Allergies :: Skin care products may cause allergy
Parents and physicians should exercise caution when choosing skin care products for use on allergic children. Many contain ingredients to which children may be sensitive, such as milk, wheat and nuts, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
“Pediatric skin care products may represent a previous unsuspected source of exposure for children with food allergies,” Dr. Kelly Newhall of the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago said.
Physicians who counsel children with food allergies to avoid exposure to these foods may not be aware that certain skin care products could put them at risk. There have been some reports of allergic reactions in the medical literature, such as a child sensitive to milk who reacted to a diaper cream containing milk proteins.
Newhall and colleagues collected 293 lotions, creams, oils, and other skin care products intended for children to evaluate how often ingredients from foods are included. The researchers reviewed the ingredients stated on the labels, questioning the manufacturers for further information when necessary.
The products included soaps, shampoos, creams, diaper ointments, wipes, breast creams, powders, baby oils, and miscellaneous products, such as body glitter, sunscreen, and hair detangler. Four fifths of the products were manufactured in the United States.
Of the products examined, 26 percent contained a common allergenic food, including cow milk, soy, hydrolyzed soy, wheat, egg, and tree nut. Specifically, 14 percent of the skin products contained tree nuts, such as pecans or almonds, 5.1 percent contained wheat, 3.8 percent contained cow milk, 8.9 percent contained hydrolyzed soy and 0.3 percent contained soy.
The researcher said they separated out soy from hydrolyzed soy because they were unsure if those proteins are significant allergens.
No products contained eggs or peanuts, although two contained peanut oil.