Oct 282016

Cutaneous granulomas caused by antiperspirants containing aluminum zirconium complex can explain some people’s rash like reaction to all or almost all antiperspirants.

Cutaneaous granulomas are compacted inflamed cells either grouped together or single bumps.

The term Granuloma covers a wide group of conditions and  can be  caused by an array of things including exposure to invading organisms or antigens, chemical irritants, viral infections etc. If you suffer from cutaneous granulomas under your arm or near there, you may want to consider discontinuing your antiperspirant to see if that clears up the issue.

Zirconium compounds have been associated with the development of hypersensitivity granulomas.

J Am Acad Dermatol

Just to be clear, it is my understanding that antiperspirants don’t always cause cutaneous granulomas in people, just to those who are sensitive to aluminum zirconium complexes or possibly by those whose body in undergoing another stressor and when this condition is combined with antiperspirant, a temporary reaction may be possible.

To read more, check out….



Oct 022013

When selling my natural deodorants, people often expect me to lecture them on how bad antiperspirant is for you. I can tell I disappoint them when I don’t launch into claims about how  commercially made antiperspirant causes breast cancer and the Aluminum Zirconium causes Alzheimer Disease. I don’t do this because whether antiperspirants definitely cause disease isn’t clear cut. Nevertheless, I argue against using antiperpirants because solutions that work better than antiperspirants against body odor exist.

Antiperspirants Can Cause Granuloma

There is one condition caused by commercially sold antiperspirants that is proven,   Granuloma, characterized by rashing and bumping under the arm.  According to Wikipedia, Granulomas form when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. This is consistent with the way antiperspirants work. Antiperspirants all contain some form of aluminium.  According to the website Discovery Fit and Health, aluminum ions  enter cells under your arm and swell when you sweat, blocking further sweat from escaping.

 When the aluminum ions are drawn into the cells, water passes in with them. As more water flows in, the cells begin to swell, squeezing the ducts closed so that sweat can’t get out.

So, it makes sense that some bodies see these aluminum ions as foreign entities and develop a permanent sensitivity to them.  A study at Walter Reed Institute of Research confirms that it is possible to develop an acute hypersensitivity reaction to an aluminum zirconium complex.


Why Use Antiperspirant?

Natural Deodorant Image

What I ask customers is why would they choose to use antiperspirant when there is something that is more effective, more natural and has simpler ingredients?

The answer for me is clear, I use my own deodorant.  It works better for me and I don’t rash from it. Furthermore, I personally:

  • don’t trust that big corporations are putting only healthy things into our products. (read more here)
  • think it is wise  to keep body care products as chemically free as possible, read my Safe and Simple article here.

Most Important, Don’t be too Afraid

Remember though that fear and stress is also unhealthy so I don’t agree with anyone who sells products based on fear because:

  • our fear about things  is already too great.
  • breeding fear is rarely in anyone’s best interest.
  • can be deadly and debilitating
  • already making good people do bad things.

I am not comfortable in selling anything to anyone by instilling fear or generating negative energy. I want people to come to healthy living easily and openly because it is a natural progression of their life. I know some people are convinced that antiperspirant deodorants filled with all their crap can cause some very specific serious illness and I suspect there is some truth to that.

More Reading

Here are some links to others opinions on the subject of how bad antiperspirant is;

The  Healthy Economist “10 Reasons Why Store Deodorants Stink

From Wisegeek  What are the Dangers of  Aluminium Zirconium

Jan 062013

I’ve heard from several customers who tell me of their “allergy” to commercial antiperspirants. They describe swelling bumps under the arms after application. When I come across an interesting study or some information about this, I’d like to post it or post a link. I found this report regarding aluminium zirconium applied with a spray, which isn’t the common application method anymore. However, those who gets bumps from antiperspirants may find it interesting.


Department of Rheumatology, Manchester Medical School,
Manchester M13 9PT
SIMON WILLIAMS, medical student
A J FREEMONT, MB, lecturer in osteoarticular pathology
Correspondence to: Mr S Williams.

Preparations containing aluminium or zirconium, such as vaccines, cosmetics, and antiperspirants, produce occasional inflammation and granulomas. Both the patients described here developed chronic axillary granulomas after using an underarm deodorant spray containing aluminium.

Case reports

Case 1-

A 20 year old woman, previously healthy except for well controlled epilepsy, complained of recurrent painful swellings in both axillae. These had been treated with occasional courses of antibiotics, but the response had been unsatisfactory. On examination she had a tender lump about 2 cm in diameter in the left axilla. The diseased skin was widely excised along with extensive underlying granulation tissue. When questioned at follow up the patient confirmed that she was in the habit of shaving her armpits and admitted using the antiperspirant preparation Arid Extra Dry underarm powder spray.


A healthy 31 year old woman presented with a painful subcutaneous nodule in the right axilla, surmounted by a small pigmented naevus. Thelump was excised. The patient admitted using the same antiperspirant as the first patient, spraying it from close range after shaving her armpits. In both cases light microscopic examination of the lesions showed a granulomatous response within the dermis and subcutaneous tissues. Examination with polarised light showed that giant cells contained doubly refractile crystals. Some of these cells, and others which did not contain crystals, stained positively for aluminium with solachrome azurine at pH 5. When examined by wavelength dispersive electron probe analysis the crystals were shown by their mineral content to be talc. The presence of aluminium in histiocytes and giant cells was confirmed.


Granuloma formation in these two cases occurred in response to a mixture of talc and aluminium salts. Subcutaneous granuloma formation has been reported after injection of triple vaccine,2 and x ray crystallography has shown that the agent responsible was the aluminium hydroxide adjuvant. Although recent work has refuted the traditional indictment of depilation and deodorants as a cause of hidradenitis suppurativa,3 certain spray preparations may provide ajet injection of aluminium salts, a known cause of granulomas.4 The manufacturers of Arid Extra Dry describe its active constituent as talcum powder coated with aluminium trichloride. The latter hydrolyses to aluminium hydroxide in physiological conditions. Savage has suggested that the presence of elemental aluminium within such lesions could be detected by electron probe analysis,2 and this was possible in both of our cases.

Granulomas of the axillae have been reported in a German patientwho used deodorants containing zirconium but did not shave.” Shaving the axillae is endemic among British women, as is the use of underarm deodorants. Entry of particles from the deodorant is probably facilitated by the mild abrasion of shaving, and the manufacturers of Arid Extra Dry state on the canister that the product should not be applied to broken, irritated, or sensitive skin, and should be discontinued if the skin becomes irritated or a rash develops.

Our cases illustrate the possible consequences of using this type of pressurised powder antiperspirant, particularly if the manufacturer’s instructions are not rigidly followed.

I thank Mr J Magell and Dr C K Heffernan of Blackburn Royal Infirmary for their help.

Erdohazi M, Newman RL. Aluminium hydroxide granuloma. Br Med 7 1971 ;iii:621-3.

2 Savage J. Aluminium hydroxide granuloma. Proc Roy Soc Med 1973;66: 984-5.

3 Morgan WP, Leicester G. The role of depilation and deodorants in hidradenitis suppurativa. Arch Dermatol 1982;118:101-2.

4 Lenz TR. Foreign-body granuloma caused by jet injection of tetanus toxoid. Rocky Mountain Medical Journal 1966;63 :48.

5 Kleinhans D, Knoth W. Granulomas of axillae (zirconium ?). Dermatologica

%d bloggers like this: