Officials in Hong Kong say two whitening creams may contain excessive mercury that is harmful to health after a young woman was found to be suffering mercury poisoning.

A 25-year-old foreign woman, who had been using the two products for about six months, developed generalized swelling since mid-April, according to a government release.

The woman’s urine and blood samples revealed mercury levels higher than normal reference levels.

Testing by the Hospital Authority revealed that the levels of mercury were more than 8,000 times for the day cream product and nearly 15,600 times for the night cream of the acceptable level.

It was understood that the woman bought the products from a friend who purchased them through an online shopping platform. The patient put on the day cream and night cream every day for half a year, Oriental Daily reported.

She was admitted to Queen Mary Hospital twice after she had swelling in April.

The Centre for Health Protection said no other poisoning cases related to the products had been received.

The health center is investigating the place that the products come from and urged people to immediately using them and consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible if they feel unwell or are in doubt.