Health Canada: Cream for babies, kids includes undisclosed steroid

Health Canada has issued a warning about a skin cream for babies and children that it says could pose "serious health risks.''

The federal agency says PureCare Herbal Cream, which is promoted as a natural treatment for eczema and psoriasis in children and babies, contains a prescription steroid (clobetasol propionate) and another ingredient (phenoxylethanol) that are not declared on the label.

Health Canada says these ingredients may cause a whole host of problems:

Clobetasol propionate is a super-high potency topical steroidal prescription drug used to treat inflammatory conditions. It should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional. Side effects include skin irritation, weakening or degeneration. Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce adverse effects, including irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, stomach ulcer, increased blood sugar, blood disorders, skin, muscle and bone damage, and nervous system disorders.

Phenoxylethanol can pose serious health risks if ingested – for example, by infants during nursing if the mother has applied the product to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. If ingested, phenoxyethanol can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration.


Health Canada says PureCare Herbal Cream was sold online at and through an in-person distribution network.

The product has been sold with two different labels. The current label states the product is "for extremely dry skin" and the previous label says it is an "Herbal Cream for Eczema, Psoriasis & Dry Skin"

Health Canada advises consumers to stop using this product and to check with a health care professional if they have used it and have health concerns.

PureCare Skin says it had been assured by the cream's manufacturer that it was all-natural, paraben and drug-free.

The company is taking returns of the cream by mail and promising refunds in four to six weeks.

For more on Health Canada's warning CLICK HERE

with files from Siobhan Morris