How to Heal Underarm Rash from Natural Deodorants



A collection of natural deodorants is arranged on a wooden shelf. The assortment includes stick deodorants, roll-ons, and jars of cream. In the background, ingredients like aloe vera, coconut oil, and essential oils are visible, suggesting their use in these products.

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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 in-depth guide will help you understand the root causes of these rashes, explore effective remedies to heal them, and provide practical tips on how to prevent future irritation. Experience the benefits of natural deodorants (once you do an armpit detox) without sacrificing your comfort!

Contents show

Key Takeaways: Healing Underarm Rash from Natural Deodorants

  1. Identify the Cause of the Rash: Determine if the rash is caused by an allergic reaction or irritation from the natural deodorant. Many natural deodorants contain baking soda or essential oils, which can irritate sensitive skin.
  2. Discontinue Use Immediately: Stop using the deodorant to prevent further irritation. Continued use can exacerbate the rash and prolong healing.
  3. Clean the Affected Area Gently: Wash the underarm area with a mild, fragrance-free soap. This helps to remove any residual deodorant and soothes the skin.
  4. Apply a Cold Compress: Use a cold, wet cloth to reduce inflammation and itching. Cold compresses provide immediate relief by numbing the area.
  5. Use Over-the-Counter Remedies: Consider hydrocortisone cream or aloe vera for their anti-inflammatory properties. These products can help soothe and heal the skin.
  6. Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing: Avoid tight clothing that can rub against the rash. Loose, breathable fabrics reduce friction and allow the skin to heal.
  7. Keep the Area Dry: Moisture can worsen the rash, so keep the underarms dry. Patting the area dry after washing and avoiding excessive sweating can help.
  8. Patch Test New Deodorants: Before switching to a different deodorant, do a patch test. This helps to ensure that the new product won’t cause a similar reaction.
  9. Consult a Dermatologist if Necessary: If the rash doesn’t improve, seek professional advice. A dermatologist can provide specific treatments and advice for skin care.
  10. Consider Natural Alternatives: Once healed, try gentler alternatives like deodorants free of baking soda or with hypoallergenic ingredients. This reduces the likelihood of future rashes.

Causes of Deodorant-Related Rashes

Dealing with armpit rashes requires a thorough understanding of their causes, particularly when related to deodorant use. Various ingredients in deodorants are potential irritants. For instance, propylene glycol, commonly found in these products, can trigger skin irritation or allergies.

Unnatural fragrances and preservatives like parabens and lanolin are also known culprits. Interestingly, aluminum, often used in antiperspirants, might contribute to skin discomfort. Each of these ingredients can act alone or in combination to provoke rashes.

Natural deodorants, though perceived as safer, are not exempt from causing rashes. A common ingredient in many natural deodorants is baking soda. Its alkaline nature can disrupt the skin’s pH balance and, if used excessively, can be abrasive.

Beyond the deodorants themselves, external factors like friction, moisture, and heat in the underarm area play a significant role in rash development. These conditions create an environment conducive to irritation. Shaving can exacerbate the situation, especially if deodorant is applied immediately afterward, leading to further skin irritation.

Recognizing deodorant rashes involves observing specific symptoms. These rashes typically present as redness and irritation in the underarm area. Bumps and blisters may also appear, along with signs of skin damage like flaking and peeling. Identifying these symptoms early can help in taking prompt remedial action and avoiding further aggravation of the condition.

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.

Identifying Offensive Ingredients in Natural Deodorants

Natural deodorants are often preferred for their lack of synthetic chemicals, but they can still contain ingredients that irritate the skin. Aluminum compounds, widely used in antiperspirants to block sweat, are typically absent in natural deodorants as are parabens. However, other elements might cause sensitivity.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a frequent irritant. While effective at neutralizing body odor, its alkaline nature can disrupt the skin’s natural pH balance, leading to irritation or rashes in some individuals.

Essential oils, though natural and aromatic, can also be problematic. Ingredients like tea tree, lavender, and citrus oils, despite their pleasant scents, can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Alcohol in some formulations, intended to kill bacteria and provide a cooling effect, can dry out the skin, causing discomfort.

