Baby Wipes Skin Reaction, Some baby wipes can cause an itchy, allergic rash, U.S. pediatricians say. Baby wipes are extensively tested and traditionally used on babies with few reactions, doctors say in Monday’s issue of the journal Pediatrics. But acute contact dermatitis, a rash, to a preservative in wet wipes is frequently misdiagnosed as eczema, impetigo or psoriasis, they say.
“Dermatitis of the perianal, buttock, facial, and hand areas with a history of wet wipe use should raise suspicion of [acute contact dermatitis] to MI [methylisothiazolinone] and prompt appropriate patch testing,” Dr. Mary Chang and Radhika Nakrani of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, Conn., concluded.
Allergic patients should avoid the preservative in personal care and household products, the doctors recommended.
Wet wipes are increasingly marketed for personal care products for all ages and allergies to the preservative will likely increase, they said.
In their published case report, Chang described six children in the U.S. who were diagnosed with acute contact dermatitis to MI in wet wipes.
The first case involved a previously healthy eight-year-old girl who visited a dermatologist after a six-week history of an itchy, scaly, red rash on the cheeks and around the mouth. She was initially diagnosed with a type of eczema and received several antibiotics and corticosteroids, both orally and on the skin.
The reaction cleared up quickly after the mother stopped using Cottonelle and Huggies wipes that contain MI on the girl.
The six cases presented between March 2011 and January 2013.
The allergies were confirmed with patch tests to MI.
The reaction resolved quickly when parents stopped using the wipes, the doctors said.