It’s a new month and thus time for us to introduce another, dumber viral trend. Teenagers who have avoided asphyxiating by snorting condoms or poisoning by ingesting Tide pods have taken to the bathroom cupboard for a new thrill.
The "Deodorant Challenge", which involves chemically burning oneself with aerosol deodorant, is making the Internet rounds again thanks to one UK mother’s Facebook post showing her 15-year-old daughter’s oozing burns.
“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. It's that simple and results in severe secondary burns,” said Jamie Prescott in a Facebook post, which has been shared more than 4,000 times.
Challengers spray deodorant from an aerosol can directly onto bare skin to see who can hold it there the longest, resulting in a cryogenic burn. Pressurized gas in the aerosol spray rapidly cools the skin, essentially causing frostbite similar to a chemical burn.
Prescott told local news outlet Somerset Live that her daughter Ellie received the severe burns on her arms on April 18, but she didn’t notice anything until Ellie came home from school the next day with blisters. Nearly three weeks later, the girl's injuries are still seeping and could require a skin graft.
"Apparently, when they asked her to put out her arm she did it but she had no idea of the consequences and hadn't even heard of The Deodorant Challenge before that point,” said Prescott. "Since then other children have asked her what is wrong with her arm and when she has told them, they have then replied that they have also had it done to them and showed her their scars.”
A medical case describing similar self-inflicted aerosol burns was reported a decade ago. Similar attempts recirculated in 2014 and again last year. This time around, Prescott hopes sharing her story will discourage other teens from taking part in the challenge.
“I seldom rarely do this, but on this occasion, I would like this post spread wide and far. For any parents who have children, please, please sit them down and show them these pictures,” she said.
It seems the Internet is just as tired of these dumb challenges as we are.