I can't wear deodorant anymore!

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About 8 Months ago I developed a really nasty rash under my arms. I had been using Dove deodorant. I switches to Degree and it got so much worse. By the time it got bleedy and oozy I switched to Neosporin, which only improved it a little. I cycled through and tried everything I could think of. The only thing that provided some relief and healing was Calamine lotion. It provided itch relief and dried up the oozing.

I spend the past 4 months healing and only putting Calamine lotion on twice a day. I stocked up on some natural deodorants that I have been using during the day for the past week. Still using calamine lotion at night because the stuff during the day is giving me a rash! I've tried using the Trader Joes organic deodorant, the unscented Crystal roll on, and the scented Crystal spray on stuff.

Help! Is there safer things out there? Am I destined to never be able to wear deodorant again? I don't even know where to go at this point...
Please tell us that you've been to a Dr. about this.
curlypearl likes this.
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I was getting desperate enough to go to the Dr, but then the Calamine lotion healed everything. I was 100% healed before I tried the natural deodorants.

I don't have very good luck with my health insurance and am still trying to pay for the whole "go to the eye dr" fiasco a few months ago. To be completely honest unless I have a limb falling off I'm probably not going to go through the drama and time to go to a Dr.
You should really see your family doctor or a dermatologist, the fact that you can't even use the crystals suggests something is still awry.

What are you cleansing with, does that respect the skins barrier function? Are you removing the hair, could that method be irritating the area?

Someone on Etsy makes deodorant based on coconut oil, can't for the life of me remember who tho just heard about it on a skincare forum ages ago.
curlypearl likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
I've been using Aveeno body wash and gently exfoliating with a pad that's softer than a washcloth twice a day. Should I try something else?

I'm back to shaving with the Aveeno body wash and that doesn't seem to irritate more or less. I tried waxing for a while there because I thought shaving might have been the issue. It didn't show any improvement. Although if I wax the hair will grown back softer. Maybe I should try that again...

I've been reading today about making your own deodorant. Maybe I'll try some of those recipes. Then if that doesn't work I'll go to the Dr. Either that or I use calamine lotion as a deodorant for the rest of my life!
Why are you exfoliating twice a day? That alone will damage the skin barrier, which keeps water in and irritant chemicals/ bacteria out. Ditto both shaving and waxing strip away a protective layer of skin.

IMO trim hair with scissors, a stubble/ bikini trimmer or even pluck/ epilate at a push if that does not cause an issue, it irritates the follicle but at least won't strip away yet another layer of skin.

Any sulphates or other anionic surfactants in the Aveeno? They are also proven to irritate and thin the skin barrier.

Please don't use any DIY recipe that includes alkaline baking soda, that will certainly kill bacteria but further damage the skin. Stick with acid pHs or no pH (oils and butters do not have a pH only water based ingredients).
curlypearl likes this.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Maybe exfoliating is the wrong word... I'm using a pad/cloth thing that is softer than a regular washcloth. What else should I be using to get the soap on there?

I can try epilating. I use a hard wax (no sticky goo and fabric strips) so I don't think it strips a layer of skin... I could be wrong about that though.

I can't seem to find the ingredients listed online for the Aveeno stuff... I'll look at the bottle tonight

Good tips! Thanks! All the DIY stuff so far has baking soda. I'll search for ones that don't have them in it. Is witch hazel safe to use? Tea tree oil?

I never knew that only water based things has a PH! Thanks!

Last edited by JAJameson2010; 12-17-2013 at 09:00 AM.
Can you just wash with your hand, why do you need a cloth?

If it were me I'd probably try a thin layer of straight up coconut oil which has slight natural antibacterial properties, if that does anything then add ingredients one by one. Witch hazel is astringent and tea tree is an essential oil so may be irritating to some. Depends on the current state of your skin really.

The active in calamine is zinc oxide I think, that is bacteriostatic and calming which is why it was traditionally used in nappy creams. You can buy zinc oxide (micronised is the non whitening stuff in sunscreen, probably nicer to use), might look for recipes utilising that since the calamine has been benefitting you?

Aloe vera inner leaf gel would be a good ingredient for healing/ reducing inflammation, but would not do anything to deodorise AFAIK.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Looks like witch hazel has a very acidic PH (according to google)
FireFox, seriously, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm going to see if I can find a deodorant spray to make, since those seem easier to make and use. I will avoid baking soda and google the PH of every ingredient.

Looks like amazon sells a micronized zinc oxide powder.

I am going to take your advice and start with coconut oil and see how that reacts. I think I'll put plain coconut oil on over night tonight to see how that does. Hoping it won't be too messy.

Will also start washing with just my hand and the soap (after I read the ingredients)

Before I turned 30 I could use whatever crap products. I can't wait to see BFs reaction when I tell him I'm making my own deodorant! LOL
No problem: I really hope you find a solution, you don't want to be worrying about how you smell come summer (sure you are fresh but I bet it will play on your mind).

My skin didn't get really sensitive/ eczematous until my twenties, my mothers not until her fifties other than jewellery (she cannot now use regular deodorant). I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that it is not from childhood, but it is frustrating and confusing.

Diet does play a role in milder allergies - milder as in not anaphylaxis - it's worth going more nutrient dense/ anti inflammatory/ very low glycaemic index. Especially consider oily fish for the vitamin D and long chain omega-3s. I'm having random facial rashes at the moment for the first time since quitting sulphate surfactants a few years ago, which I suspect is related to my alcohol intake.
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Skin rashes from alcohol intake? I cannot even express the sadness from that... I have been eating a lot better since July. That's when I discovered I had an issue with gluten and cut that out of my diet. Lots more fruits and veggies since I know they are safe and don't have to label read and risk a reaction.

