Made in China baby lotion allegedly contains hormones that produces “Michelin babies”

A baby lotion manufactured and sold in China has been pulled from shelves in that country, after allegations that it contained hormones that caused a five-month-old baby to balloon in weight, grow hair on its forehead, and suffer developmental setbacks, according to Chinese language news sources, including Apple Daily.

The story came to light after popular Chinese science blogger, Daddy Wei published a video on the Chinese social network Weibo, January 7.

According to reports, the parents of a five-month-old baby girl sought medical treatment for their baby after the baby’s weight ballooned to 11 kilograms.

As the baby was breast-fed, doctors first tested the mother’s milk, but found no abnormalities. Medical advice given was to reduce the amount of feeding.

The baby’s appearance led to media dubbing it ‘Michelin Baby syndrome.’


However, the problem continued to worsen, with the baby’s forehead protruding, the face swelling up, and black hair growing on her forehead and cheeks. The baby also suffered development delays – not being able to turn over on her own.

After another month, the distraught parents took their baby to another hospital, where a nurse, who had noted that four other babies had been brought in suffering similar symptoms, asked if they had been applying any creams or ointments to the baby, according to ET Today.

The mother said that they had only applied Yifuling Multi-purpose Anti-bacterial Cream.

After complaining about the product, the manufacturer denied that its product contained hormones, and threatened the mother with legal action.

The baby’s parents then contacted science blogger Daddy Wei, who had the product tested and found that it contained more than 30 milligrams per kilogram of clobetasol propionate, a strong steroid, which is usually only recommended for short term use on severe skin conditions when weaker corticosteroids are not effective.

Doctors treating the child said that because the hormones already absorbed by the body are difficult to discharge, the abnormal hair growth may take several years to go away, and its possible that precocious puberty could see the child experience menstruation as early as in the second grade of elementary school.

According to Shanghai Daily’s Shine News, government officials have ordered the baby lotion to be recalled, and the manufacturer to suspend production, while an investigation ensues.

Samples were taken for further testing by the Zhangzhou Municipal Health Commission in Fujian Province, where the product is manufactured.

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