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Common products causing rise in skin allergies

Amarillo, Texas - It's been named an allergen of the year and is an ingredient found in many personal care products.

Methylisothiazolinone, or referred to as MI, can be found in a variety of products from baby wipes to face lotions. But the preservative that has been introduced in these type of products in the last five years, has been causing an increase in allergic contact dermatitis.

The American Contact Dermatitis Society has named MI this year's contact allergen of the year.

Amarillo dermatologist, Elaine Cook, M.D. says people are being exposed to MI in other ways also.

"They're also however in a lot of household cleaners, and things people use in the household. And they may or may not be listed. There's also some occupational exposure especially in painters, carpet layers, and people who wash their hands a lot, which means food service workers, health care workers," Cook says.

Doctors have discovered a 6.2 percent increase in allergy sensitivity to this ingredient in the past three years.

More information on products containing MI can be found on the American Contact Dermatitis Society's website at: http://www.contactderm.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

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