I seem to have a reaction to antiperspirant deodorants. My underarms get so itchy. What is a person to do? Is there something that won't cause this reaction?
Debbie52 from IL
You are mostly likely allergic to your deodorant, so I'd suggest to stop using it.
I speak from experience. I became allergic to my deodorant and got cysts, rednesses, and allergies and couldn't wear deodorant for several months, which was a real drag. If you go to a health food store, you can find deodorants that have no aluminum in them and are actual deodorants, not anti-antiperspirants. You may have to try several before you find one that works for you, but itching is your body saying that something is very wrong.
Just checked what I'm using: It's the Jason Apricot Deodorant Stick. I like it a lot. Another thing I do is take a shower in the evening and wash away the old deodorant and not put new stuff on until the morning. You want to give your skin as much breathing time as possible. (02/21/2006)
Try using an all natural crystal roll-on. You can get it very reasonably at Walmart. Someone in my family had this problem. (02/21/2006)
I had the same problem. My dermatologist said I was allergic and that I should use an unscented deodorant for sensitive skin (such as Dove unscented). I no longer have a problem. Good Luck. (02/21/2006)
By Patricia Morrison
I've heard that plain baking soda, applied to underarms, with a powder puff is useful as a deodorant. (02/21/2006)
Go to www.bodycrystal.com and order one. They are wonderful and last forever. There are no chemicals, no perfumes, and no aluminum. It's probably the safest thing out there for deodorant. Your skin must be wet to use it, or just wet the stone. (02/21/2006)
Be aware of when you shave your underarms relative to when you apply deodorant. Shaving can break the skin, thus making it even more sensitive.
Use Dial soap as a deodorant soap. If you wash every day, you may not need deodorant. If you shower in the morning, give your under arms a sponge bath at bedtime. If you shower in the evening, take the sponge bath in the morning. (02/22/2006)
By the Oracle
I find it helpful to have 2-3 brands of deodorant and rotate among them, constantly. Also, I find that using an electric shaver on my underarms does not cause as much irritation. (02/23/2006)
My husband has had the same type of problem and recently started using the deodorant from Tom's of Maine. It probably isn't the most thrifty item in our med cabinet, but if it does the trick, it is worth it. They have a website and we can buy it at our local Giant grocery store. (02/23/2006)
My husband had the same problem, and it turned out it was a new heavily scented deodorant. He switched and had no more problems. It sounds like you are having some sort of allergic reaction. Cortisone/antihistamine cream will help to dry up irritation, but you have to experiment until you get to the cause.
Also, when your skin is healing from an irritation it is very dry and sensitive and may have a counter-irritation. You have to treat that by being as gentle with it as possible and treating the dryness. Aveeno/oatmeal products help plus gentle moisturizing. (03/03/2006)
For the most part, I have rid myself of this problem finally. I bought some of that crystal deodorant from Wal-Mart. It is like a deodorant stone but in a roll-on form. I use that most of the time, although I don't think it works quite as well or for as long, but I don't itch with it. I try to keep my underarms as clean as possible, and also I use Dove stick from time to time. I have felt itchy just a few times and nothing major.
I really don't know what the cause was, if it was an allergic reaction or my armpits were getting dried out. I didn't see a Dr. about it, but just experimented and it seemed to have solved the problem. (08/29/2006)
I am the one who started this thread and thanks to whoever posted about the Jason Apricot stick. I've been using that now for around a month and happy to say, no more itching. My underarms are not red, and the Jason works too, so I am delighted! I found it at a nearby health food store and it wasn't expensive either, just $4 for a goodly amount that will last a long time. It is such a relief not to itch anymore! (06/04/2007)
It could be the scents that they add to it. Some are sensitive because of the chemical compositions. My mom taught me a trick in high school related to shaving (and it worked for me!). Apply a thin layer of Neosporin immediately after shaving. This will heal the knicks and kill the odor causing bacteria. I don't have a problem with perspiration, so the deodorant aspect is all I need. The talc may be a problem too. If you get "wet", powder some cornstarch on (very lightly, that stuff gets up your nose quick!), but for regular days some Neosporin may be all you need. (06/06/2007)
I had this problem and was in Denmark when someone said, "Use one without alcohol in it". I did, and it cleared up immediately. Now I find I can use some sensitive deodorants but not most of them. It's a case of trial and error. Just because they cost a lot doesn't mean to say they won't react with your skin. But if all else fails, try the expensive ones.
I don't know where you are, but I'm currently using a Tesco sensitive spray deodorant (60p a can which is fab price). Also, found Mum non alcohol roll-on good as well, or some of the vegan ones.
