Antiperspirant Allergy

Antiperspirant allergy is generally experienced by women, which is also called as Allergic Contact Dermatitis. Antiperspirants are some chemical agents which help reduce sweating or perspiration. These antiperspirant comes in spray form or in roll-on form. These are traditionally based on the metallic salts of aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium chloride. They are prepared on varying strengths of solution. The excessively concentrated ones are used to control excess sweating.

Modern antiperspirants use aluminium zirconium compounds, which can be better skin tolerant and cause less irritation. They also use Diphemanil methylsulfate powder to reduce perspiration. Some antiperspirant also use deodorants to kill the smell emanating from the sweat eating bacteria.

Sweat is nothing, but a dilute solution of salt, which are produced by eccrine glands in response to exercise, heat and stressful conditions. This sweat is odorless, but when bacteria breaks down in the sweating area, it leads to offensive odor. There are other glands too, which release sweat such as apocrine glands, which are located in the groin region, around breasts and under the arms. This gland produces pheromones, ‘personal scent’, which some people do not like. To prevent these body odors, they use antiperspirants, which can cause allergy contact dermatitis. The article talks about the ways to use an antiperspirant and how to prevent this allergy.

Ways to Use Antiperspirant

  • Higher concentration of antiperspirant are much effective than the low concentration antiperspirants, but the increasing concentrations can also enhance the side effects. The following ways should be applied when using an antiperspirant:
  • Antiperspirant should be used over the dry skin.
  • It should be preferably be applied at bedtime as sweating is low in that time.
  • The active ingredients of antiperspirant are better absorbed into the sweat glands at night and should be washed off in the morning.
  • Antiperspirants should be used as prescribed by the doctor and it can be 7-10 days in a row initially and then its application should be reduced every other night for a week.
  • When there is improvement, then patients can follow a schedule of using it once every 7 to 12 days.

Antiperspirant Allergy Prevention

The following are the few ways to prevent antiperspirant allergy:

  • Avoid application of antiperspirant to nose, eye lids, anus and genitals.
  • Antiperspirant can cause allergic reaction under arms due to reaction with certain chemicals. The skin in under arms is very delicate, thin, occluded and moist.
  • People with certain health conditions like eczema or who have sensitive skin, contact allergy to perfumes or susceptible to razor burn should avoid using antiperspirant.

In some highly sensitive people, a hair follicle can be blocked and cyst can develop which can damage the ducts. This leads to formation of hard lumps which are painful and needs to be removed surgically.

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