(Reuters Health) – Products for kids with itchy skin that are labeled hypoallergenic often contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, a recent study found.
The “hypoallergenic” label is not regulated by the FDA, said Carsten Hamann, a medical student at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California and the lead researcher on the study.
He and his colleagues tested products that might be used by kids with eczema, which affects 17.8 million people in the U.S., according to the National Eczema Association. Patients have patches of red, itchy skin, often on the arms, legs, cheeks, and behind the ears.
“Kids who have eczema or atopic dermatitis use more lotions and creams and ointments, etc. Ostensibly, their caregivers who purchase these products to use on the kids’ skin, give preference to products using these meaningless marketing terms,” Hamann told Reuters Health in an email.
Doctors generally advise people with eczema to apply moisturizer to inflamed areas of skin. But people with eczema tend to have a higher risk of so-called “contact allergies.” That is, they may have allergic reactions to substances that come in contact with their skin, including fragrances, preservatives, and other kinds of chemicals. Source