Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist

Date:
March 3, 2014
Source:
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Summary:
Spring allergies aren't the only thing to worry about these days. More people are developing an itchy, painful rash in an effort to stay clean. A dermatologist says a preservative in many pre-moistened wipes is linked to a dramatic rise in allergic reactions. The allergen, a chemical preservative referred to as MI, is found in many water-based products like liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, cosmetics, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes. The irritated skin can be red, raised, itchy and even blistery, appearing much like a reaction to poison ivy. The three most common areas affected by the allergic reaction include the face, from using soaps and shampoos, the fingers and hands, from handling the wipes, and the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes. "Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde," Zirwas said.

More and more people are developing an itchy, painful rash in an effort to stay clean. A dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says a preservative in many types of pre-moistened wipes is linked to a dramatic rise in allergic reactions.

Related Articles


"In the last two or three years, we've suddenly seen a big increase in people with this type of allergy," said Dr. Matthew Zirwas, director of the contact dermatitis center at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. "For some patients, their rash has been unexplained and going on for years."

Zirwas says the chemical preservative is MI (methylisothiazolinone) and it has been around for years. MI is found in many water-based products like liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, cosmetics, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes.

"Concentrations of the preservative have increased dramatically in some products in the last few years, as manufacturers stopped using other preservatives like paraben and formaldehyde," Zirwas said.

The irritated skin can be red, raised, itchy and even blistery, appearing much like a reaction to poison ivy. The three most common areas affected by the allergic reaction include the face, from using soaps and shampoos, the fingers and hands, from handling the wipes, and the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes.

Julie Omiatek, an Ohio mother of two, says it took a year to figure out her allergy. All that time, she endured the rashes on her hands and face.

"I tried to look for patterns and I journaled every time I had a flare-up," Omiatek said. "My allergist referred me to Dr. Zirwas' clinic and, lo and behold, it was a preservative in the baby wipes I was using. I was really surprised, because I thought that the allergy would have appeared with my first child."

"If someone suspects an allergy to moistened wipes, they need to stop using them for at least one month. A week or two isn't enough time," Zirwas said.

Zirwas is nationally-known as a kind of 'dermatologist detective.' He has spent nearly 10 years sleuthing out the causes of mysterious rashes that others can't solve. Over the years, he has identified allergies to shoe glue, hot tub chemicals, nickel in food, even a chemical in escalator hand rails. Patients have traveled from as far as Alaska to have him diagnose their skin allergies.

Zirwas says it isn't clear how many Americans might react to MI, but he says manufacturers are aware of the growing allergy problem and are working on alternatives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083204.htm>.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. (2014, March 3). Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083204.htm
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Got an itch? Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140303083204.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins