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Baby wipes causing itchy, scaly rashes on some infants


(NaturalNews) It's not always easy figuring out the cause of a skin rash. Rashes may develop over time due to systemic toxicity of the blood and inefficiency of the detoxifying organs. Rashes can also be caused by allergic reactions to topical chemicals, injected chemicals or other irritants. Parents can have a hard time isolating the cause. Something as simple as an allergic reaction to a toxin in a household product can easily be mistaken for full blown medical conditions such as eczema, impetigo or psoriasis.

According to a new study, a rash on a baby's butt or face may simply be the skin's reaction to a preservative found in baby wipes.

Baby wipe preservative causing persistent skin rashes in children

Six cases of severe, persistent rash on children have been linked to baby wipes, according to a two-year study at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. "I think it may be more common than people realize," said study coauthor Dr. Mary Wu Chang, an associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the university.

One of the first cases that Dr. Chang looked into involved an 8-year-old girl who had a terrible red rash around her mouth and on her buttocks. Even though the girl was repeatedly treated with antibiotics and steroids, the rashes would reappear soon thereafter. After investigating the girl's medical history, Dr. Chang hypothesized that the rash around the girl's mouth and on her buttocks was caused by baby wipes.

Dr. Chang isolated the problem to methylisothiazolinone (MI), a preservative found in the baby wipes. When Dr. Chang tested the girl to see if she had an allergy to the chemical, the test came back positive. Dr. Chang instructed the family to stop using the wipes. Remarkably, the rashes cleared up as soon as they stopped using them.

Over the course of two years, five other children showed up at the UConn center looking for help with rashes that wouldn't go away with conventional medical treatments. All the cases resembled the case of the eight-year-old girl. When the parents stopped using baby wipes, the rashes went away completely.

"I think this is a really important issue," said Dr. Robin Gehris, a clinical associate professor of dermatology and chief of pediatric dermatologic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "But when you tell a patient they shouldn't use moist wipes they act like you have two heads. It's hard for people to imagine when something called hypoallergenic [could contain] things that could cause a problem."

Dr. Gehris says that the manufacturers of the wipes have increased the amount of methylisothiazolinone by 25 times! This preservative is found in other household products too, including make-up, lotions and shampoos. Dr. Gehris advises parents to avoid using wet wipes when they can, and suggests they just run basic paper towels under water to avoid the preservative-filled wipes. Baby wipes are extremely convenient, especially on the road; however, if a child's immune system is rejecting the chemicals, that's a sure indicator that it's best to discontinue use.

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