Propylene glycol, often found in personal care products, is another common irritant. It enhances product texture and absorption but can lead to dermatitis and allergic reactions in some users. People with sensitive skin should also be cautious with fragrances, even natural ones, as they can lead to allergic reactions.

When choosing a natural deodorant, it’s essential to read the ingredients list carefully and opt for products labeled as suitable for sensitive skin, or better yet, patch test the product before regular use. This approach helps in avoiding skin irritation while still benefiting from the natural ingredients.

Baking Soda Causing Armpit Rashes

Baking soda in natural deodorants can lead to contact dermatitis, especially in sensitive skin.

Baking soda, widely used in natural deodorants for its odor-neutralizing properties, can sometimes be a culprit behind armpit rashes. The issue primarily arises due to its alkaline nature, which can disrupt the natural pH balance of the skin. This disruption can lead to irritation and rashes, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin.

Contact dermatitis is a common reaction in this scenario. It manifests as a red, itchy rash caused by direct irritation or an allergic reaction to substances like baking soda.

Sensitive skin, which is more prone to reactions from harsh or unbalanced ingredients, is especially at risk. The continuous application of baking soda-based deodorants can exacerbate this condition, leading to persistent discomfort and skin damage.

Individuals with sensitive skin or those experiencing rashes from deodorants should consider alternatives with milder, skin-friendly ingredients. It’s important to conduct patch tests when trying new products and to consult a dermatologist for persistent or severe skin reactions.

Reducing the use of baking soda-containing products or switching to hypoallergenic options can significantly alleviate these symptoms.

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.

Remember there are other types of skin rash which could be in the infected area such as heat rash or fungal and yeast infections, it might not necessarily be deodorant armpit rash but if it coincides with a switch to natural deodorant it could be too much baking soda or part of the transition period still.

Effective Remedies for Healing Underarm Rashes

Healing armpit rash caused by natural deodorant involves understanding, treating, and preventing.

The first step in addressing an armpit rash from natural deodorant is identifying the irritant. Ingredients like baking soda or essential oils, common in these products, can irritate sensitive skin. Once identified, it’s important to stop using the product.

Treating the rash can involve applying soothing creams or ointments, preferably those with calming agents like aloe vera or coconut oil. These ingredients are gentle on the skin and help in reducing redness and irritation.

Prevention is crucial to avoid future rashes. Opting for natural deodorants free from your identified irritants is a wise choice. Doing a patch test before using a new product can also be helpful. This involves applying a small amount of the product to a discrete area of skin to check for any adverse reactions. Regularly moisturizing the underarm area can also maintain skin health, making it less susceptible to rashes.

Alleviating Discomfort: Cold Compresses and Topical Treatments

Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from itching and discomfort.

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams can also be effective in reducing redness and itching associated with underarm rashes. Remember to consult your doctor before trying any new treatments.

Natural Remedies for Soothing and Healing

Natural remedies such as aloe vera gel and calendula cream can provide soothing relief and promote healing for underarm rashes.

Aloe vera gel, known for its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, can help calm irritated skin. Calendula cream, derived from marigold flowers, is another gentle option for soothing and healing rashes.

How to heal an armpit rash from natural deodorant

Healing an armpit rash caused by natural deodorant involves several steps that focus on soothing the affected area and preventing further irritation. 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.

Specific Solutions for Common Causes:

  1. Excess Sweat: Sweat can exacerbate rashes. To manage this, it’s essential to keep the armpit area clean. Use gentle cleansing products that are kind to sensitive skin. After cleansing, applying products can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Look for products formulated with ingredients like witch hazel and essential oils, which calm the skin.
  2. Baking Soda Irritation: Baking soda is a common irritant in natural deodorants. If you’re experiencing a rash due to baking soda, opt for non-abrasive alternatives. During the healing process, avoid shaving the affected area as this can further irritate the skin. Let the rash heal completely before trying new deodorants.
  3. Friction: Friction can cause or worsen rashes. To alleviate this, cleanse the area with a non-irritating soap. Using a powder after cleansing can help absorb excess moisture and create a protective barrier. This reduces skin-on-skin or skin-on-clothing friction. Additionally, wearing loose-fitting clothes can prevent further irritation.
  4. Shaving Irritation: Shaving can irritate the underarm area, especially if done incorrectly. To minimize irritation, shave at night as this allows the skin to heal overnight. Always shave in the direction of hair growth and use a sharp blade. A dull blade can pull at the hair and skin, causing 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. 

