Deodorant allergy what do i do
There are a number of chemicals responsible for contact dermatitis from deodorants and antiperspirants, the most common of which are fragrances.
Other common causes of contact dermatitis from deodorants and antiperspirants include propylene glycol (a vehicle agent used as a "carrier" for athletic ingredients), parabens, vitamin E (as an antioxidant and moisturizer), and lanolin.
Allergic reactions to deodorants and antiperspirants often result in contact dermatitis of the underarm area. The rash that occurs is itchy, bumpy, and red and can blister, peel, flake, and ooze.
Contact dermatitis to deodorants and antiperspirants is generally limited to the site of application, namely the underarm area.
Deodorants and antiperspirants are generally considered to be safe products.
According to a study, there was some concern that parabens (used as a preservative) in these products were responsible for the increase in breast cancer rates in women. While this has been disproven in a number of studies, most manufacturers no longer use parabens in deodorants and antiperspirants. Aluminum, found in antiperspirants, has been blamed on the increase in Alzheimer’s disease. While somewhat controversial, a few studies do show a slight increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease from the use of aluminum-containing cosmetic products, such as antiperspirants.
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The diagnosis of contact dermatitis from deodorants and antiperspirants is made by patch testing.
The only FDA approved patch testing system in the United States is the T.R.U.E test, which can fail to detect an allergy to unusual fragrances and propylene glycol.
Therefore, it is significant that an allergist patch tests a patient's own deodorant or antiperspirant that is suspected of causing the problem.
There are other causes of underarm rashes not caused by contact dermatitis from deodorants and antiperspirants. These include (but are not limited to) fungal and yeast infections (such as tinea corporis and candidiasis), inverse psoriasis, acanthosis nigricans, and certain forms of cancer. If treatments are ineffective, then a person with a persistent underarm rash should be evaluated by a dermatologist, with the consideration for a skin biopsy.
Hypoallergenic Deodorants and Antiperspirants
- Mitchum Roll-On Unscented (deodorant and antiperspirant)
- Almay Hypo-Allergenic Fragrance-Free Roll On (deodorant and antiperspirant)
- Certain Dri (antiperspirant)
- Crystal Stick Body Deodorant for Sensitive Skin (deodorant)
- Crystal Roll-On Body Deodorant for Sensitive Skin (deodorant)
- Stiefel B-Drier (deodorant and antiperspirant)
- Secret Soft Solid Platinum Deodorant Unscented (deodorant)
Fragrance allergy is extremely common, affecting up to 4 percent of every people.
Since 90 percent of deodorants and antiperspirants contain fragrances, people with perfume allergy may own a hard time finding a product that doesn’t cause a rash.
Topical corticosteroids are the treatment of choice for mild to moderate contact dermatitis involving limited areas of the body. Severe forms may require oral or injected corticosteroids.
Should we worry about the latest news that deodorant kills off natural bacteria under our arms?
Or should our greater concern be that everyone else will ditch their deodorants before us? As if rush hour on public transport wasn’t punishment enough.
Caution is key here.
The fuss about deodorants is based on a new study that recruited just 18 people for “armpit community sampling”. The researchers analysed the normal bacteria growing on the armpit skin of three groups of men and women.
The group that regularly used antiperspirants (deodorants that contain aluminium products to reduce sweat) had fewer bacteria in their armpits. People who generally used them but stopped for a few days developed more bacteria. These are non-pathogenic bacteria that live on the skin and don’t cause disease.
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The question is whether having fewer or diverse bacteria living in your armpits is harmful to your overall health. There is growing scientific awareness about the human microbiota: the mass of bacteria and fungi that live on our skin, as well as in our saliva and guts, and frolic a vital role in maintaining excellent health.
Overuse of antibiotics can disturb the microbiota, undermine its role as a natural defence barrier and contribute to gut conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
So taking care of our microbiota in general is a excellent thought. But there isn’t enough evidence – from this tiny study or otherwise – to avoid deodorants yet, despite them being linked to illnesses in the past.
Can we tell for certain that antiperspirants are safe?
The scientific consensus at present says there is no evidence of a link to cancer. There has been debate about the role of aluminium in Alzheimer’s disease.
As yet, there is no convincing link, and no evidence that we absorb significant levels of aluminium from using antiperspirant on unbroken skin.
The immediate treatment of deodorant and antiperspirant allergy involves the use of topical corticosteroids on the underarm skin.
The long-term treatment of deodorant and antiperspirant allergy involves the avoidance of the chemical responsible for the reaction. If patch testing identifies the specific chemical, then that chemical can be avoided.
If the cause of the contact dermatitis is not known, then a hypoallergenic formula of a deodorant or antiperspirant can be tried. Alternatively, naturally available zeolite crystals are available commercially as natural alternatives to deodorants and antiperspirants. These include Crystal Body Deodorant, which is available at common drugstores nationwide.
Dealing With a Deodorant and Antiperspirant Allergy