Harsh Chemicals Causing “Poop Rash” on Kids

No, “poop rash” isn’t the technical term, but researchers have said that kids are getting more skin irritations caused by toilet seats these days. The culprits are harsh cleaning chemicals or exotic wooden toilet seats. It’s another example of science supporting eco-cleaning options.


Toilet seat dermatitis is one of those legendary conditions described in medical textbooks and seen in underdeveloped countries, but one that younger pediatricians have not come across in their daily practice,” said Johns Hopkins Children’s Center investigator Bernard Cohen, M.D.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center believe that toilet seat rashes are making a comeback due to either cleaning chemicals, wooden toilet seats, or toilet seats covered in paint or varnish.

Kids suffering from poop rash will develop skin irritation around the buttocks or upper thighs after several uses of the offending seat, whether it be a wooden seat or a seat containing residue from harsh cleaning chemicals.

Sadly, one of the researchers noted that some kids suffer for years before a correct diagnosis is made!

Clean Your Toilet Seat Gently

Don’t whip out the harsh cleaners in an effort to super sanitize the toilet seat. The researchers recommend avoiding “harsh store-brand cleaners” that may contain irritants like phenol or formaldehyde. Instead, they suggest cleaning with rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Of course, you can always use another eco-favorite cleaner: vinegar, water and a few drops of essential oil. If you’re concerned about germs, follow with a separate spray of 3% hydrogen peroxide from an opaque bottle.

Read 25 Safe, Non-toxic, Homemade Cleaning Supplies for more ideas.

Another tip from researchers: Be sure kids are using seat covers on public toilets, especially in schools and hospitals that tend to use harsher cleaners.

(Image via flickr.dieselboil)

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    • Jonathan Rowland

      Makes sense…I had a raging case of contact dermatitis on my palms from using the brand of wipes at my fitness center. It took weeks to recover from that.

    • http://cookerati.com DianaHayes

      My daughter got rashes from using bleach on cloth diapers, and also from using those dryer sheets. Never use them anymore.

    • Caroline

      You should NEVER mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide!!! Yes, it will disinfect, but it also creates peracetic acid, which is unstable and harmful to inhale or touch. You can still use these in combination for a very effective cleaning method: clean first with vinegar and then with hydrogen peroxide, or vice versa.

    • http://www.blisstree.com/topic/pets/ Peggy Rowland

      Hi Diana,

      Yip, I hate those scented dryer sheets. Have you tried Method dryer sheets?
      I just noticed them a few days ago and may give them a try.

    • http://www.blisstree.com/topic/pets/ Peggy Rowland

      What brand was that? Just curious.

    • http://www.blisstree.com/topic/pets/ Peggy Rowland

      Hi Caroline,

      I usually just clean with the vinegar, water and essential oil. I didn’t clarify that the hydrogen peroxide needs to be a separate follow-up. I updated the post to reflect that. Thanks for commenting.