Those Baby Wipes You Use On Everything? They Might Not Be So Safe After All

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used baby wipes for many other things than wiping a child’s bum. As a parent, they are invaluable for cleaning up messes, especially when there are sticky fingers and chocolate milk mustaches in the house!

But according to Dr. Mary Wu Chang, an associate professor of pediatrics and dermatology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, baby wipes aren’t quite as safe as many parents think. In 2014, she treated six children, all of whom had mysterious rashes on their mouths or buttocks. While doctors first thought the condition was caused by eczema, psoriasis, or impetigo, the culprit turned out to be none other than baby wipes.

Many children have sensitivities to a chemical found in baby wipes known as methylisothiazolinone (MI). When Dr. Chang treated the children at her facility, they tested positive for an MI allergy.

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Local news crews around the nation have picked up the story, but Dr. Robin Gehris worries that people don’t take it seriously. She told Today, “I think this is a really important issue. 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.”

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