iCliniq logo

Ask a Doctor Online Now

HomeHealth articlescancerDo Deodorants Increase the Risk of Cancer?

Link Between Deodorants and Cancer

Verified dataVerified data
0

3 min read

Share

The link between deodorants and cancer is inconclusive. Read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rajesh Gulati

Published At May 26, 2023
Reviewed AtDecember 13, 2023

Introduction:

Deodorants are personal care products applied to underarms by people to keep them smell-free from sweat in summer. The scientific community and the news media have shown a great deal of interest in the relationship between deodorant use and the development of breast cancer. The impact of routine deodorant usage on the emergence of breast cancer has been investigated in primary observational studies and multiple reviews. While some researchers have been unable to establish a link between the two, the evidence has been mostly inconclusive, showing both protective and detrimental effects of deodorant use. In addition, parabens, a prevalent ingredient in deodorant, have estrogenic potential. Estrogen is supposed to be responsible for the growth of tumors. Deodorants also consist of antiperspirants (substances applied to the skin, especially under the arms, to prevent or reduce perspiration). Antiperspirants consist of aluminum-based compounds responsible for causing estrogen (hormonal) effects. This supports the statement that deodorants consist of carcinogens (substances that cause cancer).

What Are Deodorants?

Deodorants are personal care products designed to help control or mask body odor. They work by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the skin or by using fragrances to mask any odors that do develop. Deodorants are typically applied to the underarm area but can also be used on other parts of the body where odor is a concern. Deodorants come in various forms, including sprays, roll-ons, sticks, and creams. Some deodorants also contain antiperspirant agents, which work to reduce sweat production and keep the underarm area dry. Deodorants are an important part of many people's daily hygiene routine, as they help to maintain a fresh and clean feeling throughout the day. However, as with any other personal care product, it is important to use deodorants as directed and to be aware of any potential risks associated with their use.

What Are the Uses of Deodorants?

Deodorants are used to control body odor caused by sweating. They work by killing odor-causing bacteria on the skin or reducing the amount of sweat produced by the body.

The following are some of the common uses of deodorants:

  • Reducing body odor.

  • Preventing sweat stains.

  • Enhancing personal hygiene.

  • Managing excessive sweating.

Can Deodorants Cause Cancer?

There have been concerns raised in the past about a possible link between the use of deodorants and antiperspirants and an increased risk of cancer. Specifically, some have claimed that these products' aluminum content may contribute to the development of breast cancer in women. Aluminum is an ingredient commonly found in antiperspirants, and it works by temporarily blocking sweat glands to reduce perspiration. The concern is that this aluminum may be absorbed by the body and have a disruptive effect on breast cells, potentially leading to cancerous changes over time.

However, the evidence supporting a link between deodorant use and cancer is inconclusive and controversial. Deodorants may be a potential association, while others have found no significant correlation between deodorant use and cancer risk, according to the studies. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that while more research is needed, there is currently no conclusive evidence linking deodorants or antiperspirants to cancer. The ACS also points out that most breast cancer cases occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. At the same time, the underarm area absorbs the majority of aluminum from antiperspirants. This suggests that the risk of aluminum from deodorants and antiperspirants reaching breast tissue is likely very low.

The scientific community and the news media have shown a great deal of interest in the relationship between deodorant use and the development of breast cancer. The impact of routine deodorant usage on the emergence of breast cancer has been investigated in primary observational studies and multiple reviews. Deodorant use has been shown to have both beneficial and negative effects, making the evidence generally needs to be clarified. Although parabens, a prevalent ingredient in deodorant, have estrogenic potential.

What Is the Alternative of Deodorants?

There are several other alternatives to deodorants. These alternatives are free from benzene, aluminum, and other carcinogens. However, one should note that alternatives can not work for everyone. If someone has concerns about body odor or excessive sweating, it is always a good idea to talk to the healthcare provider.

The following are alternatives to deodorants:

  • Natural Deodorants: Natural deodorants are made with natural ingredients and do not contain harmful chemicals like aluminum, parabens, and phthalates that can irritate the skin. They work by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria.

  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural odor absorber that can be used as an alternative to deodorant. Simply mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a paste and apply it to your underarms.

  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice has natural antibacterial properties and can help neutralize odor. Cut a lemon in half and rub it on your underarms.

  • Witch Hazel: Using witch hazel as a natural astringent is effective in decreasing perspiration and scent. Administer it to your underarm area with a cotton ball.

  • Essential Oils: Essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, and peppermint oil have natural antibacterial properties and can be used as an alternative to deodorant. Mix a few drops of your preferred essential oil with water and apply it to your underarms.

Conclusion

While the debate on the possible link between deodorants and cancer continues, it is important to note that other factors are known to contribute to the development of cancer. These include genetic factors, exposure to environmental toxins, lifestyle habits such as smoking and poor diet, and a lack of physical activity. Therefore, it is always wise to be aware of the products we use and the potential risks associated with them. If someone has concerns about the use of deodorants or antiperspirants, it is advisable to discuss them with a healthcare provider.

Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Rajesh Gulati
Dr. Rajesh Gulati

Family Physician

Tags:

cancer
Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Source Article ArrowMost popular articles

Ask your health query to a doctor online

Medical oncology

*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy