Diaper rash is a common enemy of parents, but a new study suggests a scaly looking rash that cracks dry skin might be caused by an ingredient in baby wipes themselves.

A new study evaluating several cases of rashes linked them to an preservative common in baby wipes. The study authors warn that the preservative could be making its way into more personal care products as well. (Photo credit: Dr. Mary Wu Chang)
The study led by Dr. Mary Wu Chang, associate professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Health Center, identified methylchloroisothiazolinone, a preservative in some wipes, as the cause of allergic contact dermatitis.

“Wet wipes are extensively tested and traditionally believed to be innocuous,” the study abstract said. “[Methylchloroisothiazolinone] in wet wipes (“baby wipes”) has not been previously reported to cause [allergic contact dermatitis] in children in the United States.”

But the study evaluated six children in the United States with reported cases of such a reaction on their bottoms and/or faces. None of the subjects wore diapers anymore, but the wipes were still used. The authors wrote that this is the first report of such allergic cases related to the preservative in wipes in the United States.

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