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How to treat an allergic reaction to deodorant

February 2020

A deodorant allergy is an inflammatory reaction of the underarm skin which can cause symptoms such as intense itching, blisters, red patches, redness or a burning sensation.

Although some fabrics, especially synthetics like lycra, polyester or nylon, can also cause underarm allergy. This irritation is generally because of the deodorant used, as some may contain more irritating substances, such as perfumes, which can cause inflammation. 

So, wash under your arms with plenty of water and neutral pH soap as soon as you see the first symptoms to prevent it from getting worse, and then apply a little soothing cream, with aloe vera, for example, to hydrate and soothe the skin.

How to treat an allergic reaction to deodorant

Possible allergy symptoms

If you develop an allergy to deodorants, one of the first symptoms that usually appears is a burning sensation and irritated skin. However, other symptoms include:

  • Red blisters or spots on the skin;
  • A lump in the armpit;
  • Very intense itching;
  • Redness.

In some cases, when the deodorant isn’t removed immediately, peeling, blistering or even burns may occur in the armpit.

In more sensitive people, there may even be more severe allergy symptoms, such as swelling of the face, eyes or tongue, the feeling of something stuck in the throat or difficulty in breathing. In these cases, go to the hospital immediately to take an antihistamine medication and a corticosteroid medication delivered directly into the vein, this way preventing serious complications such as respiratory arrest.

What to do in case of allergy

It is important to act quickly when you have symptoms of a deodorant allergy by:

  1. Washing the armpit with plenty of water and neutral pH soap, in order to remove all the deodorant applied;
  2. Applying hypoallergenic or calming products to the skin, such as creams or lotions with aloe, chamomile or lavender, to soothe and moisturize the skin;
  3. Applying cold water compresses to the armpits, to reduce irritation and the burning sensation.

The symptoms should disappear altogether within two hours after washing and moisturizing the skin. However, if this doesn’t happen or if the symptoms worsen, go to the dermatologist as soon as possible.

If you start having difficulty in breathing or feeling like there’s something stuck in your throat, go to the hospital or emergency room quickly, as these are signs of an anaphylactic reaction, an allergy condition that needs urgent treatment.

Treatment options

The treatment for a deodorant allergy depends on your symptoms and may involve the use of antihistamines, like Loratadine or Allegra, or corticosteroids, such as Betamethasone. These medications relieve and treat allergy symptoms and should be prescribed by a dermatologist.

How to treat an allergic reaction to deodorant

In cases where there is too much redness or itching in the armpits, ointments with antihistaminic properties which help in relieving these symptoms may also be recommended.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The diagnosis of a deodorant allergy can be done by a dermatologist who will see your symptoms and the condition of your armpits after the product is applied. After this first examination, the doctor may ask for an allergy test to confirm the diagnosis and identify the component that is causing the allergy, because in some cases it is possible to choose deodorants that don’t have compounds that cause allergies, and so avoid this type of reaction.

To avoid deodorant allergy, it is important to always test the deodorant in a small area of the armpit and wait for a few hours to see if there is an unwanted reaction.

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