Dermbusters: Daniel Butler, MD
Featuring Daniel Butler, MD |

Associate Professor, Division of Dermatology
Director, Inflammatory and Aging Skin Research Program
Assistant Dean Student Affairs
University of Arizona College of Medicine
Tucson, AZ

| Published January 16, 2024
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In this episode of Dermbusters, our host, Nicholas Brownstone, MD, chats with Daniel Butler, MD, to discuss how he counsels patients who come to him with some common misperceptions dermatologists often hear. In this installment, Dr Butler addresses myths on scalp massage for baldness and contact dermatitis arising from deodorant use. 

Can scalp massage help prevent baldness? 

One common misperception dermatologists often hear from their patients is the belief that increasing blood flow to the scalp via scalp massage can prevent baldness. 

Dr Butler advises patients on the complexity of hair growth, emphasizing that just increasing blood flow to the scalp is not a cure-all for hair loss. 

He notes that there are some small studies that suggest scalp massage may marginally increase hair thickness; however, he clarifies that this does not equate to a viable solution for those with androgenic alopecia. 

Can deodorant cause contact dermatitis? 

Another common query from patients is whether deodorant can trigger contact dermatitis. Dr Butler addresses this concern by acknowledging that certain deodorants can indeed lead to contact dermatitis, but he emphasizes the importance of ruling out other potential causes for rashes before attributing them solely to deodorant use. 

Importantly, he reassures patients who don’t have existing rashes that using deodorant or antiperspirant should not be a cause for concern. 

When we get rashes in the armpits, patients often question what’s touching them there that can cause it. Some deodorants have been known to cause contact dermatitis, but there are other things that need to be ruled out first and foremost. If you have a rash in that area, it’s important to know that deodorant can be contributing to that. However, if you don’t have a rash and you’re using a deodorant or antiperspirant, don’t worry that it will then cause contact dermatitis.

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