Herbal product: intensive body lotion with aloe vera contains steroids

MHRA has found samples of intensive body lotion with aloe vera (OSAS) to contain corticosteroid betamethasone.

Article date: February 2008

The MHRA has recently found that samples of OSAS (intensive body lotion with aloe vera), an unlicensed product, have tested positive for variable amounts of the corticosteroid betamethasone.

Corticosteroids are used to treat inflammatory skin conditions, especially eczema and psoriasis. Long-term use can cause skin thinning and can worsen conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

OSAS lotions have been supplied over the internet and from various Asian and African beauty shops for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis.

The lotion was brought to the attention of MHRA by a paediatric dermatologist, who became concerned when the parent of a baby he was treating for eczema started to use this product on the infant.

We strongly advise that anyone who is using this product, particularly on young children and babies, should stop immediately. Discontinuation of the product may cause a rebound effect (ie, worsening of the condition) and patients should therefore consult a healthcare provider about alternative treatments.

Article citation: Drug Safety Update Feb 2008; Vol 1, Issue 7: 9

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