Strange but True: How Using Wet Wipes on Your Baby Could Cause Food Allergies

Strange but True: How Using Wet Wipes on Your Baby Could Cause Food Allergies

A toxic combination of environmental and genetic factors could be behind it all.

Food allergies are a scary thing. Most parents want to do all they can to stop their child from developing them. This being said, allergies still remain mostly a mystery, and few of us know how to avoid them.

One thing is for certain: a toxic combination of factors can cause allergies to develop. This includes everything from environmental to genetic factors, and now wet wipes are on the stand.

Wet wipes? Yes, you read that correctly. A new study completed by researchers at Northwestern University has found that if you use wet wipes on your baby, along with a few other factors, you could be increasing your chances of having them develop a food allergy.

It starts with genetics. Researchers found that some people have genetic mutations that alter how absorbent their skin is. They alter the ‘skin barrier’.

Related: Taking These Supplements in Pregnancy Could Reduce Allergies in Your Baby

When someone has this, they’re more likely to develop a food allergy as a baby. It happens when there are allergens in their environment and a caregiver cleans the baby’s skin with wet wipes containing sodium lauryl sulfate. This is a soap present in infant cleansing wipes, and it acts by bringing allergens and compounds through the skin barrier.

How does it happen? Lead study author Joan Cook-Mills, a professor of allergy-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explains it.

“{Babies} are exposed to environmental allergens in dust in a home. They may not be eating food allergens as a newborn, but they are getting them on their skin. Say a sibling with peanut butter on her face kisses the baby. Or a parent is preparing food with peanuts and then handles the baby.”

What can you do to stop this?

“Reduce baby’s skin exposure to the food allergens by washing your hands before handling the baby,” Cook-Mills says. “(And) limit (the) use of infant wipes that leave soap on the skin. Rinse soap off with water like we used to do years ago.”

If you’re looking for pure products that won’t cause any harm, try WaterWipes, the only baby wipes awarded a rating of 5 out of 5 by the National Eczema Association of America Seal of Acceptance. These are made soap-free, containing 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. Protect your child in any way you can!

Photo credits: Narong Jongsirikul/

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