Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Protect Your Child’s Skin From Irritants


Exotic fruits: Fruit bowls are countertop staples in many households. And although fruit is a great source of fiber and vitamins for growing kids, some can cause skin allergies in children. “For example, mango rinds can cause a rash around the mouth that looks similar to poison ivy. And when citrus fruits land on your skin and the sun then hits the same area, you can get a red, itchy reaction that looks like a stain on the skin,” Fusco says. To prevent reactions, wash all fruit before cutting or eating it, and keep the rinds of acidic, exotic, or citrus fruits away from sensitive skin.

Organic alternatives: A lot of products labeled “natural” or “organic” contain botanicals. “Although they come from plants, botanicals can cause children’s skin allergies and sensitivities,” Stein says. If sensitive skin is an issue, avoid using products that contain botanicals or plant-based substances, which may irritate delicate skin. You’ll also want to be cautious if a label touts “natural fragrance.” This is a mixture that may include irritating botanicals, Stein cautions.

Aerosol irritants: Although they don’t touch your children directly, air fresheners, incense, candles and other products that produce vapors can irritate young skin. “Aerosolized household products are huge triggers for skin reactions in kids,” Stein says. Aerosolized products may include stain removers, furniture polish, and even all-purpose cleaning products. The solution? Minimize your use of these products, particularly when children are around.

Furry friends: Pets can cause children’s skinallergies, sneezing, and itchy eyes, Stein says. The shampoo used to wash your dog or cat could also be to blame. The only sure way to rid your children of pet-related skin reactions is to eliminate the offending animal. If that’s not an option, consider the following:

  • Limit your child’s exposure to the dog or cat.
  • Clean your home often.
  • Bathe your pet at least once a week.
  • If possible, keep the animal outside.

Become a Skin Sleuth

When it comes to household skin irritants, you can only do so much to protect your children. If your child has already developed a reaction -- if he has dry, irritated, itchy skin -- it takes a good detective to pinpoint the exact cause. “Think back to the last few days -- what your child was doing and what he or she was exposed to -- and try to identify the allergen,” Fusco says. And remember: If a reaction is directly related to a product that touches the skin, it will usually appear on the areas that product was applied. If the reaction is more generalized, it may be from a household skin irritant you spray, such as furniture polish or air freshener. Once you’ve identified the offending skin irritant, remove it from your household.

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream