Topical Hormones Used by Adults May Expose Children and Pets
The FDA is warning that estrogen exposure may occur when children and pets come into contact with the skin where women have used a topical estrogen spray. The warning comes on the heels of adverse event reports of premature puberty, nipple swelling and breast enlargement in children exposed to Evanmist, a spray-on estrogen preparation used to treat menopausal symptoms. Pets exposed to Evamist may exhibit signs such as mammary/nipple enlargement and vulvar swelling.
While the FDA warning applies only to Evanmist, other topical estrogen preparations, including lotions, creams and gels, have been implicated by veterinarians after animals presented with sometimes dramatic signs of exposure to topical estrogen used by their owners.
NAMS asks your help in compiling cases of secondary estrogen exposure in pets or in persons. We’ve established a dedicated email address at NAMS (firstname.lastname@example.org) for you to submit case reports. We also encourage you to report cases directly to the FDA (FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Form FDA 3500 for persons;6 Form FDA 1932a for pets available online.7 )
In the meantime, if you use topical estrogens, wash your hands after applying and before handling food or touching animals or small children. Make sure lotions, sprays, gels and creams are allowed to dry thoroughly , and cover involved skin before coming into contact with small children or pets. Do not let your pet lick estrogen exposed skin.
The same advice applies to men using topical testosterone gels, which have been known to cause virlization in women and children exposed inadvertently to these hormones from contact with the skin of males using these preparations.