supervision and never for more than two weeks. …

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