Health

Mom Warns Against Using Sunscreen That Burned Daughter (Photos)

| by Michael Howard
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A Texas woman is speaking out against Banana Boat sunscreen after she said it caused a severe skin reaction on her daughter's face.

Jenavieve Snipes, 7, was on vacation with her family when she developed what appeared to be sunburn on her face.

"It gave me a bad sting," Jenavieve told KENS. "It hurt so much."

Her mother, Jessica, was confused since she had applied sunscreen to her daughter's skin before they went outside in the sun.

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Soon after, Jenavieve was peeling badly. She was also suffering from fatigue.

"It was like raw skin underneath the peeling," Jessica explained. "She was having problems eating and [she just wasn't] being herself."

She brought her daughter to the hospital, where doctors determined that she had suffered a chemical burn -- not a sunburn.

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According to Jessica, the doctor told her the burn may have been caused by an ingredient in the Ultra Defense SPF 100 Banana Boat Sunscreen she had used on her daughter's face. 

"He's heard of it happening to other kids," Jessica told KENS. "Why is this product still on the shelves if our San Antonio doctors are hearing of it happening?"

KENS reports that Banana Boat's Facebook page contains a number of angry posts from customers who say they have experienced adverse reactions to the company's products.

In a statement sent to the news agency, Banana Boat denied that its sunscreen causes chemical burns.

"[Banana Boat sunscreen] cannot cause chemical burns, which are sometimes mistakenly linked to personal care products or confused with sunburns," the statement said. "For some, a sensitivity to a product ingredient can be triggered or exacerbated by the sun and result in a photoallergic skin rash or sunburn. In more severe cases, blistering may also develop."

Dr. Phillip Hughes, a San Antonio-based dermatologist, seconded the company's assertion.

"Every now and then there's going to be someone allergic to one of the ingredients, but it isn't particularly unique to Banana Boat," he said.

Hughes recommended using a sunscreen with no chemical ingredients. He said adverse reactions like Jenavieve's can be avoided by testing the product on a small area of the body.

"Parents can do a little spot on their child's arm, send them out in the sun," he explained. "If there's no reaction, you can use it all over."

In Canada, health officials are investigating three cases in which babies allegedly suffered chemical burns after using Banana Boat sunscreen, according to Global News. 

"To date, Health Canada has received nine adverse reaction reports involving Banana Boat products as suspected products," Health Canada spokesperson Renelle Briand said. "Four of the reports were for Banana Boat products for kids and three were for Banana Boat Baby. The other two reports were for adult products."

Sources: KENS, Global News / Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr, KENS, Kai Hendry/Flickr

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