Preservative in Baby Wipes Responsible for Mysterious Rash

First Posted: Jan 14, 2014 11:13 AM EST

A preservative found in baby wipes has now been linked to a mysterious rash that's hit both children and adults. Though wipes are supposed to reduce the risk of skin issues, research shows that for many, they have increased the potential for deadly skin ailments.

According to CBS, scientists first discovered that a common preservative known as methylisothiazolinone (MI) found in baby wipes can cause acute contact dermatitis. This skin condition can lead to scaly, itchy red rashes in children and adults alike.

"Dermatitis of the perianal, buttock, facial, and hand areas with a history of wet wipe use should raise suspicion of [acute contact dermatitis] to MI and prompt appropriate patch testing," Dr. Mary Chang and Radhika Nakrani of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine notes, according to Fox News.

Researchers looked at six children who had been diagnosed with the rash. One of the patients involved in the study--an 8-year-old girl who had developed the rash on both her face and body--did not have any luck with antibiotics or steroids to reduce the rash. Further examination of the skin condition showed that she was suffering from an allergic reaction due to a preservative found in the baby wipes.

According to the Daily Mail, methylisothiazolinone has recently been increased by manufacturers in products by up to 25 times. However, many carry an intolerance to this preservative.

"More and more people are using these products and becoming sensitized to the preservative," said Chang, according to WebMD. She added that, "with increased marketing and popularity of disposable wet wipes for all ages, there will likely be more people developing allergies to the preservative."

Fortunately, when the mother stopped using the wipes, the rash cleared up on its own.

For all parents, Chang advised that they should limit the use of baby wipes and check for the preservative in the product.

More information regarding the study can be found via the journal Pediatrics

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics