How to Heal an Armpit Rash From Natural Deodorant?

How to Heal an Armpit Rash From Natural Deodorant?


A reaction can set in within minutes of applying anything at all to the skin, and deodorant or antiperspirant use is no different. The common symptoms of deodorant or antiperspirant allergy would be red patches, inflammation, burning or itching.

If you have any of these symptoms after introducing a natural deodorant to your routine, fear not! We're here with advice and some home remedies to help you get your pits back in great condition. This article explains everything you need to know!

Is natural deodorant allergy common?

This wouldn't be a common problem, but it's not unheard of- after all, allergic contact dermatitis is generally very common, regardless if whether you use deodorants and antiperspirants. Most of the time when we've had customers reach out for support about a skin reaction, we recommend one of our baking soda free natural deodorant products, and this helps relieve those allergy symptoms.

If you think you've had an allergic reaction to your natural deodorant, discontinue use and hold off on shaving until any redness or itching in your armpits disappears. Next, review the ingredient list for any ingredients you may be allergic to. The most common allergens reported to us from our customers are to the baking soda, shea butter or essential oils. Thankfully we have versions free from these!

It's worth noting that skin irritation/ contact dermatitis happens just as often, if not more often, when using conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. Allergic reactions and irritated skin are common when using beauty products, hair removal creams and antiperspirants containing common irritants such as alcohol and synthetic fragrance. You can avoid triggers like these by using a natural, alcohol free, fragrance free deodorant.

If you're nervous about making the switch, you can always try a patch test on a small part of the underarm area and see how your skin reacts.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to natural deodorant?

Whether you use deodorant or antiperspirant, the symptoms or an allergy or adverse reaction are similar; sensitive skin, irritation, inflammation, itching and redness. You might experience burning with more severe reactions.

Those with sensitive skin generally or who suffer contact dermatitis elsewhere are more prone to having a reaction than others- remember that the skin in your armpits is very sensitive.

If symptoms persist, for a diagnosis of what ingredient you might be reacting to, always speak to your dermatologist. Every body is different and testing is the only way to know for sure!

How to heal an armpit rash from natural deodorant

Unfortunately for some people the transition to a chemical-free natural deodorant can have its challenges. Ultimately how easy the transition is will depend on your own natural chemistry and sensitivities. While many people will transition seamlessly, others will have to go through a detox period and some may find they need to try a few different brands before they find a natural deodorant that works for them, whether using a deodorant cream or a deodorant stick.

One relatively common problem people experience is an armpit rash that develops after making the switch. While going through a transition is normal, if you develop discomfort or a rash this could be a sign that the deodorant you are using isn’t compatible with your skin and you should try another formula.

What causes an armpit rash when switching to natural deodorant?

There are a number of reasons you might develop a rash from using a new deodorant. Your underarm skin is actually very sensitive. It’s thinner than a lot of the skin on your body and is a dark moist area that is the perfect place for bacteria.

Sodium bicarbonate is used in many natural deodorants as it’s effective at neutralising odour and keeping you dry. However, sodium bicarbonate is very alkaline and your sweat is naturally acidic. If you have particularly acidic sweat, and each of us is different, the reaction between the two can cause a burning sensation and a rash.

Even without the addition of sweat, sodium bicarbonate is a mild irritant and so high levels can cause irritant dermatitis over time. People with very sensitive skin or eczema may be more susceptible to this than others.

Although sodium bicarbonate may be the culprit, essential oils or any of the other ingredients could also cause a reaction. The good news is there is almost certainly a natural deodorant that will work for you. Also, while most deodorants feature baking soda, you can get natural deodorants which are specially made for sensitive skin, they don't have bicarbonate of soda and some don't have essential oils in. We have a range of deodorants for sensitive skin.

An armpit rash can also develop simply from chafing as when you stop using an antiperspirant you will sweat more, initially at least, which can lead to irritation. Interestingly this is probably the most common cause of underarm irritation.

If I've had an adverse reaction, does that mean natural deodorants aren't good for sensitive skin?

Not at all! Deodorant allergy actually usually occurs where a deodorant has an antiperspirant allergies, artificial fragrance would be a leading cause for burns from deodorant products.

Even when natural deodorant allergy occurs, this isn't a negative reflection on natural deodorants generally; contact dermatitis is common, with common allergens including baking soda, essential oils and shea butter. This doesn't mean that any of these ingredients are bad- allergies happen, especially where you have sensitive skin.

How to heal a rash from deodorant allergy

The first step in healing a rash is to stop using whatever you think it might have been that caused it. If you are new to natural deodorant and still in the first month of use then you may find you can try again once the transition period is over, but until then it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Treatment would be similar to how you would treat contact dermatitis.

Keep the area clean and dry. Air drying is best as friction caused by using a towel can further irritate a rash.

Then there are a few things you can dry to help speed up the healing process.

  • Moisturise the area. Coconut oil or sunflower oil works well.

  • Cleanse the area with diluted apple cider vinegar to heal and balance PH.

  • Prevent friction and moisture with arrowroot powder.

  • Put down the razor. At least until the rash heals, and then try and shave at night and apply deodorant in the morning.

  • Switch to a deodorant that doesn’t contain sodium bicarbonate or essential oils. Although you can try these again at a later date.

  • Speak to your dermatologist if treatment at home doesn't seem to help. 

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