Wet wipes could contribute to childhood food allergies

05 June 2018

A soapy substance found in wet wipes could leave children more vulnerable to developing allergies, new research shows.

Wet Wipes Shutterstock

Scientists at Northwestern University showed allergies could develop after repeated skin contact in an area where sodium lauryl sulphate has stripped the protective layer on the skin, making it more likely to absorb allergy-causing chemicals. In youngsters predisposed to allergies, this could lead to immune reactions.

‘This is a recipe for developing a food allergy,’ said the study’s lead author, Joan Cook-Mills. She urged parents to reduce their baby’s skin exposure to food allergens by washing their hands before touching the baby, limiting the use of wipes and rinsing off soap with water.

The paper was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


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