Mother Claims a Sunscreen Gave Her Daughter Second-Degree Burns

A Canadian mother claims her 14-month-old daughter received "second-degree burns" after using a sunscreen.

By Sarah Kinonen, Allure
In case you're new around here, we're big advocates of sunscreen. We religiously follow the American Academy of Dermatology's recommended sun protection dosage of SPF 30, reapply (or at least try to) multiple times a day, and urge others to do the same. We do all of this to save our skin from risk of sun damage and skin cancer. So when we heard a story that claimed wearing a certain sunscreen had an adverse effect after application, we had to investigate.

[post_ads]Canadian mom Rebecca Cannon recently told CBC News that her 14-month-old daughter experienced a severe reaction after being covered in an aerosol can version of Banana Boat SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Kid's Sunscreen. "I figured just putting it mildly on her face, for some protection rather than having none at all, would be OK and yeah, it didn't go over well," she told CBC News.

Turns out, it didn't go well at all. In fact, her daughter began breaking out in a blotchy, red rash, complete with blisters and "second-degree burns" following the sunscreen application, according to Cannon. And after taking her daughter to a doctor's office, Cannon claims a dermatologist has confirmed that the reaction was a "second-degree caustic burn," or a "chemical burn," brought on by the sunscreen.

New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says while he can't comment on the case without seeing the patient in person, generally speaking, when a rash appears on the skin with clearly demarcated borders, there's a good chance it's actually not a burn, but rather contact dermatitis. "In this rash, something is applied to the skin that causes an allergic reaction or a direct irritation," explains Zeichner. 
And in this case, that something would have been the aerosol sunscreen, which Zeichner warns should not be applied directly to the face. "Not only can they potentially cause irritation to the eyes, but also facial skin tends to be more sensitive than skin on other parts of the body," he says. "Ingredients such as propellants in aerosol cans, as well as preservatives, may be culprits in causing allergies or irritation."

For young children, Zeichner recommends skipping chemical sunscreen altogether in favor of mineral-based sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. "The newest generation of mineral blockers contain advanced formulations of zinc oxide, an element that is found naturally in the body," he says. "Zinc oxide it's also commonly used in the diaper area to prevent rashes and babies."
Cannon has assured friends and family on a Facebook post that her daughter's rash is healing. In a statement to CBC News, Banana Boat wrote, "We are greatly concerned when any person encounters a reaction using our products," and noted that all Banana Boat's products go through testing to meet Canadian regulations. "We have spoken with the consumer and asked for the product so that our quality assurance team can look into this further," the statement continued. "Without examining the product, it is difficult to determine what may have caused the problem as described."
More on sun protection:


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Lifestyle Magazine: Mother Claims a Sunscreen Gave Her Daughter Second-Degree Burns
Mother Claims a Sunscreen Gave Her Daughter Second-Degree Burns
A Canadian mother claims her 14-month-old daughter received "second-degree burns" after using a sunscreen.
Lifestyle Magazine
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