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Patient Information on Homosalate

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 10/31/2009

This article focuses on providing all of the important patient information on homosalate.

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    Homosalate isn't a medication, but a chemical ingredient in dozens of prescription and over-the-counter products. It is the primary component of dozens of sunscreens and photosensitivity drugs and medications. Some of the more common brand names include Banana Boat, Bullfrog, Blistex, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic, Neutrogenia, Oil of Olay, Nivea, Noxema, Chap Stick, Waterbabies, and Vaseline.

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    This ingredient is used in photosensitivity drugs, sunscreens, tanning lotions, moisturizers, and skin protectants. It comes in several forms such as lotions, creams, gels, sprays, sticks, oils, and lip balms. It is used to protect the skin from sun damage and to moisturize the skin.

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    Those using products with this ingredient will apply is directly to the skin or lips. Most products with this ingredient suggest it be applied liberally and often. It should be applied every two to three hours when out in the sun. The topical skin products should also be reapplied after sweating and after swimming or participating in water activities. The lip balms should be reapplied after drinking, eating, swimming, or engaging in other activities that may cause the lip balm to wipe off.

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    Those with certain medical conditions may not be able to use products containing this ingredient. These medical conditions include skin diseases or conditions such as folliculitis, eczema, acne, and psoriasis. This chemical could further irritate and worsen certain skin conditions.

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    Side Effects

    Side effects may occur when using products containing homosalate. The common side effects include tightening or drying of the skin. The serious side effects may include acne, pus in hair follicles, burning, pain in hairy areas, itching, late appearing rash with or without blisters that weep, early appearance of swelling or redness, and stinging.

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    Drug Interactions

    Certain drugs and medications may interact with this chemical ingredient. Patients should tell their doctor about every over-the-counter medication, herbal product, vitamin and nutritional supplement, and prescription medication they use before starting to use products with this ingredient. Patients should also tell their doctor about all topical products they use, such as lotions and other skin products, sunscreens, lip balms, soaps, shampoos, and prescription topical skin medications, before using products with this ingredient. Drugs that may interact with this chemical include anesthetics, sulfa medicines, oral antidiabetic medications, and thiazide diuretics.

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    Risks and Warnings

    Those allergic to artificial sweeteners or other sunscreen products should tell their doctor prior to using this medication. It is unknown if this chemical is harmful to pregnant women, unborn babies, or if it passes into breast milk so caution should be used if this applies. Those allergic to cinnamon may not be able to use products containing this ingredient. Products containing this ingredient should not be used on children six months of age and younger. Elderly people may not be able to take products containing this ingredient. Certain hair dyes may interact with this product.

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    Resources (2009). Homosalate. Retrieved on October 31, 2009 from Website: