(UNDATED) - Allergies to a preservative common to baby wipes and other types of wipes are rising.
A study shows rates of allergic reactions to the chemical methylisothiazolinone, or MI, has more than doubled over the last two years.
The chemical is used in many soaps and shampoos, but researchers believe there haven't been many reactions from those products since they wash off. Wet wipes, on the other hand, stay on the skin, and many people don't realize the wipes may be causing their rash.
"They don't know why they have a rash on their hands. They've been using these wipes for years, and all of a sudden now they have a rash," said Dr. Christopher Obeime, a dermatologist with St. Vincent Medical Group in Indianapolis.
More people are experience in the allergy because more people are using wet wipes, on their children and on themselves.
"If you're in a car with a baby, the wet wipes clean better than dry wipes. If people aren't allergic to it, it's a good thing," Obeime said.
Companies who make wet wipes began using MI to help keep the wipes fresh as a replacement for parabens, which had been linked to cancer in some studies.
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