PARENTS of babies and toddlers should be aware a preservative in baby wipes has been found to have caused a surge in contact dermatitis.
Researchers from the Skin and Cancer Foundation say the preservative methylisothiazolinone is now the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis seen in their centre's patient population.
Positive reactions to MI patch tests increased from 8.4% in 2012 to 11.3% in 2013.
This was compared to just 3.5% in 2011 when they first started including MI in their baseline patch tests for allergies, following an increase in cases reported in Europe.
"Interestingly, it is parents using baby wipes on their children who are presenting with hand dermatitis, although it is likely that allergic contact dermatitis involving the groin in children may not be diagnosed accurately," dermatologist Dr Jennifer Cahill said.
MI is most commonly found - and in the highest concentrations - in disposable wet wipes.
Other lower concentration sources include make-up removal wipes, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants, body washes, moisturisers and sunscreens.
The finding has prompted one manufacturer to remove the preservative from its products and there's a call for others to follow suit.