Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

Cosmetic devices are not the same as medical devices

Many Houston area residents use cosmetic items every day. The FDA warns that popular cosmetic items are not medical drugs and therefore do not go through the same quality testing. Pharmaceutical liability is important for drugs, but cosmetic devices can also be dangerous if used improperly. Many consumers can be confused whether the item they buy is a medical device so it is important for consumers to know the difference.

Recently, cosmetic devices have evolved to sound more like medical devices. This can be confusing for consumers who can be misled when purchasing a product. The FDA defines a cosmetic item as one that is "rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness." Popular items include makeup, shampoos, hair color, deodorant and perfume.

A drug is an item that is intended to "use in diagnosis, cure, or treatment of disease" and "articles intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals." For many items their claims can cross the line into being a drug, such as anti-aging substances. These widely popular cosmetics can confuse consumers with their claims that may sound like a medical drug.

Consumers who have suffered adverse health effects because of a drug or medical device may want to get more information about their legal options. It is important to review the victim's situation and determine what caused the injury. It may be possible to hold the manufacturer accountable for their negligence. Compensation may be available for medical expenses and pain and suffering.

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