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Monsoon Making You Sweaty? Stay Away From Talcum Powders- Dermatologist Explains

You must avoid using commercially available talcum powders as they may increase risk of ovarian or lung cancer, if they contain asbestos. Read here to know about an all-natural DIY talcum powder that you can make at home.

Monsoon Making You Sweaty? Stay Away From Talcum Powders- Dermatologist Explains

Talcum powder use should be avoided even if you are sweaty


  1. You can make talcum powder at home with some cornstarch
  2. You will also need some multani mitti
  3. It can have a calming effect on the skin

During the sweaty monsoon season, using talcum powder is relieving. Talcum powder is mad from talc, which is a mineral made up of elements like silicon, oxygen and magnesium. It reduces sweatiness and also the itchiness that comes along with it. Talcum powder is commonly used as it absorbs moisture well and helps in reducing friction. It keeps the skin dry and prevents rashes. Baby powder, adult body and facial powders are common products where talcum powder is commonly used.

Why you must avoid using talcum powders

However, as convenient as the product may be, it is not entirely safe for your health. If your talcum powder contains asbestos, and if you inhale it, it may put you at risk of lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrances Association (CTFA), the trade association which represents cosmetic and personal care products industry, issued guidelines which mentioned that cosmetic products in the US should not contain asbestos, according to their standards. 

Also read: Experiencing Acne During Monsoon? Follow These Expert Recommended Tips For Healthy Skin

It has to be noted that long-term exposure to talc particles (like in the case of talc miners) may put you at higher risk of lung cancer if you inhale them. Also, it may increases risk of ovarian cancer in women who use talc regularly in the genital area. 

Having said that, it is important to differentiate between the talc that contains asbestos and the one that doesn't. "Talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled. The evidence about asbestos-free talc is less clear," reports the American Cancer Society.

Dermatologist Dr Kiran Lohia, in one of her recent posts on Instagram, says that while talc can reduce sweat, it may pose risks to your health. "Workers in factories of talc powder have been found to be at increased risk of lung cancer because of inhaling talc. Furthermore, women who use talc in their groin area are at increased risk of ovarian cancer," she says in the video post.

Also read: Why Is It Important To Remove Dead Skin Cells? Here Are Some Methods You Can Try At Home

According to Lohia, one must avoid using commercially available talcum powders, no matter how sweaty.

What you can do instead, is try a DIY talcum powder. Suggested by Dr Lohia herself, the talc is made with some simple and natural ingredients like cornstarch and multani mitti. To make this powder, you need cornstarch (3/4 cup), multani mitti (1/4 cup), crushed chamomile leaves (1 tsp) and crushed neem leaves (1 tsp).

Mix all the ingredients and grind them into a fine powder. Apply to the sweating areas liberally, recommends Dr Lohia. "Cornstarch will soak up the excess sweat. Multani mitti absorbs excess sebum in the area, chamomile leaves will have a calming effect, and neem is antiseptic," informs Dr Lohia.

Furthermore, to avoid excess sweat, you should wear comfortable cotton clothes. Wash the sweaty areas often and do not stay in sweaty clothes.

Also read: Are You Drinking Enough Water? Watch Out For These Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration Visible On Your Skin

(Dr Kiran Lohiya is a dermatologist at Isya Aesthetics)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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