Commonly used baby wipes can cause acute dermatitis, an uncomfortable condition that can make people – especially infants – more susceptible to serious infections, according to a new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.
Many baby wipes, which are often used by parents to reduce rash and itchiness in infants and toddlers, contain a preservative called methylisothiazolinone (MI). The preservative has been associated with allergic reactions including itchy, scaly, red rashes.
Researchers with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington studied cases of six children who had been suffering for weeks or months with skin irritation. The six children were given patch tests and all were shown to have allergies to MI. All symptoms were cleared up in as little as two days once the parents stopped using baby wipes on the children. The brands of wipes used with all the children were either Huggies or Cottenelle.
MI has been used for many years in baby wipes in combination with other preservatives. However, to reduce allergic reactions, the formulation was changed so that MI was used as a single preservative but in much higher concentrations. Researchers say this higher concentration is likely what has been causing skin irritation in infants and children who use the wipes.
Kimberly-Clark, maker of both Huggies and Cottenelle wipes, said it was addressing the problem. “We have been evaluating alternative preservative options over the past few years, and are now ready to confirm that, beginning this month, Kimberly-Clark will start introducing new wet wipes that are MI-free across its entire product range in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and other global markets,” company spokesman Bob Brand said.
Source: Tech Times