Can you develop an allergy to your deodorant?

It is is possible to develop an allergy to your anti perspirant or deodorant over time.  There is a distinction, however, between a true allergy or an irritation.  A true allergy suggests that one of the ingredients has triggered an immune response.  This can look or feel like poison ivy - red, itchy, swollen, and perhaps some blisters.  An irritation can often occur at varying times from anti perspirants if they over-dry.  This can lead to dry irritated skin. 

If there is an excessively dry sensation resulting in itching constantly, it’s possible your antiperspirant is way too effective and drying you out so much it’s irritating your skin. In this case, the masking scent of a deodorant is fine, we would just adjust the antiperspirant choice.

If you see a rash in what we call the ‘axillary vault’ the area we rub the deodorant on directly that appears pink, swollen, crusty and itchy- you may have developed a reaction to the scent or another ingredient used. There are so many essential oils used in deodorants that it’s possible to develop an allergy to these products over time with repetitive use. To test this, it helps to swatch the product on your inner forearm and see if a reaction develops. It’s not a perfect test but can show a rash where you swatched for a true contact dermatitis.

The other big rash that I see here is folliculitis. Bacteria can find its way onto our razors, get into our hair follicles and infect them. It’s often misinterpreted as a reaction to our products. The key here is the rash is concentrated around the hair follicles. 

 

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