Neutrogena recalled the Light Therapy Acne Mask because it can potentially cause eye injury, vision loss, or blindness.
What is the Neutrogena Light Mask?
The Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask and Activator is a device for the at-home treatment of mild to moderate acne.
How Does It Work?
The system consists of a battery-powered ‘activator’ wand that controls red and blue LED lights in the ‘acne face mask’ that is worn by the user. The mask is intended to be used for 10 minutes a day for 30 days.
What is the Problem?
Using the recalled Neutrogena Light Mask can lead to irreversible eye damage, especially for people who suffer from underlying eye problems, or take certain medications that increase light sensitivity.
Neutrogena Light Mask Recall
In a recall notice posted on their website, Neutrogena warned about “a theoretical risk of eye injury” for people who take medications that increase sensitivity to light (ocular photosensitivity), or suffer from certain underlying eye conditions. The company said these injuries were rare, generally mild and transient.
What is the Risk?
- Eye injury
- Retinal damage
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Vision loss
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Eye irritation
- Blurry vision
- Seeing spots or flashes
- Other vision changes (such as color vision)
Eye Injury & Retinal Damage Risk
Experts are also warning about the risk of “retinal damage that could be irreversible and could accelerate peripheral vision impairment or loss,” according to a recall notice posted by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on July 17, 2019:
Other potential adverse events that may be associated with use of this device are eye pain, eye discomfort, eye irritation, tearing, blinding, blurring of vision, seeing spots/flashes and other changes in vision (for example vision colour).
Canada Recalls Neutrogena Light Mask
In July 2019, Health Canada and Johnson & Johnson also announced a Class II recall for the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask due to a risk of eye injury.
Acne Medications Cause Light Sensitivity
Unfortunately, many popular acne medications cause the skin and eyes to become more sensitive to light damage. These medications include retinoid-based acne medications such as Retin-A and Accutane (isotretinoin), as well as many other medications.
Underlying Eye Problems Increase Risk of Eye Injury
People with underlying eye problems are more likely to suffer eye injury if they repeatedly use the Neutrogena Light Mask. Examples of these underlying eye problems, including retinitis pigmentosa, ocular albinism, and other congenital retinal disorders.