Friday, 8 July 2011

Too much Deodrants not Good...

You are constantly bombarded by deodorant advertisements on the television, who claim that their almost magical olfactory love potion will make you irresistible to the opposite sex. And in the lure of this claim, some of you just can't wait to get your hands on that deospray. And as a result, you must have sprayed yourself with it from head to toe. Also, summer's here in full swing with soaring temperatures, humidity, profuse sweating and sweat odour. And in the bid to avoid smelling like a skunk in this climate, many people are in the habit of dousing themselves and soaking their clothes with deodorants. As a by-product of this habit, you may be doing a public service to the olfactory senses of those around you. But little did you know that you might be harming your skin? Read on to find out how... 

Why are they harmful? 
There's no denying that deodorants help to neutralise or block body odour. Also, the fact that antiperspirants usually contain aluminum compounds which block the sweat glands and reduce the amount of sweat produced. And if there is no sweat, bacteria cannot act on proteins in the body to produce odour. 

Dermatologist Dr Sunita More warns about the unpleasant effects of these products. "Most of these products contain aluminium and parabens which mimic the female hormone - estrogen and act on breast tissue, so individuals with family history of breast cancer should avoid their use. Similarly, those with kidney problems should avoid antiperspirants containing aluminium, However, deodourants are preferred over anti-perspirants as they do not block the function of sweat glands." says she. 

Antiperspirants generally contain aluminium-based compounds which help to reduce sweat or the heavy use can clog sweat glands. Sweat glands discharge the waste from our body as sweat and if the waste is not being discharged from the body, it is unhealthy. Cosmetologist Dr Abhijit Desai says, "Deodorants cause irritation (because of alcohol) and redness which leads to itching and eventually slight pigmentation of the underarm area. The harmful effects of anti-perspirants are similar to those of deodorants but they are more due to intolerance to aluminium compounds in antiperspirants that can lead to conditions like contact dermatitis and allergy." 

What about deodourant sticks? 
In case you are wondering about the big dent your wallet is going to have, for you will have shelled out the big bucks on branded perfumes, don't fret. There is some reason to rejoice. Dermatologist Shreyas Kamath says, "Deodorant sticks are better than sprays. Sprays contain more chemicals for long lasting fragrance, which has a deeper impact on our skin than the sticks. The sticks are made with mild chemicals and generally does not harm the skin." 

Alcohol-free sprays are ideal 
There are certain deodorants that claim to be alcohol free and are ideal for use in comparison to alcohol-based ones, as they have very less chances of causing irritation and allergies. Also they are gentle on the skin and don't cause dryness. Dr Kamath opines that non-alcoholic deodorants are free from aluminium based compounds. They are skin-friendly deodorants. Many dermatologists recommend their patients to use non-alcoholic deodorants which are a bit costly, but does not affect the skin. 

Beware of cheap duplicates
Most of us sigh at the price tags of branded perfumes, and some of us get tempted to buy cheap duplicates sold at roadside stalls in various bustling shopping areas. You may be saving a whopping load of money doing so but you'll be subjecting your skin to a whopping load of damage too. That is because they can give rise to severe allergies and pigmentation of skin. Dr More cautions, "Do not go in for cheap, duplicate products as these can be extremely harmful as the chemical content is virtually unknown and unregulated by any reputed drug authority." 

She suggests natural remedies to keep oneself odour-free by sharing the following tips: 
- Include plenty of greens and salads in your diet 
- Avoid red meat and other poultry preparations during summers 
- Keep yourself well hydrated 
- Wear loose, cotton clothes which allow the skin to breathe freely 

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