Hidalgo County investigates Mexican bleaching cream

A beauty cream made in Mexico is under scrutiny in Hidalgo County.

It's said to contain dangerous levels of mercury. is where you can buy the Mexican skin creams.

They claim to lighten skin and remove wrinkles, but doctors said they are health hazards.

"I would say they're very dangerous," said Dr. Marissa Gomez.

Dr. Gomez told Action 4 News she treated one of Hidalgo County's first known Agua Mary bleaching cream victims.

The girl was only 16-years-old.

"She's been through surgery, numerous hospitalizations and a lot of trauma, said Dr. Gomez.

Gomez said the teen first came to her with nausea and a rash.

"And then it can lead to symptoms affecting the nervous system, said Gomez. Headache, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet."

According to Gomez, severe muscle pain and memory loss are a couple more consequences.

She said continued mercury exposure could result in kidney failure.

Perhaps the worst repercussions are to unborn children.

"Children born to mothers who are using mercury and have mercury poisoning can have paralysis, said Gomez. They can have problems with their muscles. They can have problems with walking, problems hearing and it can also affect their IQ."

In total, Gomez said she's seen around 10 patients after they used the bleaching cream.

She said she hopes others will toss their jars in the trash before ending up at her office.

Hidalgo County is currently investigating the Agua Mary products along with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Food and Drug Administration.

County officials said the difficulty with the investigation is that the United States has no jurisdiction over products made in another country.

To learn more about mercury visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page.