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Why You Shouldn’t Wear Deodorant to a Mammogram

One of the most common questions that women ask is whether they can wear deodorant to a mammogram. The answer is no. 

Deodorant contains aluminum, which can show up on the mammogram as tiny white spots. These spots are often mistaken for calcifications, which are tiny deposits of calcium in the breast tissue. 

Although the majority of calcifications are benign, their presence may signify a more serious condition. 

Calcifications on Your Mammogram Results

Calcifications found in the breast may be an early sign of cancer developing within a duct. A duct is a tiny tube-like structure in the breast that carries milk from the lobules (milk-producing glands) to the nipple.

When abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the duct and become too crowded, some may die, and the body may be unable to remove them naturally. Consequently, these cells can harden and form calcifications. 

Again, most calcifications found during a mammogram are usually nothing to worry about. However, in some rare cases, they could be cancerous. To help rule out any risks, your clinician may recommend further testing (i.e., a mammogram callback). 

So, although it may not seem like a significant step, not wearing deodorant to a mammogram can help you avoid any inaccurate readings of your results.

What Not to Wear to Your Mammogram

When you go for a mammogram, avoid applying any of the following products onto your underarms or breasts:

  • Deodorant
  • Antiperspirant
  • Powder
  • Cream
  • Lotion

These products can interfere with your results, making it difficult for a radiologist to interpret them. You should also avoid wearing any jewelry or clothing that might interfere with the imaging process.

Metallic objects like jewelry, for example, can show up on mammogram images, obscuring the view of breast tissue so it becomes difficult to detect any potential abnormalities. 

Similarly, clothing with zippers, snaps, or other metal components can cause shadows on the images, which may also interfere with the accuracy of the results. 

Can I Remove My Deodorant Before a Mammogram?

It’s recommended that you do not wear deodorant, antiperspirant, powder, cream, or lotion on your underarms or breasts for at least 24 hours before your mammogram. Again, this is to ensure that there is no residue left on your skin that can interfere with your mammogram results.

If you forget and apply deodorant or lotion to your underarms or breast out of habit, you can wash these areas with soap and water before the mammogram or use wipes that remove it. Be sure to notify your radiologist, who may have wipes on hand or can provide tips on how to remove deodorant before a mammogram.

If you’re worried about body odor, you can wash your underarms with soap and water before the mammogram. You can also bring a clean shirt or blouse to wear after the screening.

What About Natural Deodorants?

Most natural deodorants don’t contain the metallic particles that can interfere with the accuracy of your results. However, some may still leave residue, so it’s best to avoid wearing any deodorant or antiperspirant on the day of your mammogram to ensure the most accurate results.

What to Wear at a Mammogram

When you go for your annual mammogram, remember to wear comfortable and easy-to-remove clothing. 

It’s recommended that you wear a two-piece outfit, such as pants and a top, instead of a dress or a one-piece outfit. Doing so will make it easier for you to undress from the waist up for the mammogram while still keeping your bottom half covered.

Ready to Schedule Your Mammogram?

We understand that it can be uncomfortable to skip wearing deodorant before your mammogram. However, this small step can significantly improve its accuracy and prevent the need for further testing due to inconclusive results.

At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, scheduling your mammogram is easy and convenient. If you prefer an early appointment, so you can apply deodorant afterwards and get back to your busy schedule, we can accommodate your needs!

You can schedule your mammogram online using our convenient form or call us directly at (763) 398-6370. Our team will be happy to assist you.

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