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Deodorant Sprays Can Damage Skin When Used Incorrectly

Applied too close, for too long, sprays may result in frostbite-like lesions

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Deodorant sprays can cause skin-damaging cold burns if improperly applied, according to a case report published online Aug. 10 in Pediatrics.

Ulrich May, M.D., of the Hochgebirgsklinik/Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education in Davos, Switzerland, and colleagues report two cases of patients presenting with first-degree cold burns after applying deodorant spray to their hands at a distance of about 5 cm for approximately 15 seconds.

The patients, a 14-year-old girl of mixed race (black/white) and a 45-year-old white friend, showed, respectively, a 4- by 3-cm and a 3- by 2-cm erythematous macula representative of first-degree frostbite. Several weeks after treatment with nonadhesive dressings, nighttime topical corticosteroids, and daytime ultraviolet-ray protection, the younger patient developed a post-inflammatory hypopigmentation and the older patient developed a hyperpigmentation. The researchers were able to induce a temperature decline greater than 60 degrees Celsius under laboratory conditions using the same deodorant spray.

"These cases highlight a little-known potential for skin damage from deodorant sprays when used improperly," the authors write. "However, in a majority of cases, the patients were obviously aware that such improper use would cause skin damage."

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