FDA Cracks Whip On Steroid Based Fairness Creams In Mumbai; Products Seized & Notices Sent To The Manufacturers


Fairness Creams

Maharashtra branch of The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cracked down on steroid based fairness creams which are openly sold in Mumbai and nearby areas.

Acting on a complaint by Indian Association of Dermatologists Venereologists and Leprologist, a national association of skin specialists, FDA has seized two products manufactured by Torque Pharma at different locations in the city.

The complaint stated that such fairness creams, which are based on steroids, are harmful for skin. The complaint said, “.. irrational sale of steroid based skin creams known to cause side effects like skin thinning, rashes, excess facial hair growth if used for a long time”.

The two products which FDA had seized contain harmful steroids like fluocinolon acetonid and mometasone along with skin bleaching agents. These can play havoc with the human skin, and induce more complications.

As per Mumbai Mirror, mometasone is a potent steroid that can cause acneiform eruption on the face, unwanted hair growth, rosacea (pustular lesions), perioral dermatitis (facial rash) and fixed redness.

Other steroids like fluocinolone, hydroquinone and tretinoin are often prescribed for skin diseases like melasma or discoloration but using them without prescription can literally destroy the natural skin and introduce long term side-effects.

Such manufacturers advertise their products as a one-stop solution to become fairer, and beauty-obsessed customers blindly purchase these creams, without knowing the harmful effects. In fact, the raid and subsequent seizures of these products was done because without prescription, one cannot sell them. However, these were openly sold on the counter at medical and beauty parlors.

Harshadeep Kamble, who is the FDA commissioner in Maharashtra said, “We have seized the stock and further seizures will follow. The inspectors are on the lookout for other such products,”, thereby making it clear that similar products from other brands are under scanner, and they will be removed from the open market.

Nation Wide Terror of Beauty Products

As per a research conducted by Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2011, it was found that 60% of all patients with skin problems had used such steroid based creams without consulting doctors and without any prescription.

Such is the magnitude of this problem, that skin doctors have termed this condition as “topical steroid-dependent face”.

Since they are openly available on the counter, anyone can buy them. The association has called for more strict measures to stop manufacturers from selling these harmful products openly.

In the past FDA had taken initiative to stop Snapdeal selling illegal and prescription drugs on their portal.

Fairness products, in general (without steroids), are being marketed and sold in a very aggressive manner; they are not only creating a false definition of beauty but also harming self-esteem and confidence of people. Advertising Standards Council of India, which governs all advertisements shown in India, have taken a very strong view of the prevailing fairness creams’ advertisements, and have taken action against them in the past.

If you happen to view any such advertisement, which is morally, ethically and legally wrong, then you can file an online complaint against them.

Kudos to FDA for taking strict action such manufacturers, who are selling diseases and pain in the name of fairness and beauty.

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