What Can I Use If I’m Allergic to Deodorant?

Most people use antiperspirant or deodorant as part of their daily personal care routine to mask perspiration odours.

Deodorants are generally safe to use but many contain cosmetic allergens that may cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.

Deodorants also contain antimicrobial compounds that can minimize bacterial growth. Fragrance is the most noticeable compound in a deodorant and it helps to mask odors produced by bacteria.

People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and eczema are at a higher risk of reacting adversely to deodorant products, especially those that contain alcohol and perfume.

Symptoms of Deodorant Allergy

Allergic reactions to deodorants largely present in the form of contact dermatitis underneath the arm. Common symptoms include:

  • Red itchy bumps
  • Small weepy blisters
  • Flaky and peeling skin

Common Allergens in Deodorants

Overall, conventional deodorants do not cause adverse skin reactions. However, these products typically contain chemicals that might be too harsh for people with extra sensitive skin.

Fragrances are the most common compounds found in up to 90 percent of all deodorant products. Up to 4 percent of all people react adversely to fragrance.

Given that fragrance is present in the large majority of deodorants, it can be difficult for people who are allergic to deodorant to find a suitable product.

Other common allergens found in deodorant include parabens, vitamin E, which acts as a moisturizer and antioxidant, lanolin, and propylene glycol used as a carrier for active ingredients in deodorants.

Are My Swollen Lymph Nodes In Armpit Serious?

Lymph nodes are part of your body’s lymphatic system and are scattered throughout the body including in the armpits, groin region, neck, and head. Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit area may be due to an allergic reaction to some types of deodorants or antiperspirants.

Common symptoms of swollen lymph nodes in armpits include:

  • Painful nodes that feel tender to the touch
  • A swelling that could be as a small as a pea or even larger

If you are reacting to a deodorant, then swollen armpit lymph nodes do not need to be a cause of concern. The issue will likely resolve as soon as you stop using this particular deodorant.

However, swollen and painful lymph nodes might be serious if you present one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, and runny nose
  • Swollen lymph nodes not just in the armpits but throughout your body
  • Hard, compact nodes that will not move when you push on them and keep growing in size
  • Persistent night sweats
  • Unexpected weight loss

These symptoms are likely due to an infection and not an allergic reaction to deodorant and you should consider seeing a doctor.

Can Deodorant Cause An Armpit Lump?

An enlarged or swollen lymph node can cause an armpit lump. This swelling is typically pea-sized but it is not uncommon for the lump to measure the size of a small marble.

Many things can cause an armpit lump including, shaving, bacterial infections, and non-tumorous tissue growth.

The use of some antiperspirants, not deodorants, can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in an armpit lump. Teenagers who just begin to shave and use antiperspirant are more at risk of suffering from armpit lumps.

An armpit lump caused by antiperspirant should resolve within a few days after stopping the usage of the product.

However, if the lump persists and shows signs of hardness, redness, and painlessness, you should consult a doctor.

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Armpit Cysts

If you have armpit cysts from use of deodorant, try using a different product from our suggested products below and see if it works for you. At the same time, natural remedies can help to relieve the symptoms of armpit lumps and speed up recovery.

Here are a few home remedies for getting rid of armpit cysts:

Hot Water Compress

Heat is a time-tested remedy for relieving pain and inflammation. All you need for this treatment is hot water and a small towel.

What to do:

  • In a bowl of hot water, soak the towel and wring out the excess water
  • Place the hot towel on the affected area of the armpit and hold for 10 minutes

For best results, do the hot water compress two to three times a day.

Coconut Oil Massage

Coconut has incredible anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, which promote the healing of armpit cysts. Massage boosts blood circulation and helps to relieve inflammation.

What to do:

  • Pour one tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in a small bowl and warm in a microwave
  • Gently massage the affected area with the warm coconut oil for 5-10 minutes
  • Do this daily for a week. For this massage, you can use other healing oils such as olive, aloe vera, or vitamin E oil.

Extra Tips

To minimize your risk of developing armpit cysts:

  • Avoid highly fragranced antiperspirants
  • Wash your armpits with antibacterial soap and be sure to keep this area dry
  • Maintain high standards of personal hygiene
  • Until the lump subsides, avoid activities that will cause you to sweat more as this can aggravate the lump
  • Avoid scratching or shaving the lump

Skin Rash From Deodorant

Using a deodorant instead of antiperspirant will not prevent sweating and can sometimes result in a skin rash.

Excessive sweat can cause stickiness and friction around the armpit, resulting in a red, raw, and scratchy rash. This skin rash is also known as intertrigo.

If you suspect that your regular deodorant is causing underarm rashes, try switching to deodorant for sensitive skin or an antiperspirant that minimizes sweating and reduces the risk of excessive armpit friction.

What To Use When You Are Allergic To Deodorant

We have done some research to find the best products to use if you are allergic to deodorant. Below are our top three deodorant alternatives:

Crystal Mineral Body Deodorant Roll-On, Unscented, 2.25 Fl Oz (Pack of 6)
121 Reviews
Crystal Mineral Body Deodorant Roll-On, Unscented, 2.25 Fl Oz (Pack of 6)

Crystal is a leading natural mineral salt deodorant brand. While other deodorants work to mask odors or plug skin pores, the Crystal Roll-on Body Deodorant prevents odors in the first place.

Unlike conventional deodorants, Crystal does not contain chemicals such as aluminum zirconium or aluminum chlorohydrate. This makes this hypoallergenic deodorant safe and effective at making you smell great all day long.

All Crystal deodorant products are made from simple mineral salts. These form an invisible layer of production against bacteria.

The best part is that this product is fragrance-free—not only is it safe and healthy; it also goes well with cologne.

DeodoMom - Natural, Aluminum-Free, unscented Deodorant
721 Reviews
DeodoMom - Natural, Aluminum-Free, unscented Deodorant

What makes DeodoMom Roll-on a great product is the fact that it contains only two ingredients—water and magnesium hydroxide, which is classified as a safe compound even when ingested.

DeodoMom is not only gentle to the skin; it is also long lasting and it will prevent odors even in humid and hot conditions.

The deodorant comes in a 2-ounce container and you should be able to use it for about three months.

Almay Anti-Perspirant& Deodorant, Sensitive Skin, Roll-On, Fragrance Free 1.7 oz (Pack of 4)

Almay Roll-On is free of fragrance and other allergens that can cause allergic reactions.

Even as a natural roll-on, Almay is quite effective in preventing sweating and odors for more than 24 hours.

The main ingredient in the Almay Hypo-Allergenic Fragrance-Free Roll On is Aluminium Sesquichlorohydrate, which makes this deodorant extremely effective for use in hot climates.

Because it is fragrance-free, you do not have to worry about this deodorant conflicting with your cologne.

Almay is available in gel and powder form but both are hypoallergenic. The only downside is that this product may feel a little dry under the arms.


If you are allergic to conventional deodorant, you may have the option of using natural home remedies such as lemon, baking soda or essential oils. However, these may not provide adequate and long-lasting protection against odor-causing bacteria.

Your best bet is natural deodorants that do not contain harsh chemicals. The great thing is that these gentle deodorants are readily available and do not have to cost you a fortune.

Be sure to perform a patch test with every new deodorant you purchase even those that are labeled hypoallergenic, before applying to a large area of your underarm.