Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Recall of 'Natural' Cream for Kids' Skin Problems a Cautionary Tale for Parents: MD

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Recall of 'Natural' Cream for Kids' Skin Problems a Cautionary Tale for Parents: MD

Article excerpt

'Natural' cream for skin conditions recalled

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TORONTO - Parents should think twice before treating their babies and young children with so-called "natural products" for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis because such creams may be unregulated or contain potentially hazardous ingredients, a pediatric dermatologist says.

"Sometimes patients hear about a natural product and they are falsely reassured that 'natural' means safe," Dr. Irene Lara-Corrales of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto said Tuesday.

"And those two are not synonyms. Natural does not mean safe."

The physician's advice follows a warning issued Monday by Health Canada about undeclared ingredients in PureCare Herbal Cream, a skin product promoted as a natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis.

The federal department said the herbal cream, which contains a prescription steroid called clobetasol propionate and the compound phenoxyethanol, could pose "serious health risks" to young children.

Health Canada advised consumers to stop using the product -- sold online at www.purecareskin.com and through an in-person distribution network -- and to check with a medical practitioner if they have health concerns.

The cream has been sold with two different labels. The current label states the product is "for extremely dry skin," while the previous label described it as an "herbal cream for eczema, psoriasis and dry skin."

PureCare Herbal Cream Ltd. said in a statement posted on its Facebook page, where it goes by the name PureCare Skin, that Health Canada informed it last Thursday that some clobetasol propionate was present in its product.

The company is offering customers refunds and said it is following up with the manufacturer, which it said had "expressly informed" PureCare Skin that "the product was all natural and free from any drugs or parabens."

"PCS does not believe that past use of this product would have caused any damage or injury to any of its users," the company said in its Facebook posting. "However, out of an abundance of caution and as mandated by Health Canada, we have ceased all sales and have instituted a recall action plan. …

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