Herbal skin cream found to contain steroids

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The MHRA has been working to prevent the further sale of Zudaifu cream and advises anyone who has bought it online to stop using it immediately.

Zudaifu cream is not a licensed medicine and has been marketed in the UK as a “natural” Chinese herbal remedy for the treatment of a range of skin conditions, most commonly eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Our analysis of the product found the presence of the steroid clobetasol propionate. This is the active ingredient in Prescription-Only medicines used for the treatment of a range skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Creams containing steroids should be used sparingly and as directed by the prescriber. They should not be used on children under 1 year of age.

This follows a warning earlier this year for a product called [Yiganerjing Cream](https://www.gov.uk/government/news/natural-doesnt-mean-safe-herbal-medicines-found-to-contain-steroids0 described as a “natural” Chinese herbal medicine that contained the same steroid and antifungal ingredients.

Dr Chris Jones, Manager of the Medicines Borderline Section at MHRA said:

We have again identified a potentially harmful cream described as a natural Chinese herbal medicine on the market.

Selling creams directly to the public that contain strong steroids is illegal and they are potentially dangerous if they are used without medical supervision.

Steroids must only be prescribed by healthcare professionals who follow strict criteria when prescribing them and can monitor patients using them. They can suppress the skin’s response to infection and can also cause long-term thinning of the skin. If steroids are applied long term, particularly on children, they can lead to other medical problems.

Our advice to anyone who has bought it previously or is currently using Zudaifu cream – particularly on young children and babies – is to stop using it immediately. If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare professional.

If you are unsure about the safety of a medicine claiming to be “natural” or “herbal” you should check for a Marketing Authorisation (MA) or Product Licence (PL) number or Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) number / the THR logo. This means the product has been assessed by MHRA for safety and has been manufactured correctly. For more information, visit NHS Choices.

If you are aware of Zudaifu cream being sold, please report it to MHRA at Borderline_medicine@mhra.gov.uk.

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