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article imageBritish tourist in Spain suffers terrible reaction to sun cream

By Anne Sewell     Jul 13, 2013 in Health
The poor woman and her family came to Spain for the first two-week holiday in five years, but her time in Cala’n Forcat, Menorca was ruined by a bad reaction to a sun "protection" cream. She ended up needing emergency care in hospital for two days.
The product she used was the popular Piz Buin's 1 Day Long sun cream, but instead of protecting her skin, the mother of two was left looking "less model and more Michelin man", as her face swelled up.
42-year-old Clare Myers was rushed to the Clinic Juaneda on Menorca in the Balearic Islands, where she was immediately put on a drip to bring down the allergic reaction.
“My cheeks were so big I had to drink through a straw,” she said, adding that she was put on a course of steroids cream and antihistamines to try and stop the reaction.
Doctors in the A&E department were worried about her high blood pressure and feared that she would have problems breathing due to the swelling.
According to Myers, "It ruined our holiday and it shouldn’t be on the market.”
"It cost us over €2,000 and it was our first two-week holiday in five years," she added.
The family originally thought her reaction was a result of mosquito bites until she underwent medical tests.
But the manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson insist that "Piz Buin 1 Day Long is a safe and effective sun protection product. It contains only permitted ingredients and is labelled according to legal requirements."
However, that said, apparently Marie Goldie, 37, from Glasgow, suffered a similar reaction to Myers while on holiday in Tenerife, Spain in 2011. According to doctors in Tenerife, her reaction was so bad, they actually feared that she would need surgery to save her sight.
The manufacturers did, however, add, “We have received a small number of complaints that Piz Buin 1 Day Long has led to skin irritation. These incidents equate to approximately 0.01% of sales.”
The Daily Mail has some "before and after" photos of both ladies showing their reactions to the sun cream.
BBC'S Watchdog did an article on the subject on the Piz Buin sun cream in June. They reported that two years ago, Dr. Ian White of the St John’s Institute of Dermatology and his colleagues noted that the allergy was caused by a particular chemical called C30–38 olefin/isopropyl maleate/MA.
Reportedly Dr White recommended that urgent action be taken to identify the cream's safety and called for the use of the chemical in Piz Buin’s 1 Day Long lotion to be re-assessed. Two years down the line, the contents of the cream remain exactly the same.
Myers added, “There’s no warning on the packaging, nothing about doing a patch test.”
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