Antisperspirants vs. Deodorants

Antisperspirants vs. Deodorants

Antiperspirants and deodorants - what’s the deal? Most of us will settled with one or the other that ends up doing the job: eliminating sweat and odor. But I believe it’s important to know the differences between the two so that next time you’re purchasing one, you’ll be informed and know the difference.

The first thing to be aware of is the fact that both of them do have an effect on our own bacterial system. As far as reducing bacteria, that’s what antiperspirant is good at: decreasing bacterial growth. However, research so far has been unclear on whether this disruption of our bacterial system is beneficial to us or not.

What studies have found, however, is that people who use antiperspirants seem to have virtually no bacteria in their armpits, whereas deodorant users do. While deodorants do have antimicrobial ingredients that fight odor, antiperspirants actually prevent sweating - and bacteria likes to feed on sweat.

While this has elicited concern around how we may potentially be altering our bacterial system, studies have shown that many personal care products we use - such as shampoo and lotion - remain on our skin even after not using them for a few days.

Personally, I think people do need to use antiperspirants or deodorants, as it’s hard to expect them not to. Despite doubts about potentially harmful elements in them, it’s not fair to advise against the underarm products as we have had no truly definitive proof to show tangible consequences of their use. What may be interesting to know is that more and more people have been doing botox on their underarms once a year to prevent severe sweating, and all that is dependent on their personal situation, lifestyle and intensity of sweat and odor.

From what I’ve seen, I think these products are essential to eliminate social awkwardness and discomfort with body odor. Until more solid proof shows serious consequences for using them, I would not advise against it.

If you are concerned about your use of deodorants or antiperspirants and want to speak to a provider about your options, please visit our Dermatology specialists at one of our locations in Middle Tennessee: NashvilleFranklinColumbia, and Pulaski.

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD