The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), Fire and Rescue Services and health charities, has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the possible risk of clothing and bedding catching fire if saturated with products used to treat adverse skin conditions.
The campaign follows extremely tragic cases of deaths due to the long and heavy use of emollients in the management of various skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. These creams and ointments can often become impregnated in clothing and bedding, and in some rare cases the fabric has caught fire when exposed to a naked flame. The elderly and bed-bound patients are particularly at risk.
Many of the products used are classed as Over The Counter (OTC) medicines which are subject to strict licensing conditions overseen by the MHRA, and covered by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB).
The MHRA stresses that the use of these products to treat skin conditions should not be stopped, but the campaign is to raise general awareness of the possible fire risk and the precautions that need to be taken by users of the products and also to provide information for health and care professionals.
For more information please see the MHRA Guidance.
Daily cosmetic creams
The uses and possible risks described by the MHRA do not reflect normal use of skin care products we enjoy every day as part of our personal care regimes. Users of topical cosmetic products may continue to use these products safely without concern.