Many people have been wondering if their deodorant can cause skin tags under their arms. It’s a logical question because the under arm area is a location where many skin tags form. Even though these skin tags are not visible most of the time, they can be a hassle to deal with. Especially for women who have to shave that area of their body.
Can deodorant cause skin tags under arms? Deodorant does not cause skin tags under the arms. There is no scientific evidence or study showing deodorant is associated with the formation of skin tags.
The underarms have sensitive, thin skin. For this reason, it is a place where the skin gets irritated very easily. Deodorants and antiperspirants are two of the most common cosmetic products used. Every day, millions of people apply them to their armpits. Deodorant sometimes is responsible for skin problems but have not been proven to cause skin tags. I’ll tell you what causes skin tags under arms and things you can do to prevent it from happening.
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Does Deodorant Cause Skin Tags?
I’ve done extensive research throughout the years about what causes skin tags. I have read numerous studies about skin tags and I have never come across a study claiming skin tags are caused by deodorant or antiperspirants. In addition, I can’t find a study that even test the theory.
Why do some people claim deodorant can cause skin tags? It’s because some deodorants can cause a sticky buildup under the arms. The sticky skin can cause an extra rubbing and skin friction under the arms. Because of the extra skin friction, they claim it can cause skin tags. While skin friction is a possible cause of skin tags, there is no evidence to back up this claim.
- Axillary dermatitis
Other Deodorant Myths
Besides the myth deodorants cause skin tags, there are many other myths about deodorants.
Breast cancer: There were viral articles in the 1990s claiming deodorant can cause breast cancer. They claimed the chemicals contained in deodorants, like aluminum can be absorbed into the skin and enter the lymph nodes under the arm. There are multiple studies refuting the myth that deodorant can cause breast cancer (resource). But a recent study published in 2017 (resource) found use of underarm cosmetic products was significantly associated with risk of breast cancer. The breast cancer risk increased in women who reported using underarm cosmetic products several times daily starting at an earlier age.
Kidney disease: This myth probably started because of the warning label on deodorants. One such warning states to ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease. This warning is there because aluminum in large doses can be harmful for people whose kidneys are not functioning properly. There are studies showing aluminum is not absorbed through the under arms from deodorant use that can harm you (resource).
Alzheimer’s disease: Years ago alarms were raised about a link between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum. Even though the Alzheimer’s Association have concluded there is no evidence linking aluminum, the studies have shown underarm absorption is not a risk.
What Causes Under Arm Skin Tags
If deodorant does not cause skin tags, what are possible causes?
Insulin Resistance: This causes an increase in glucose in the blood and can lead to diabetes. In my blog post about skin tags and diabetes, you can read about patients with more than 30 skin tags each and their connection to diabetes by clicking here. Numerous studies have shown an association between insulin resistance and skin tags. One study published researched the link between insulin resistance and skin tags. The study found the presence of multiple skin tags was related with insulin resistance regardless of other risk factors.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy and hormone imbalances have shown a link with skin tags. Pregnant women, especially in their second trimester, find skin tags developing on their body including under arms. Studies have shown an association between pregnancy hormones like estrogen and leptin and skin tags (resources 3,4).
Friction: Excess friction on the skin by other skin, tight clothing and jewelry may cause skin tags. A dermatologist noted a pattern of skin tags along a woman’s tight bra straps. The woman had a job requiring her to lift her arms above her head repeatedly, causing constant friction. Other areas of the body like skin folds, thighs, groin area and neck are popular places for skin tags to develop. These areas, like the under arms are subject to much friction.
Under Arm Skin Tag Risk Factors
The following are risk factors for the development of skin tags:
- People with diabetes or insulin resistance
- People with hormone imbalances
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