22 answers

Allergic Reaction to Deoderant

My 13 year old son recently started using deoderant. The problem is that it works great to keep him from smelling but he is getting a horrible allergic reaction under his arms that resembles a heat rash. Showering every day helps but I need some advice on a deoderant brand that is gentle on the skin but doesn't smell girly. He's already pretty small and gets picked on for being the youngest in his class so using Woman's Secret which I'm sure would work is NOT an option.
Any other mom's frustrated that there is skin care for girls but boys are ignored unless they want to smell like camphor?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. We are going to try the Tom's brand and then the crystal if he's still sensitive to that. I really had no idea how many people had this type of problem.

Featured Answers

I would try all different types and brands. My husband can only use Right Guard clear gel. All the others cause problems. I have rash problems when I use Secret and only with Secret. Good Luck.

More Answers

I would try all different types and brands. My husband can only use Right Guard clear gel. All the others cause problems. I have rash problems when I use Secret and only with Secret. Good Luck.

I have sensitive skin in my pits...lol. I always look for unscented or sensitive skin deodorants. One thing I have problems with is that after a couple of weeks my body will adjust to the deodorant and I have to switch it out. So I rotate the ones I have only using them for a couple of days. It works for me. HTH

Natural food stores sell a product called crystal deodorant. It is a combination of salts that does not allow the bacteria that cause the smell to grow. It works great for me and my DH. It does not prevent sweating, just the smell. I have trouble with underarm sensitivity, and that helps. Also, it helps to place a powder of some kind (like baby powder for instance) can help to heal the rash, or even prevent it. You could try an unscented version of that, if you wanted.

My husband is also very sensitive to deo. He uses the Sure brand with the unscented kind. He can use Speed Stick unscented, but the Sure seems to work better for him. Every body is different though. So I would suggest trying a variety and see if it helps any.

Otherwise, my grandfather used to use something like baking soda or baking powder and just rubbed it in his arm pits after taking a shower and that worked really well for him. And he lived in Phoenix.

Hi we had the same problem with our son and we found that sauve brand with baby powder seemed to be the only one that didn't cause the irritation. Good luck it is just a process of elimination.

Try going to a store like "Wild Oats" or other health food organic store. I've found the natural options do work and tend to not have alergic reacations. Also check the percentage of active ingredient as some are stronger than others. I had this problem and Dove worked for me, but even the unsented ones smell flowery.

Try frangance free...Also Almay has a frangance free version that doesn't bother me too much.. Make sure he is not putting too much on also. Also make sure he is using mild soap and rinsing it all off and not over drying the skin in that area.

My kids are too little to have to deal with this yet, but my husband is super sensitive and if I buy him the wrong kind of deoderant he gets a rash. He uses Speed Stick, but even with that he can only use a few of varieties, so my advice would be to keep trying different kinds. I know that may be kind of expensive but maybe you can try the travel sizes to find something that works.
Good luck.

Arm and Hammer make a deodorant that has just baking soda and other ingredients that are natural. Try that?

Hi, well my husband has the same problem. what we have found works well for him, is dove sensitive skin. It does not smell girlie. It smells like baby powder wich is not a bad smell even for a guy.He does shower everyday, so that will probably still be a good idea. good luck

Jason and Tom's of Maine both make Tea Tree oil based deodorants that are essentially unscented. They just smell like tea tree which is a very light, clean, fresh scent. Jason's works better for me, but every body's chemistry is different. I would buy both and let your son give them a try. Available at Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods. Good luck!

My husband has the same problem but only when he uses deoderant with an anti-persperent in it. He breaks out and it itches. I read a couple of the comments and know that if it is just a reaction to the ap it would save you more money than some of the other suggestions. Hope that is it!!

Dear M.;
I'm allergic to deoderant also. The doc told me to us baby powder and baking soda half an half. So you might try a powder that doesn't smell like a baby and give it a try. The powder gives you the smell and the soda absorbs the smell and helps keep you dry. He may have to use more than once a day at his age. Your email mama L.

I suggest Burt's Bees. It is a deoderant, NOT an antiperspirant. It doesn't smell girly at all, and works well. Get it at Whole Foods. Cool thing is, no extra packaging to throw away. Just the recyclable aluminum spray can.

Here's a link to a site that shows all kinds of products and their rankings of sensitivity, environmental impact, testing on animals, etc. It's been helpful to our family.


Good luck.

I myself am alergic to anti-perspirant. I've found that the brand Tom's of Main (or "Tom's") is strictly deodorant, has no aluminum, and has never caused me any discomfort, even after shaving. It is available at Trader Joe's and now I've seen it at my local grocery stores and a couple "big" stores. It costs a little more, but it's totally worth it. Good luck.

I know a number of people with this problem. My husband uses Clicks body spray deoderant, his brother uses a crystal deoderant.
Both of them break out in horrible rashes if they use anything else.
Hope this helps!

My son had a problem with stick deodarants but found that he could use axe brand spray deodorant, which are very popular among teen boys. Some of my other kids had to use unscented stick deodorant. They are hard to find, but King Soopers does sell one for men. It is made by Speed Stick.

Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods have lots to choose from. The deodorants there are better because they do not contain the harmful, cancer-causing chemical aluminum. My husband and I use Kiss My Face and it comes unscented.

Baking soda
Deodorant Crystal
Tom's of Maine

You may want to try the crystal liquid deoderant roll-on from vitamin cottage. my hubby works outside and uses it (as does my whole family) and he says it works better than any other deoderant. it has no smell, and if you want to just remove the label by using rubbing alcohol or cooking oil. i even use it on my 3 yr old girl's feet and will do so when my 8 mo son is older. for us it works great. the spray liquid works great for shoes!!

my dad was 4'11 all through high school, he joined the gymnastics team and when he graduated he grew to 5'6 over the summer :-) tell your son it gets better...

I had a similar problem. I found that is was as much the soap I was using in the shower as the antiperspirant. Both were very harsh, one in cleansing and both in fragrance. I had to give my poor underarms a rest. I used Jergens extra mild to cleanse the old deodorant from the day before and found a deodorant that was very, very lightly scented (took of the caps and smelled them in the store, maybe try a store brand or Swave, men's types in particular seem strongly scented). I use just a little of the deodorant and make sure that I washed that off with the mild soap every morning. If I happened to shower at night I would apply a little unscented moisturizer cream to my underarms. That helped heal the rash as I slept. The other thing to consider is he may just be allergic to the active ingredient. Try applying some to other sensitive skin like the inside of the wrist and see if you get a reaction. You can get deodorant with out antiperspirant. It is usually the antiperspirant that causes the problem in a true allergy situations.

Good luck.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.