Hyderabad: The aluminium present in some deodorants is absorbed by the skin, and it could cause kidney problems, hormonal changes and cancer. Multiple studies have found that chemicals in deodorants and antiperspirants are suspected to cause problems but this has not been clinically established so far.

A case study had pointed to the role of deodorants in breast cancer but it was not accepted as it was found that there were other triggers to the disease. Deodarants use several chemicals like sodium stearate, sodium chloride, sterile alcohol, triclosan, zinc oxide, aluminium chloride, soda bicarb, potassium, aluminium and ammonium alum which are absorbed by the skin.

Dr G. Manmohan, consultant dermatologist at Apollo Hospitals, said, “Like medications applied on the skin, the chemicals which are sprayed on the skin or are applied on it are absorbed. The immune system reacts and it may cause dermatitis initially and possibly DNA changes.”

He said hormonal imbalances like thyroid problems have been reported in animal studies due to contents like paraben, trichlosans etc. “Studies on cancer are being continuously carried out but it is still not clear how much of a role deodorants have to play. But their role is highly suspect due to the aluminium present in them,” Dr Manmohan said.

Dr Swapna P., dermatologist, said, “The role of aluminium in deodorants is heavily limited. But studies have limitations as it was found that only 0.012% of it gets absorbed through skin. Aluminium is also consumed through food in pesticide residues. Link-ing deodorants to breast cancer is on a case-to-case basis.”

Often it has been found that people use deodorants when they are in a hurry to go out. This is not the right method to keep body odours at bay. Bathing, avoiding spicy foods and not alkalinising the skin go a long way in dealing with the problem of sweat and bad odour.

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