A mom in the United Kingdom sent a chilling warning to other parents on Facebook last Friday about the harmful “deodorant challenge,” which she said caused second-degree burns on her daughter’s arm.
The idea, though seemingly dangerous, is simple: A person sprays aerosol deodorant directly on their skin, or someone else’s to test their endurance.
“These are the damaging results of something known as ‘The Deodorant Challenge’ which is currently doing the rounds in Yate and literally involves spraying deodorant on to someone else for as long as possible,” Jamie Prescott wrote in the post, suggesting the trend was gaining traction at nearby schools.
Prescott said the injuries might require a skin graft three weeks after her daughter sustained the burns.
Prescott’s post has since garnered some online attention, with more than 4,000 shares. She did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
In an interview with Somerset Live, Prescott said her daughter Ellie met classmates at a park when they told her to hold out her arm.
“She had no idea of the consequences and hadn’t even heard of The Deodorant Challenge before that point,” Prescott told the British outlet.
Ellie has had medical procedures once a week since the incident took place, Prescott said. She has also changed schools, but student are trying the “challenge” in her new school, too.
From swallowing cinnamon to eating Tide Pods, viral teen challenges have swept across the Internet in recent years. However, it’s not clear how widespread the “deodorant challenge” is.
Other parents have previously posted warnings about the challenge. Sara Stanley of the United Kingdom shared photos a year ago of her daughter Kaitlyn’s arm after trying the challenge. At the time, Kaitlyn told British TV show This Morning that she sprayed the aerosol because “it looks really cool.”
A YouTube search shows some results of teens (and adults) appearing to spray their arms with aerosol deodorants.
According to Internet fact-check site Snopes, the claim that the “challenge” is “sweeping” across schools in May 2018 is unproven.
In 2010, medical journal Pediatrics published a report warning about deodorant spray as a cause of cold burns after two people suffered first-degree burns.
According to a post from University of Utah’s health blog warning people against the challenge, spraying the aerosol on skin could cause up to a third-degree burn. However, if you are using your aerosol deodorant as directed, there is no need for alarm, the post noted.
Other dangerous challenges from teens have also gained viral attention in recent years, regardless of whether teens were actually doing them. In January, YouTube began cracking down on videos of teens eating Tide Pods like candy. Past viral videos have shown teenagers snorting condoms up one of their nostrils and inhaling until the condom comes out of their mouth. And some have tried to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon on camera.
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