Dealing with aftershave poisoning

13 December 2017
Comments: 0
13 December 2017, Comments: 0

Aftershave is a gel, lotion or liquid that is applied on the face after shaving. It is often utilized by men. If it is ingested, it can produce detrimental effects which is known as aftershave poisoning.

Most of the products in the market include isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol which are poisonous once ingested. The other ingredients present tend to vary by product and brand. Poisoning typically occurs among small children who accidentally ingest the product. Some individuals suffering from alcohol abuse might drink aftershave if other alcohol products are not available to reach an intoxicated state.

What are the signs?


Most of the products in the market include isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol which are poisonous once ingested.

The usual indications of this type of poisoning include:

  • Diminished level of alertness
  • Confusion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Low blood sugar
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Racing heart rate
  • Slow or labored breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Difficulty walking and swallowing
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Loss of consciousness

What should I do if aftershave poisoning is suspected?

Seek prompt medical care if a child has signs of poisoning. Call for emergency assistance or bring him/her to the nearest emergency department. Do not induce the child to vomit unless instructed by a healthcare professional.

If possible, bring the container of the product to the emergency department. This will help the doctor determine the contents and suitable course of action to take.

In case the child is experiencing a seizure, roll him/her onto the side and ensure that the airway remains clear. Call for emergency assistance or bring to the emergency department right away.

Management of aftershave poisoning

In case the child is diagnosed with poisoning, the healthcare professional will monitor the temperature, pulse, breathing rate and blood pressure.

The child might be given intravenous fluids and oxygen. Some measures such as dialysis, activated charcoal, laxatives and gastric lavage are no longer recommended when managing cases of isopropyl alcohol poisoning.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on aftershave poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of poisoning and how it is treated, register for a first aid and CPR course with Toronto First Aid.

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