Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Transparency.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Aftershave poisoning

Definition

Aftershave is a lotion, gel, or liquid applied to the face after shaving. Many men use it. This article discusses the harmful effects from swallowing aftershave products.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poisoning. If you or someone you are with is poisoned, call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

The harmful ingredients in aftershave are:

  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol)

Aftershave may contain other harmful substances.

Where Found

Aftershaves are sold under various brand names.

Symptoms

Symptoms of aftershave poisoning may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in alertness level (may become unconscious)
  • Coma (decreased level of consciousness and lack of responsiveness)
  • Eye irritation (burning, redness, tears)
  • Headache
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Nausea and vomiting (may contain blood)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • Stupor
  • Throat pain
  • Unable to walk normally
  • Urination difficulties (too much or too little urine output)

Isopropanol may cause these other symptoms:

Children are especially prone to developing low blood sugar, which may cause these symptoms:

  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Weakness

Home Care

Seek medical help right away. DO NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.

If the person can swallow normally, give them water or milk, unless a provider tells you not to. DO NOT give water or milk if they have symptoms that make it hard to swallow. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • A decreased level of alertness

Before Calling Emergency

Have this information ready:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated.

The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support, including tube through the mouth into the lungs and breathing machine (ventilator)
  • Chest x-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram or heart tracing)
  • Dialysis (kidney machine)
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Laxative
  • Medicine to treat the effects of the poison
  • Tube from the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Outlook (Prognosis)

Aftershave poisoning is more common in small children than in older children or adults. Alcoholics may drink aftershave when other alcohol runs out.

The outcome depends on how much the person swallows. The range of illness may vary from a condition similar to being drunk to coma, seizures, and severe lung problems. A product with more isopropyl alcohol could cause a more serious illness. Complications, such as pneumonia, muscle damage from lying on a hard surface for a prolonged period of time, or brain damage from lack of oxygen, may cause permanent disability.

Aftershave poisoning is not usually deadly.

References

Berk W, Henderson W. Alcohols. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 166.

Finnell JT. Alcohol-related disease. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 185.

Jacobsen D, Hovda KE. Methanol, ethylene glycol, and other toxic alcohols. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 32.

White SR. Toxic alcohols. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 155.

Zosel AE. General approach to the poisoned patient. In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 143.

Review Date:10/14/2015
Reviewed By:Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No