Baby Wipes Cause Rash
Baby wipes are terrific for cleaning...basically everything! Not only are they great for babies but there are many other fantastic baby wipe uses, including cleaning and disinfecting multi-surfaces. They’re convenient to have at home yet also perfect for travel or on-the-go usage. But are baby wipes safe to use? Sometimes the chemicals in the wipes can cause a nasty rash on your baby's sensitive skin.
While most wet wipes are indeed safe to use and will not cause rashes on your baby, we still have to recognize that not all baby wipes are formulated the same way or with a baby’s sensitive skin in mind. There’s a variance between the products available in the market in terms of their specifications or formulations. Some of these products are made with less conscientious ingredients and can contain harsh chemicals known to cause irritated skin.
These harsh chemicals come in the form of many ingredients and are not necessarily perceptible at first glance, especially when we’re so used to seeing them incorporated in many generic products. It’s easy to forget that while some ingredients are approved and safe for adults to use, they might not be so for a child, let alone a baby. So, it’s always a good idea to read the labels before buying a brand and to be aware of what ingredients could potentially be harsh or best avoided.
While shopping for baby products, the top ingredients to be on the lookout for are:
Parabens: used as a type of chemical preservative on a lot of skincare, beauty and baby products to keep the product “fresh” and bacteria-free. Parabens are believed to be carcinogens as they have been found inside breast cancer tumors. There have also been recent discoveries of parabens found in marine life, leading researchers to believe the parabens from the products we use are being washed into the oceans and dispersed onto our environment damaging animals too. Parabens have many names, the most common ones are: butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.
Sulfates: also used as preservatives, there’s been scientific debates as to the specific extent of sulfates’ side effects. Some researchers say it’s safe, stating the most sulfates will do is strip moisture from the skin at its worst perhaps a slight irritation. Others however believe sulfates could also be harmful carcinogens. In some rare cases an individual could have an extreme sensitivity or allergy to sulfates causing severe dermatitis or even anaphylactic reactions.
Phthalates: used as lubricants and product softeners to make the product smoother. Phthalates can have effects on hormones, damaging internal organs and creating reproductive problems or birth defects. It has also been linked to breast cancer.
Fragrances: used as aromatic perfumes, they can irritate skin and worsen already existing skin problems like rashes. Synthetic added fragrances and perfumes could also be toxic.
Dyes, alcohol, chlorine are also common ingredients that not only don’t have any benefits but are also common irritants.
Are wipes the cause of your rashes?
Sometimes it doesn’t matter what products we’re using or if these are chemical free or hypoallergenic. One can have the purest diapers, baby lotions or wipes available and yet sometimes our little one will still develop rashes. It’s infuriating when this happens after we did our part to be mindful, making sure the products were safe by scrutinizing each and every ingredient and yet, we still get rashes.
It’s important to note though that there could be various reasons as to why rashes suddenly occur, and they could be totally unrelated to the wipes you’re using. Babies have extremely sensitive skin and developing immune systems so they’re very susceptible to irritations and infections of many forms. Most babies will develop rashes at some point regardless of our best efforts. Looking at the ingredients, being aware of possible allergies, and keeping the baby dry when you are learning how to change a diaper often are all things we can do to minimize the occurrence of skin irritation and rashes.
Chemicals: Ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, fragrances, dyes, chlorine and alcohol can be irritating and could be the cause of your rashes.
Allergies: Your baby could be developing an irritation due to a sensitivity or allergy. Allergies to certain baby wipes ingredients or sensitivity to certain foods that were ingested can worsen an already sensitive skin, making rash symptoms worse.
Dampness: Long term exposure to dampness or humidity can also cause rashes. This is very common as babies skin comes in contact with urine and feces daily leaving their bums vulnerable if the diaper is not changed in a timely manner.
Texture: Perhaps it’s not the contents of the wet wipes but the texture of the wipe itself. Some wipes are made out of rougher materials and coarser quality non-woven fabrics. Wiping the baby repeatedly with harsh wipes can make the skin raw and tender. This is the same issue whenever your baby is in contact with rough clothes and diapers.
Pressure: Other times it’s the pressure we apply while wiping. Even a gentle wiping can at times be too harsh and irritating on a baby’s skin. It’s not easy to discern what’s the right amount of pressure, so when in doubt, less is more.