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News, Products, International

Fears acne mask might damage eyes

24/07/2019By Callum Glennen
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An acne-fighting facemask has been recalled in Australia following concerns that the light it emits might injure people with underlying eye conditions.

Following consultations with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Johnston & Johnston Pacific, Neutrogena’s parent company, has recalled both the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask and the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask Activator.

The device, which consists of a facemask connected to a battery activator, delivers busts of red and blue light to the face via light-emitting diodes. The red light is designed to reduce inflammation, while the blue light affects the bacteria that cause acne.

“It has been identified that there is a theoretical risk of eye injury for a small subset of the population with certain underlying eye conditions”
Neutrogena

According to the TGA for a small subset of potentially susceptible people, such as those who suffer from retinitis pegmentosa, ocular albinism and other congenital retinal disorders, repeated exposure may cause some degree of irreversible retinal damage. Eye pain, discomfort, irritation, tearing, blinding and blurring are also listed as potential effects.

A statement on Neutrogena’s website says that following reports of generally mild, rare and transient visual events, as well as the growing discussion around the safety of blue light, the company chose to further evaluate the mask’s effects on the eye. As such, it is issuing a precautionary recall.

“It has been identified that there is a theoretical risk of eye injury for a small subset of the population with certain underlying eye conditions, as well as for users taking medications which could enhance the eye’s sensitivity to light. We have not received any reports of eye injury in this small subset of individuals with the underlying eye conditions,” the company’s website reads.

The company advises that people stop using the device immediately, and is providing refunds for returned devices.

A voluntary recall of the mask is also underway in the US.

 

More reading:

Optometry Australia takes lead on blue light debate
Australian study highlights ambiguity of blue light-blocking lenses





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