Preservative In Wipes Could Lead To Rashes, Expert Warns

Certain people who are allergic to a preservative found in some wipes -- including baby wipes and personal wipes -- could develop painful rashes as a result of the allergy, warns an expert from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Dr. Matthew Zirwas, M.D., who is the director of the university's contact dermatitis center, explains that the preservative -- methylisothiazolinone, or MI for short -- is also found in products like shampoos and soaps. However, the difference between wipes with MI and shampoos or soaps with MI is that you rinse the shampoo and soap off your body. With wipes, "there is residue that remains on the skin and causes problems in some people," he said in a statement.

Recently, a study in the journal Pediatrics also detailed six cases of allergic contact dermatitis in children associated with use of wet wipes. In all six cases, once the parents stopped using the wipes on the children, the dermatitis ceased.

"Wet wipes are increasingly marketed in personal care products for all ages, and MI exposure and sensitization will likely increase," the study said. "Dermatitis of the perianal, buttock, facial, and hand areas with a history of wet wipe use should raise suspicion of ACD to MI and prompt appropriate patch testing."

For more on MI, watch the video from OSU above.