Hope that helps. Jo (06/06/2007)
I had the same rash/itch problem many of you describe above. I tried all kinds of natural products, but they caused the same issues.
One day, out of frustration, I tried my wife's Secret (definitely unscented), and I have never had an issue since. I'll admit to feeling a bit odd buying a woman's deodorant, but that's no real issue. Sure beats the annoying problem I had before. (07/07/2008)
I wonder if they changed the formula for deodorants. Maybe some chemical was banded by the government. A year ago, literally over night, I started having itching problems. I tried different deodorants, scented, non-scented, women's deodorant and so on. The only thing that's worked for me is applying a little dab of Cortizone 10 cream on before applying the deodorant. I haven't had the problem since. (08/17/2008)
Same underarm itch; the ape itch, I call it. The reason you try so many deodorants and the itch still comes back is because it is not any of the deodorants. While you're having the itch, try Neosporin under your arm. If the itch immediately disappears, you may have tinea pedis (like the athlete's foot) microscopic bacteria. See a doctor to get the proper ointment needed. Neosporin will just alleviate the itch until you can get to the doctor. (11/09/2008)
I have this same problem, but only with the "invisible solid" type. It's frustrating because gels just don't work that well and feel sticky. I even tried Tom's of Maine regular solid and that still made me itchy, but I noticed that has stearyl alcohol in it just like the invisible solids. I am thinking that ingredient may be the culprit. (12/12/2008)
If you are just looking for a deodorant, use Bactine spray. It kills off the pit bacteria, which is the point. (12/20/2008)
Elizabeth Arden has a deodorant behind the makeup counter in many department stores. It costs about $13, but you only have to use a small amount, so it lasts a long time. My itching with over-the-counter deodorants was crazy, so I tried this and no more itching. It keeps me dry and has totally stopped the itch. (12/28/2008)
I have been a faithful Crystal deodorant/spray user for 20+ years! It's the very best and healthy to use. I used to get very irritated rashes with the aluminum based deodorants and feeling clogged in my armpits and in my pores. I will never go back to using any product like that ever again. Should you have a bad rash, use an aloe plant leaf and expel the gel on the sore area, or for the need of clinical use, Neosporin or hydrocortizone on the area. Take a baking soda/oatmeal bath to help the healing process. Good luck. :) (12/28/2008)
I read all the posts everyone was kind enough to share and was surprised to see this is more common than I had thought. In my case I had switched to a bath soap made for men by Vaseline. Apparently this was similar to others' experiences. I related to the idea this was a bacterial issue rather than an allergic reaction.
So, with nothing to lose, I stopped using my regular deodorant and started applying Tinactin cream to my underarms, because I knew it worked well keeping my feet free from athlete's foot and also relieved jock itch. I know both of those sound gross, but those are common for guys and this stuff keeps it away. It was also kind of gross to wet my arm pits and apply a small amount of this cream after showering, but with the wet hair, it kind of foams up and spreads like lotion that dries in about 10-20 minutes.
That brought instant relief from itching, and after 2 weeks the redness and rash appearance cleared. I can now use my regular alcohol-fragrant deodorant without any problems. The itching is gone and if it returns, I know what works for me. I'll never use any product from Vaseline except Vaseline itself for cuts. My theory is that my regular deodorant soap killed the bacteria twice every day, and the "kinder gentler" Vaseline bath soap wasn't strong enough to do that. (01/01/2009)
I have this problem as well. The only deodorant I have ever found that does not make me itch is Almay. Specifically their hypo-allergenic fragrance free clear gel.
I couldn't find it recently, so I tried the Tom's of Maine and started itching immediately. I think I am going to have to start ordering it online because stores don't always carry it. (02/25/2009)
The only deodorant that does not cause me to itch is Arm & Hammer's Victory version. It has to be Victory, as all of the other types cause me to itch immediately. Unfortunately, it looks like they have discontinued this type as I can no longer find it anywhere. Thanks to all the suggestions here, I am hopeful that Almay or Jason will work for me. (02/27/2009)
Vinegar will help. Just put under arms after bath, or use baking soda. Good luck. (02/27/2009)
By k w
I developed this sensitivity at least 10 years ago, and found a deodorant named "Crystal." It is a salt mineral rock, and you just rub it around on your wet underarm after showering. It is perfect, and quite a bargain. One container lasts me at least 2 years, and it costs only about $6 at Rite Aid. It's in a clear plastic container with some lavender printing, etc. (08/31/2009)
By Patrick C
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