SINGAPORE: The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned consumers on Monday (Jan 22) against the purchase and use of two health products after one consumer was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and another suffered facial chemical burns.
The products were Ure Tonic Herbal Traditional from a practitioner in Malaysia, and "unlabelled brown bottles of facial solution" also known as RDL Hydroquinone Tretinoin Babyface Solution 3 from the Anita iBrow beauty parlour at Dhoby Xchange.
HSA said in its news release that a consumer of the tonic - a woman in her 50s - had been taking it daily for more than a year to "strengthen her body". "She developed Cushing's syndrome, a condition caused by prolonged consumption of steroids," it added.
The woman suffered "complications", authorities said, including persistent low blood pressure and a weakened immune system resulting in pneumonia and the life-threatening sepsis condition involving tissue and organ injuries.
She was admitted to ICU for treatment and is currently undergoing outpatient care.
Another woman, in her 20s, experienced "superficial chemical burns and skin peeling" after applying the facial solution from Anita iBrow everyday for two to three days, said HSA.
She had visited the parlour for a "make-up session", which included the use of the product.
Authorities said the beautician had bought the solution called RDL Hydroquinone Tretinoin Babyface Solution 3 from an online platform. She poured it into unlabelled glass bottles and sold them as "magic water" to brighten up the customer's skin, which instead "darkened and turned red and itchy", requiring treatment by a skin specialist.
HSA said it has directed the beautician, who is assisting in the investigation, to stop using and supplying the solution.
"SEE A DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE": HSA
Authorities advised consumers who have taken the tonic to "see a doctor as soon as possible" as discontinuation of steroids without proper medical care may cause "serious withdrawal symptoms" like confusion, fatigue and low blood pressure.
Those who have used products from Anita iBrow and suffered adverse effects should also see a doctor, they said.
Consumers have also been warned not to use any unlabelled facial solutions from the shop, as well as products containing the potent medicinal ingredients hydroquinone and tretinoin, which can have serious side effects if used without medical supervision.
"Be careful when purchasing health products from unfamiliar sources, even if they are recommended by friends or relatives. No one can be certain what these products contain and where and how they are made," HSA advised.
"Avoid buying or using unlabelled health products and be wary of products that promise quick and miraculous results. Such products may contain harmful ingredients which can cause serious health effects."
HSA warned sellers and suppliers to "immediately" stop supplying the "illegal products which contain prohibited western medicinal ingredients". Those guilty may be jailed up to three years and/or fined a maximum of S$100,000.warnsagainst'healthtonic',AnitaiBrowproductafterconsumerssufferadversereactions