The Role of Underarm Hygiene in Preventing Rashes

Importance of Proper Underarm Cleansing

Maintaining good underarm hygiene is crucial in preventing rashes and irritation. Gently cleanse your underarms daily with a mild, fragrance-free soap to remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria.

Exfoliating the area once or twice a week can also help remove dead skin cells and prevent the buildup of product residue.

Properly Drying Your Underarms

Ensure that your underarms are completely dry before applying deodorant. Applying the product to damp skin can trap moisture, leading to irritation and rashes.

Pat your underarms dry with a clean towel after showering, and wait a few minutes before applying your deodorant.

Lifestyle Changes to Minimize Underarm Rashes

Wearing Breathable Fabrics

Choose clothing made from breathable, natural fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, or linen to allow air to circulate around your underarms, reducing sweat buildup and irritation.

Avoid tight-fitting clothes and synthetic fabrics that can trap moisture and increase the likelihood of rashes.

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can trigger excessive sweating, which may contribute to underarm rashes and irritation.

Incorporating stress-management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine can help regulate sweat production and minimize the risk of rashes.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help regulate body temperature and maintain healthy skin.

Staying hydrated may also help reduce excessive sweating, which can contribute to underarm irritation and rashes.

FAQs for How to Heal Underarm Rash from Natural Deodorant

What causes underarm rash from natural deodorant?

Underarm rash from natural deodorant can be caused by several factors, including irritation from ingredients (such as baking soda), fragrance sensitivities, or an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the deodorant. Additionally, the transition from conventional to natural deodorant can cause temporary skin reactions.

How can I alleviate the symptoms of an underarm rash caused by natural deodorant?

To alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, and discomfort, you can apply a cold compress, use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream, or try soothing natural remedies such as aloe vera gel or calendula cream. Remember to consult your doctor before trying any new treatments.

Should I stop using natural deodorant if I develop an underarm rash?

If you develop an underarm rash after using a natural deodorant, it is advisable to discontinue its use until the rash subsides. Once the rash is gone, you can try a different natural deodorant with a gentler formula or different ingredients to see if it’s better suited for your skin.

How can I identify the ingredient causing the rash?

To identify the specific ingredient causing the rash, you may need to perform a patch test. Apply a small amount of the deodorant on a discrete area of your skin (e.g., inner arm) and observe for any reaction over 24 to 48 hours. Alternatively, consult a dermatologist for professional advice on identifying the cause of the rash.

Can I prevent underarm rashes from natural deodorants?

To minimize the risk of developing an underarm rash from natural deodorant, choose products with gentle, hypoallergenic ingredients, and avoid known irritants such as harsh fragrances. Additionally, you can perform a patch test before applying the product to your underarms, and always follow the product’s usage instructions.

How long does it take for an underarm rash to heal?

The healing time for an underarm rash may vary depending on the severity of the rash and the individual’s skin. Generally, a mild rash may take a few days to a week to heal, while more severe rashes may take longer. If the rash does not improve or worsens, consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Are there alternatives to natural deodorants if I continue to experience rashes?

Yes, there are alternatives to natural deodorants, such as fragrance-free or hypoallergenic products specifically designed for sensitive skin. You may also explore options like mineral salts or crystal deodorant sticks. It is essential to find a product that works for your skin type and does not cause irritation.

When should I seek medical advice for an underarm rash?

If your underarm rash becomes increasingly painful, swollen, or shows signs of infection (e.g., pus, warmth, or red streaks), or if the rash does not improve after trying home remedies and discontinuing the deodorant, consult your doctor or a dermatologist for further evaluation and treatment.

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