A new study suggests that baby wipes cause rashes as some children have developed itchy red rashes from the preservatives found in the wet wipes.
The study looked into baby wipe products from Huggies and Cottonelle. Both brands, which are made by Kimberly-Clark Corp., contain methylisothiazolinone, a preservative believed to cause rashes.
Dr. Mary Wu Chang, an associate clinical professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut (UC) School of Medicine in Farmington, reported her findings along with UC medical student Radhika Nakrani in the Jan. 13 online issue of Pediatrics. According to their research, reactions from the wipes range from rashes to swelling, blistering, and tiny cracks on the skin.
Spokesman for the Kimberly-Clark Corp. Bob Brand told reporters that the company is looking into the research and is seeking to fix the problem:
“While our wipe products remain safe for use, we recognize that recent studies have raised concerns about the use of MI as a preservative ingredient. 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.”
According to Chang, the use of methylisothiazolinone is nothing new. However, the recent development of baby wipes causing rashes has to do with higher levels of the preservative being used. Chang told reporters:
“This preservative is not new. But it was used as a combination preservative for many years. To try to minimize allergic reactions, it is now being used as a single preservative but in higher concentrations, and now people are developing allergic rashes to the new formulation. The rashes were proven to be caused by the preservative by patch testing, a method of putting various substances on the skin using a sticker-like sample, and seeing how the skin reacts.”
Baby Wipes Cause Rashes According to New Study That Links Wet Wipes to Allergic Skin Reactions.