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Skin Care and Diseases

Baby shampoo

09/22/2005

Question:

I am a healthy 30 yo male, and was wondering if when I take my daily bath, if it would be effective to use a few oz of baby shampoo instead of regular soap? Do you think that would be an effective alternative to normal showering w/ a regular soap? Also...I have been experimenting using it as a deodorant too, just a few drops as a replacement to the regular deodorant. Is that a good idea? because bacteria causes the BO, I have found it to be the ultimate deodorant, however because I am not a skin doctor or chemist I do not know if it would have any seriously negative effects. I would think it would be safer because it doesn`t have the aluminum in it.

Answer:

Your questions and observations are quite interesting.  Most shampoos have antibacterial agents in them to give them long shelf life and they do lower the bacterial count, hence the change in the odor of your armpits.  They also contain wetting agents and foaming agents, and in some cases tars and cell proliferation suppressors.  Baby shampoo has very little in the way of high concentrations of surfactants and foaming agents to prevent burning and stinging in the eye.  They do a nice job of cleansing. 

It strikes me that this is a rather expensive way to provide cleaning agents for your bathing, but I know of no complication from their use.  You might get similar but less expensive effects from nonirritating bath soap.  Your pharmacist can lead you to a large collection of such preparations.  I know of no reason for you not to continue the use of your baby shampoo extensively.  It should be noted they may be drying.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati