by timrel

November 23, 2021

Like it or not, deodorant is irreversibly linked to hygiene. For most of us, deodorant is part of our daily routine – for some of us, it’s an absolute necessity.

However, deodorant (especially aerosol deodorant) can cause serious burns if it’s used incorrectly.

Have you ever experienced a deodorant burn? We don’t expect our daily deodorant spritz (or roll-on) to sting or burn, but it can be more common than you think. So, what causes deodorant burn? More importantly, how can you avoid it?

What Does Deodorant Do To Your Armpits?

Deodorant burn of often an aerosol burn. This means that when the pressurized spray cools on your skin, it cools too quickly, causing a kind of frostbite effect. This can be surprisingly painful and can leave marks. In fact, a nasty deodorant burn can cause a second or third-degree burn.

This is painful and can leave a nasty scar.

Signs of a deodorant burn include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Blisters, or spots on the skin
  • A lump in the armpit

Roll-on deodorant can cause a stinging or burning effect if you have some kind of allergy to the ingredients. Allergies can appear if you start using a new deodorant, or something else if your skincare or lifestyle change. Shaving can also cause a burn. This is because some methods of shaving can cause dozens of tiny nicks and cuts in your skin.

You might not notice these cuts, but when you apply roll-on deodorant, product gets into the cuts, stinging and burning painfully. This type of injury doesn’t tend to leave a mark, as does a deodorant burn.

How Do You Treat a Deodorant Burn?

Treat a deodorant burn the same way you would any other burn. Cool the burn with lukewarm running water for up to 20 minutes, perhaps longer.

Don’t use ice or iced water. Your initial response might be to shove your armpit in a bowl of ice water, but that actually doesn’t do much to help the burn!

How Long Do Deodorant Burns Last?

How quickly your deodorant burn lasts will depend on how severe the injury is. Like common types of burns, deodorant burn should heal up within a few days or weeks, depending on how severe it is.

However, deodorant burns can easily leave scars. Remember, a deodorant burn isn’t just a superficial, fleeting injury – it’s a real burn. You can get second and third-degree burns from aerosol deodorant.

Why Are My Armpits Peeling from Deodorant?

If your armpits are peeling, it’s likely due to a reaction from your deodorant. However, it may not be related to your deodorant at all.

Skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis can cause skin peeling in the armpits, as can severely dry skin, sunburn, and dry shaving.

If you suspect you’re having some kind of reaction to your deodorant, stop using the product immediately. Moisturize your armpits regularly, and maybe take a break on shaving. If you dry shave, try using a shaving lotion or shower gel to smooth your shave along.

You might want to switch to a moisturizing and hypoallergenic deodorant going forward. Remember, the skin under your armpits is delicate and sensitive, and can be easily irritated.

Why Is Underarm Deodorant Bad For You?

Whether or not your underarm deodorant is bad for you will depend on its ingredients. Most deodorants include ingredients like aluminium (a key component in preventing sweating), parabens, and fragrances.

All of these ingredients can trigger allergic reactions and dryness in the skin. Cheaper deodorants are more likely to contain potentially harmful ingredients. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that expensive deodorants won’t have these ingredients – you’ll need to check out the ingredients list yourself.

The Bottom Line

Surprisingly, not everybody needs deodorant. Deodorants and fragrances can’t replace good hygiene practices, and you may actually be able to go a few days without deodorant, without reeking of body odour.

If you notice that you’re having a bad reaction to your deodorant, it’s likely doing more harm than good. Never spray aerosol deodorants onto your skin for more than a second or two at a time – more than a few seconds is a perfect recipe for a nasty deodorant burn.

About the author


I am passionate about health and wellbeing and have writing for over 10 years on the subject. I have a BSc Hons Degree and undertake vigorous research to help people improve their lives and live more a healthy and happy life.

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