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Shaving cream poisoning

Shaving cream is a cream applied to the face before shaving the skin. Shaving cream poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally eats shaving cream.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Anionic surfactants (soaps)
  • Nonionic surfactants (soaps)

Symptoms

Shaving cream is not very poisonous. Most symptoms are due to allergic reactions or when shaving cream touches the eyes. Symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Burning pain in the throat
  • Burns to the eye
  • Diarrhea (watery, bloody) or vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Rash

Home Care

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is having symptoms (such as vomiting, convulsions, or a decreased level of alertness) that make it hard to swallow.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, 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.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

  • Breathing support
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Because these products are not very toxic, recovery is very likely.

Alternative Names

Shaving lotion poisoning

Update Date: 2/16/2012

Updated by: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

MedlinePlus Topics

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