Eczema sufferers told to stop using a ‘herbal’ skin cream immediately

Eczema sufferers told to stop using a skin cream ‘immediately’ after regulators warn the product which claims to be a natural Chinese herbal remedy contains illegal steroids

  • Zudaifu cream contains a drug which is only allowed on prescription
  • The product is marketed as a Chinese herbal remedy but is actually illegal
  • Overusing steroids can damage the skin and be harmful for children 

People have today been warned to stop using the ‘herbal’ skin cream Zudaifu because it contains illegal steroids.

The product, which claims to be a Chinese herbal remedy, actually contains a prescription-only drug which could be dangerous.

Zudaifu cream is sold to help people with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea but people must stop buying it immediately, regulators said.

Selling steroids without a proper licence is illegal and if they are used without the advice of a doctor they can cause lasting damage – especially to children.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned Zudaifu contains a steroid which can only be dispensed on prescription, so any companies selling it online or in shops are doing so illegally

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced people should stop using Zudaifu and report sellers to the authorities.

It revealed the cream is not a licensed medicine so is being sold illegally because it contains clobetasol propionate, a controlled substance.

The cream can be found online for as little as £1.

The organisation’s Dr Chris Jones said: ‘We have identified a potentially harmful cream described as a natural Chinese herbal medicine on the market.

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‘Selling creams directly to the public that contain strong steroids is illegal and they are potentially dangerous if they are used without medical supervision.

‘Steroids must only be prescribed by healthcare professionals who follow strict criteria when prescribing them and can monitor patients using them.

‘They can suppress the skin’s response to infection and can also cause long-term thinning of the skin.’

He added: ‘If steroids are applied long term, particularly on children, they can lead to other medical problems.

‘Our advice to anyone who has bought it previously or is currently using Zudaifu cream – particularly on young children and babies – is to stop using it immediately.

‘If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare professional.’ 

The warning follows one earlier this year in which another so-called Chinese herbal medicine, Yiganerjing cream, was found to contain the same steroid.

People unsure about whether a medicine claiming to be herbal or natural is genuine should check for a Marketing Authorisation (MA), Product Licence (PL) or Herbal Registration (THR) number.


The MHRA warned in February that so-called Chinese herbal remedy Yiganerjing cream should be avoided because it contains steroids.

It contains the same steroid as Zudaifu, revealed today, which is called clobetasol propionate.

People using the cream for their eczema or psoriasis should stop doing so ‘immediately’, the Government body warned at the time.   

UK law states it is illegal to sell products containing clobetasol propionate to the public, and it can only be dished out on prescription. 

The MHRA also declared the samples of Yiganerjing cream they tested contains two antifungal ingredients which can lead to heart failure.  

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