I'll look into taking a fish oil supplement. I'm not a big fish fan... The taste turns me off so I probably lack those nutrients. I should take a multivitamin and I keep telling myself I will look into it.

If I had these allergies growing up I would have been screwed! My brother had blatant itchy throat swelling allergy reactions and nothing was every really diagnosed or dealt with. Just a benedryl tossed his way and he was told to get over it...

This just makes getting older even more icky!
I really do drink far too much, as does my guy and many of my friends. The recommended 14 units a week is way less than I thought now I have started tracking! The skin is an organ of excretion so its health is linked to other organs of excretion such as the liver and intestines.

The gluten thing may be relevant: if it has affected your digestive health/ caused or contributed to systemic inflammation that can take a while to settle. Ditto not having oily fish which is anti inflammatory and packed with nutrients. Ideally any supplement regime would be tailored to the individual.

Avoiding many cereals/ grains can be healthy since western wheat based foods tend to be processed and pretty high glycaemic index (spike blood sugar) anyway. Hopefully you are getting minerals and fibre from nuts, seeds, beans and lentils?

Sorry to get a bit off track, nutrition is part of what I do for a living (so YES I darn well should know not to drink excessively!!).
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
Yes, I would avoid baking soda like the plague, it gave me a rash under my arms. Plain coconut oil doesn't work for me, but does for some people. Witch hazel has a small amount of a cancer causing chemical in it, which they say is too little to be of concern. Well, if you use it everyday, who's to say it's going to be "too little". I've tried plain ethyl alcohol and it works pretty well, but can sting if I shave. Some people say Milk of Magnesia works as a deodorant, but I'm not sure what the ingredients are. I've also tried vinegar, but that stings like a mutha, I wouldn't suggest that.
2c-3a - coarse - normal-high porosity - high density - growing out to donate

NP/LP: KMF Whenever Conditioner/ YTCucs
RO/LI: Sevi Pumpkin Seed DC / CJ Argan & Olive Oil, KCKT, YTBbs
DT: Coconut Oil + scalp massage
OIL/STYLER: SM Elixir / KCCC
COLOR: henna, amla & indigo
Maybe you are washing too frequently? I have all sorts of skin sensitivities and I find if I wash too many times in one day it makes it worse. I wash my face at night to take off makeup but in the mornings I only wipe with a warm washcloth in the shower....no cleanser. It was drying me out too much, even with the most sensitive cleansers, and causing irritation. Same thing with rest of my body. I only use a cleanser once a day (aveeno skin relief). Otherwise just warm water. I have the same challenges with deodorant. Coconut oil works pretty well. I use it all over because of the moisture it gives me. Just give it time to absorb before you put clothes on as it can make a oily spot. I won't say its superb on its own for deodorant but better than clawing my skin off. Skin sensitivites suck.

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My brother and I recently did some shopping together and as it turns out, he switched to Lush deodorant since he's started running (armo-something?) and LOVES it.

I think the popular Etsy deodorant is Soapwalla. I haven't tried it, but I've been meaning to.

Also, Aveno anything (except the packets of colloidal oatmeal) will make me itch like crazy.
I really do drink far too much, as does my guy and many of my friends. The recommended 14 units a week is way less than I thought now I have started tracking!
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
How much is a unit? We usually don't drink much in the winter, but in the summer months that increases! It looks like we belong in AA in my kitchen! BF buys his beer in bulk so we have 5 cases stacked up the wall! In the summer he can go through a case in a weekend. In the winter the stuff is never touched. I'm a lightweight so a bottle of rum lasts me over a month during the same time.

I probably should go meet with a dietitian. Allergic to most nuts, don't really like beans... I've been sticking to veggies, fruits, meat, and ice cream I think the fruit has a lot of fiber in the pulpy inside stuff. I've been doing a lot of smoothies in the morning for breakfast.

Compared to my diet a year ago it's a huge improvement! I keep telling myself, baby steps...
Yes, I would avoid baking soda like the plague, it gave me a rash under my arms. Plain coconut oil doesn't work for me, but does for some people. Witch hazel has a small amount of a cancer causing chemical in it, which they say is too little to be of concern. Well, if you use it everyday, who's to say it's going to be "too little". I've tried plain ethyl alcohol and it works pretty well, but can sting if I shave. Some people say Milk of Magnesia works as a deodorant, but I'm not sure what the ingredients are. I've also tried vinegar, but that stings like a mutha, I wouldn't suggest that.
Originally Posted by sixelamy
I didn't know that about witch hazel... What would you recommend adding to the coconut oil? I saw that people were using vinegar and I just can't wrap my mind around it. I clean the kitchen with that stuff!

Right now I think alcohol would really irritate since I have that fun rash back. I'll look into Milk of Magnesia. Thanks!
My brother and I recently did some shopping together and as it turns out, he switched to Lush deodorant since he's started running (armo-something?) and LOVES it.

I think the popular Etsy deodorant is Soapwalla. I haven't tried it, but I've been meaning to.

Also, Aveno anything (except the packets of colloidal oatmeal) will make me itch like crazy.
Originally Posted by CGNYC
Interesting.... I'll try switching soaps and looking into the Etsy stuff. I'll also look into the Lush deodorant. I do run and sweat a bunch. LOL

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