Axillary pH and influence of deodorants

Skin Res Technol. 2000 May;6(2):87-91. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0846.2000.006002087.x.


BACKGROUND/AIMS: In moist intertriginous regions, such as the armpit, the pH value is physiologically higher than in other skin regions. The regulation of the axillary pH-value was examined in an open study with 48 subjects in three groups with n=16 each. METHODS: In the first 10 days (run-in) the subjects received a standard treatment in the axilla with shaving, cleansing and application of a pH-neutral deodorant. This was followed by a 5 day treatment period with the three test products (pH5 Eucerin(R) Deodorant Roll-on, Deodorant Balsam Spray, Deodorant Cream). The study was concluded by a wash-out period with procedures identical to the run-in phase. The pH was measured with a calibrated pH-meter. RESULTS: A significant pH reduction was shown during the treatment period when compared to the run-in phase. The Deodorant Roll-on induced a reduction of the mean pH values from 6.1 to 5.3, the Deodorant Balsam Spray from 6.5 to 5.7 and the Deodorant Cream from 6.2 to 5.3. During the wash-out period all pH values returned to baseline. CONCLUSION: All of the deodorants tested demonstrated a significant reduction in axillary pH. There is evidence that a high skin pH promotes the growth of several microorganisms that produce malodor. Therefore, the regulation of pH may contribute to the deodorant efficacy of the test products.