In general, deodorants and Anti-transpirants are considered to be safe products. However allergic reactions to deodorants and Anti-transpirants can occur in people with very sensitive skin.
Deodorant intolerance - on sensitive skin
Deodorant intolerance: how to tell you have it
The most common symptom of deodorant intolerance is the development of a red, scaly and flaky rash in the area where the product is applied. Burning and itching of the underarm area may also point to an underlying deodorant intolerance. In very severe cases you may experience red bumps that form moist and weeping blisters. Such a reaction towards deodorants or Anti-transpirants may occur suddenly, upon first application, or even after months of exposure.
Deodorant intolerance: causes
There are a number of chemicals that can be responsible for contact dermatitis from deodorants and Anti-transpirants. The most commonly present allergen triggering such a reaction is fragrance and fragrance related ingredients such as essential oils or biological additives. Also, the presence of penetration-promoting additives such as alcohols greatly enhances this effect. Some of these reactions result in a rash, also known as contact dermatitis*, of the underarm area.
If your skin shows any sensitivity, it is important to speak to your dermatologist.
Intolerance due to other sensitivities
People with eczema or Atopic Dermatitis, might be more prone to a reaction to deodorants, especially to those that contain perfume or alcohol. Using fragrance-free deodorants or Anti-perspirants and those that are alocohol-free will greatly minimise the risk of reactions.
Deodorant intolerance: prevention and tips
If you are known to have very sensitive skin or suffer from Atopic Dermatitis make sure to use a deodorant that is free from most common allergens that can trigger contact dermatitis* such as fragrance or alcohol. Also before using a new deodorant you may want to apply it to your forearm to test if your skin reacts to the new product.
If you are experiencing contact dermatitis* from a deodorant or Anti-transpirant, stop using your deodorant right away to avoid further exposure to irritants or allergens. In addition, try to stop shaving your armpits and wear loose fitting clothes to avoid further irritation.
*Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance.
If you don’t experience an improvement in your skin condition after some days you should contact a dermatologist.