What To Do If Your Deodorant Is Giving You A Rash

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Your deodorant can, unfortunately, betray your skin and suddenly cause an allergic reaction. Per Healthline, this can happen regardless if you use deodorant or an antiperspirant. Likewise, the publication notes that the product doesn't have to be new to you; this can occur with deodorant or antiperspirant you've been using for some time. You'll know if you're allergic if a rash forms on your armpit and the skin is red, irritated, or itchy. If the rash is severe, your skin could also blister. Although this can be highly uncomfortable, it has simple remedies.

Discontinue using the deodorant you think is causing the rash. To prevent making it worse, wear clothing that won't rub up on your armpits. As for clearing up the rash, you can use an array of products on your armpits, including Vaseline, topical Benadryl, aloe vera, calamine lotion, and hydrocortisone cream. All of these work by soothing the skin and reducing irritation.

In any case, dermatologist Nava Greenfield, M.D., told MindBodyGreen, "Allergic or irritant rashes typically take about two weeks to fully resolve." Whether you use deodorant or an antiperspirant, certain ingredients in these products are known to be allergens.

Deodorant ingredients that can cause you to break out in a rash

There's a reason why deodorant rashes occur. Dermatology professor Macrene Alexiades, MD, Ph.D., explained to Self, "The armpit is a delicate area: The skin is thin, folding of the underarm occludes products placed there, meaning anything that you place there penetrates and stays in contact much more than other areas, and it gets damp with perspiration, causing even more opportunity for ingredients to react." That said, MindBodyGreen states that ingredients that can result in a rash include baking soda, fragrance, and preservatives like formaldehyde. The latter two can be found in both deodorants and antiperspirants. Likewise, natural deodorant can also cause rashes.

Unlike deodorant and antiperspirants, natural deodorant is made without aluminum. Instead, they feature baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils. All of these ingredients can irritate the skin and cause a deodorant rash. Baking soda specifically can interfere with your skin's PH. Other known allergens include Vitamin E and lanolins.

If you have eczema or psoriasis, be especially wary of any of these ingredients; Mayra Maymone, MD, told Self that individuals with these conditions are more susceptible to deodorant rashes. If you develop a deodorant rash, refrain from shaving your armpits, and if the rash doesn't go away with at-home remedies, visit your doctor.

Deodorant alternatives that are less likely to irritate the skin

Along with treating your deodorant rash, you should uncover what may have triggered it in the first place using a patch test. This will make it easier to find a new deodorant that won't cause allergies. But even if you have allergies to certain ingredients, this doesn't mean you can't find the best deodorant for you. Popular deodorants for sensitive skin include the Fragrance-Free Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant by Almay, The Deodorant Gel by Nécessaire, and Native's Sensitive Deodorant line, which does not contain baking soda.

If you want to give up deodorant altogether, here's what you can use in place of it. An accessible and affordable option includes the unscented Crystal Deodorant Stick, which features mineral salts as its primary ingredient, making it perfect for sensitive skin. Moreover, you can DIY your deodorant with household items. According to Healthline, You could apply apple cider vinegar with water, rubbing alcohol, or lemon juice, to your armpits as a natural way to stay fresh and odor-free.