A physician has warned against prolonged contact with “slime” — a viscous, squishy substance sold as a toy — after it was found that it can result in a loss of fingerprints.
Yes Clinic director Tsai Yi-shan (蔡逸姍) said that she recently treated an elementary-school student who was brought to her with an inflamed palm and fingers.
Clinic personnel discovered that the girl had developed an allergic reaction to slime, which she had been playing with for several hours every day during her summer vacation, a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News quoted Tsai as saying.
Photo courtesy of Tsai Yi-shan
The girl had developed hypersensitivity in her hands, and her fingerprints had disappeared, the report said.
Slime, which is often made from two-part epoxy clay known as “crystal clay,” is popular among elementary-school children, as it is stimulating to touch, and because of its properties as an “anti-stress” material, Tsai said.
However, the glue, borax and coloring additives that can be found in slime might cause allergic reactions in children if their skin comes into contact with it for long periods of time, she said.
Parents who notice skin reactions on their children should immediately consult a physician, Tsai said, adding that she treated the girl’s condition with oral antihistamine medication and an antibiotic ointment.
Had the condition been left untreated it could have developed into itchiness, peeling, blisters or even hardening of the skin, Tsai said.
Slime is also poisonous if ingested, she added.
Parents should pay attention to the ingredients of slime if they are giving it to children to play with, and should not allow children to play with it for more than an hour at a time, she said.
Children with an exposed cut on their skin should not play with slime at all, Tsai added.
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