22 March 2012
Australians are being warned against alternative medicine products, known as black salve or red salve, that are being touted as treatments for skin conditions including cancer.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration said it has been notified of three cases where consumers caused serious harm to their skin by using the salves.
“The TGA is not aware of any credible, scientific evidence which shows that any black or red salve preparation is effective in treating cancer,” the regulator said in a website post last week.
“Both black and red salves are corrosive and essentially burn off layers of the skin and surrounding normal tissue… and leave significant scarring.”
Health authorities were investigating the supply and advertising of these products also known as Cansema or Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis with the active caustic ingredient sanguinarine), the TGA said.
Health professionals and consumers were urged to report to the TGA any adverse reactions associated with the use of these salves.
Last Reviewed: 23 March 2012