Experts are warning people with eczema to stop using skin cream Zudaifu, because it contains illegal steroids.
The cream, which can currently be bought over-the-counter from pharmacies and chemists, contains a prescription-only drug which could be dangerous – particularly for children.
Regulators have issued an urgent warning for people to stop buying the cream, which is normally used to treat eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have announced that anyone selling the cream should be reported to the authorities.
The experts found that the cream is being sold illegally because it contains clobetasol propionate, which is a controlled substance.
Despite being marketed in the UK as a ‘natural’ Chinese herbal medicine, Zudaifu is not a licensed product.
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.
He went on to say that creams like this can suppress the skin’s response to infection and can also cause long-term thinning of the skin.
They can also lead to other medical problems, particularly on children.
‘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,’ warns Dr. Jones.