NPR

Imported Skin Creams Can Pose Unexpected Risks

Doctors were surprised to find a patient using a powerful steroid cream bought without a prescription at an African store in Washington, D.C. It was also easy to buy online.
Source: Felix Wirth

A dermatologist in Washington, D.C., was surprised to discover that one of her patients was using a powerful steroid cream bought without a prescription to treat a rash. Though steroids are often used to treat skin conditions, overuse can cause problems including skin atrophy, rosacea, acne, stretch marks, excessive hair growth and immune system reactions.

It turns out that the patient and the patient's family, who are from Africa, bought the cream, called Funbact-A, at a local store focused, a high-strength steroid sold only by prescription in the U.S. Though high-dose steroids are often used to treat skin conditions, they can cause including skin atrophy, acne, severe rashes, infections and systemic reactions.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Ambience, Vocalized: Instrumentalist Tycho Adds Saint Sinner's Vocals To 'Weather'
Tycho, whose real name is Scott Hansen, is famous for his ambient instrumental tracks. But for Tycho's latest album, Weather, Hansen enlisted Saint Sinner to add vocals to the ambience.
NPR5 min readFood & Wine
50 Years After Apollo 11, Here's What (And How) Astronauts Are Eating
Ever since astronaut John Glenn's first bite of applesauce in 1962, eating in space has been a challenge. NPR talks to former NASA food scientists to see how cosmic cuisine has evolved over the years.
NPR3 min readPolitics
In India's Assam State, Residents Of River Islands Face Uncertainty Over Citizenship
Some 4 million people, many Muslim and impoverished, were excluded from a 2018 official register of citizens. Photographer CK Vijayakumar visited Assam to learn more about the challenges they face.