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Baby wipe chemical reportedly responsible for mysterious rashes

Posted: January 13, 2014 |   Comments

(Photo: Two years ago, Dr. Mary Wu Chang was presented an 8-year-old girl with a rash around her mouth and on her buttocks. Dr. Chang attempted to treat the young patient using antibiotics and steroids, but the rash continually returned.

Dr. Chang investigated the girl's medical history and realized that the rash could be an allergic reaction to methylisothiazolinone, a chemical often found in baby wipes, hand creams and lotions to which a patient in a Belgian study reacted badly. The skin condition has been misdiagnosed as eczema, impetigo or psoriasis. The amount of the chemical in baby wipes has been increased in recent years, in some cases by as much as 25 times.

After performing an allergy test and limiting the usage of the wipes, the girl's condition vanished. Since then, Dr. Chang has seen five other similar cases. She says that it's not necessary for parents to dispose of the wipes but instead warns them to limit their usage.

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