Children learn from adults. If at every outing you spray some cologne before leaving home, or have an array of deodorants and perfumes lined up the dressing table, they’d follow suit too. Already growing children, get conscious of their body and smell. However, too much dependence and overuse of such scented products and other anti-perspirants can be harmful to you and more so, to your children, Of course, good etiquettes and presentation includes not driving people away from the stink of sweat. And deodorants help tackle body odour. This is done usually by the presence of certain aluminum compounds, which block the sweat glands and reduce the amount of sweat produced. So when there’s no sweat, bacteria cannot act on proteins in the body to produce odour. As a parent, who need to understand all aspects of such artificial products before you allow your children to use them.
Complications that it may trigger
However dermatologists want to caution you on its unpleasant effects too, especially those with a family history of breast cancer. Most of these products contain aluminium and parabens. They mimic the female hormone – estrogen and act on breast tissue. Doctors say that those with kidney problems should also avoid such products. Heavy use of antiperspirants can clog sweat glands. Sweat glands discharge the waste from our body as sweat and if the waste is not being discharged from the body, it is unhealthy.
Chemicals to watch out for
Dr Abhijit Desai, a cosmetologist says, “Deodorants cause irritation and redness because of their alcohol. It can cause itching, and eventually slight pigmentation of the underarm area.” In case of anti-perspirants, he says, in extreme cases aluminium compounds can lead to allergies and conditions like contact dermatitis.
If deodorants are such a necessity, look for alcohol-free ones, especially if it’s for your teenage children. These have very minute chances of causing irritation. In an article, Dr Shreyas Kamath, a dermatologist, pointed out that that non-alcoholic deodorants are free from aluminium based compounds. They are skin-friendly deodorants. And in fact most dermatologists recommend non-alcoholic deodorants. They may be cost slightly, but do not cause dryness to the skin.
Dr Kamath also suggested that, “Deodorant sticks can be better than sprays. Sprays contain more chemicals for long lasting fragrance, which has a deeper impact on our skin than the sticks. The sticks are made with mild chemicals and generally do not harm the skin.”
Never ever get your child cheap duplicates of branded perfumes, and deodorants from roadside stalls. Chemical content of such products is unknown and unregulated by any reputed drug authority. They can give rise to severe allergies and pigmentation of skin.
Remedies to tackle body odour
Apart from using fragrances, a healthy diet help keep your children odour-free. Include plenty of greens and salads in their diet. It’s also a good idea to avoid meat, especially red meat during summer months. Make sure they drink lots of water, and wear airy cotton clothes so that their skin can breathe.
Occasional indulgences should be allowed though
As your children are growing up, they WILL get more conscious of their bodies. Do not enforce a ban on deodorants and anti-perspirants all the way. This may lead them to retreat into their shell owing to peer pressure. Allow them an occasional pray of perfume when they are going out for a party, or when they have a PT class in school. Meanwhile, improve their diet as advised above. And never buy them cheap fragrance products.