You know how you sweat a lot on hot days, and it soaks through your clothes, leaving awkward-looking patches under your arms? That is what the use of antiperspirant helps you eliminate.
What is an antiperspirant?
Antiperspirant is a type of deodorant used to prevent sweating in certain areas of the body, usually the underarms. It works by blocking the sweat glands and preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface.
Have you ever heard rumours about the relationship between antiperspirants and cancer? Bet it makes you think twice about using antiperspirants sometimes. But is it true? Is your antiperspirant putting you at risk, and are you right to be worried?
Are deodorants safe to use?
One of the active ingredients in antiperspirants is aluminium. The aluminium creates compounds that temporarily plug the sweat ducts and prevent sweat from flowing to the surface.
The popular notion is that constant use of these antiperspirants can increase one’s risk of getting cancer. This belief is largely due to the emergence of some studies claiming that human skin can absorb the chemical components in the product. According to these studies, the plugging of the glands does not allow the harmful chemicals to be expelled from the body through sweating. The aluminium and other chemicals then interact with the DNA, causing the cells to undergo damaging changes.
There are also claims that aluminium can be absorbed into the lymph nodes through tiny cuts on the skin from shaving. Then the cells in the underarms and around the breasts mutate because of the accumulation of toxic substances. The aluminium is suggested to cause changes in the oestrogen receptors of the breast, leading to breast cancer.
Since the emergence of these studies, there has been some skepticism about the use of antiperspirants because of the suspected health risks. Despite the convenience of not sweating throughout a busy day, people have had major concerns about the potential damage it could cause to their organs. Sweating seems like a small price to pay for protecting yourself from much-dreaded cancer, right?
However, expert scientists have debunked these claims, stating that there is no connection between the lymph nodes and the sweat glands. There is also no concrete evidence that the skin can absorb aluminium or any other chemical substance from the antiperspirant.
How do antiperspirants work?
It was found that antiperspirants work by aluminium salts blocking sweat glands, not lymph nodes, and this action prevents the sweat from getting to the skin surface and soaking your clothes.
Lymph nodes do remove toxins but do not carry out their functions through sweating but through excretion and the liver or kidneys.
There is no relationship between breast cancer and the use of antiperspirants. You do not have to sacrifice your comfort to reduce your risk of cancer. Antiperspirants are safe to use. Go ahead and have a dry, sweat-free day!
If you need medical advice on hygiene products or you have health-related questions or concerns, speak to a doctor on Doctall.