FDA: Do Not Use 'Black Salve'

FDA warns against black salves or creams claiming to cure skin conditions

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about certain salves and creams.

These salves and creams are commonly known as “black salve.”

The issue? These products have claimed to treat or cure cancer, boils, moles and skin tags.

The FDA urged consumers not to believe these fake claims. In fact, the agency stated that these products actually contained corrosive ingredients.

The agency also noted that these products were not approved to treat or cure any skin condition — especially not skin cancer.

These products can be found under several other names, including the following:

  • Skinprov
  • Drawing salve
  • Red salve
  • Cansema
  • Bloodroot
  • Indian Herb
  • Hawk Dok Natural Salve
  • Black Drawing Ointment

The FDA warned against the use of any salve topical products that contain sanguinarine, Sanguinaria canadensis or bloodroot. These ingredients may be found alone or in combination with zinc chloride.

Also, the agency stated that these products were listing unapproved ingredients as inactive.

The FDA urged consumers to not be fooled by these products, which are commonly marketed as natural or homeopathic.

These salves are found in a variety of formulations, which include salve, paste, cream and even poultice, which is a soft, moist material that is applied to a wound.

The companies selling these products have claimed that the salves only destroy the cancer cells and leave the healthy skin healthy. This is not true, the FDA stated.

These ingredients are potentially dangerous because they can actually destroy the skin, including the healthy skin, and result in the following:

  • Permanent scarring, which may need to be fixed by plastic surgery
  • Tissue necrosis (tissue death)
  • Infection

Another concern is the potential delay of timely diagnosis and care. If consumers resort to black salve to treat serious conditions like skin cancer, this delay in appropriate care can lead to serious health outcomes.

Also, these salves work on and destroy the top layer of skin, leaving the cancer behind in the deeper layers of the skin. That means the cancer can continue to progress.

If you notice any changes in your skin or any of your moles, speak with your health care provider. To receive an accurate diagnosis and get safe and effective treatments, see a health care professional, the FDA recommended.

Always tell your health care provider about all medications you take. That includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, herbals, and supplements you are using or taking.