Banana Boat sunscreen blamed for Sask. woman's painful skin blisters
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 3:05PM EDT
Another Canadian says she experienced a severe reaction after using Banana Boat sunscreen, developing such large blisters on her legs, she has been unable to stand in nearly a week.
In a post being widely shared on Facebook, Saskatoon resident Erin Belsher says she spent the day outside on Saturday and borrowed some of her friend’s Banana Boat sunscreen lotion, applying it to her legs.
The next morning the 24-year-old woke up with burning pain in her legs but went into work anyway. Within a few hours, she had to leave and drive herself to hospital. There, doctors told her she had second-degree chemical burns.
Five days later, Belsher still has the blisters -- and the pain. She decided to post about her injuries after learning of children who have developed similar reactions from Banana Boat products. Belsher says no one else in her group of friends had a reaction like hers, but she wants to get the word out about her experience.
“I want people to know this does happen. It’s scary and it hurts,” she told CTV Saskatoon.
“If it’s causing me this much pain, imagine if it happens to a little kid.”
Belsher says she sent in photos of her blisters to Banana Boat but hasn’t heard back from them yet. She wants the company “to fix the problem, so it doesn’t happen anymore.”
Several Canadian parents have come forward in recent months to say their own children developed severe reactions from the sunscreens, including a 12-year-old boy in Victoria, B.C., to a 14-month-old girl in Botwood, N.L.
Banana Boat Canada maintains that its sunscreens cannot cause chemical burns and that they fall within a neutral pH range.
The company says some people may have a “photoallergy” to a particular ingredient in the sunscreen, which is an allergic reaction that is worsened by exposure to sunlight.
"This type of photoallergic reaction can result in an exaggerated skin rash or sunburn. In more severe cases, blistering may also develop," the company told The Canadian Press.
The company suggests consumers should test their products on a small patch of skin before use.
Health Canada says it has received 139 consumer complaints about Banana Boat products, the vast majority of those coming since mid-May.
Banana Boat’s own test results have identified no problems with the products, but Health Canada is conducting its own testing to identify all the ingredients in the products.
With a report from CTV Saskatoon's Angelina Irinici and files from The Canadian Press