Rumors that antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer are not supported by medical research, Taipei-based doctors said.
All antiperspirants and deodorants contain aluminum and parabens, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital Breast Cancer Center director Cheng Tsui-fen (鄭翠芬) said on Sunday.
As the absorption of the substances via the skin is linked to the formation of xenoestrogen — a known risk factor for breast cancer — their presence in such products has caused concern among some people, she said.
A significant amount of research exploring the subject has found no causal relationship between exposure to an increased amount of aluminum or parabens and a greater risk of developing breast cancer, Cheng added.
“There is no need for alarm,” Cheng said, but added that people who have had breast cancer or have a family history of breast cancer should avoid using such products.
To reduce absorption of the substances, people should avoid using antiperspirants or deodorants on open wounds, including microabrasions caused by shaving, she said.
Regular breast cancer examinations can reduce the risk of breast cancer, she added.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established guidelines on the appropriate application and safe dosages of antiperspirants and deodorants, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital dermatologist Huang Yu-huei (黃毓惠) said
“People should choose FDA-approved antiperspirants and deodorants,” Huang said, adding that those who experience skin irritation after using such products should consult a dermatologist.
People with frequently odorous armpits or abnormally active sweat glands should consider surgery or electric therapy, she said.