“Even if we can prevent just one more child from going through this, it will be worth it,” mom Jamie Prescott told Somerset Live. “It’s just horrendous and needs stopping.”
Her Facebook post on Friday about the challenge has been shared more than 4,200 times and attracted 450 comments. It’s also inspired a wave of news stories on the trend across England and the United States.
Here’s the lowdown:
1. A “deodorant challenge?” Now what?
The challenge involves spraying aerosol deodorant directly on bare skin for as long as possible. The closeness of the spray causes the skin to cool sharply, risking frostbite, according to Bustle.
2. Sounding the alarm
Prescott, 42, of South Gloucestershire, England, said her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, took the challenge after meeting some classmates in a park.
She posted photos of burns on Ellie’s arm to Facebook on Friday, two weeks after the incident, to warn other parents about the trend.
"For any parents who have children, please, please sit them down and show them these pictures," Prescott wrote. She said her daughter may still require skin grafts.
Prescott said Ellie had no idea of the possible consequences and hadn’t even heard of the challenge before the encounter with her classmates.
"I absolutely hate being in the limelight and writing public posts and having attention, but in this particular instance this challenge really needs to be made as public as possible,” she told Somerset Live.
3. Come on. Are teens really doing this?
As with the previous Tide Pod and condom-snorting challenges, it’s not entirely clear whether the deodorant challenge is really as popular among teens as some news reports seem to suggest.
Videos of teens taking the challenge are easy to find on YouTube — along with a few videos of teens spraying deodorant into their mouths or eating solid deodorants.
"It seems fairly common, a lot of people have showed me their arms after doing it a while ago,” Ellie told Fox News. “When I show people my injury they lift up their sleeves and show that they've all had it done too.”
4. It’s not new
A previous round of news reports in spring 2017 also warned parents about the “deodorant challenge” after Sara Pears Stanley posted to Facebook about it.
“My friends started doing it. You spray it and then it goes white and it looks really cool, so I tried it,” her daughter Kaitlyn, 12, told ITV at the time.
Before that, the fad was known as “frosting” and prompted health warnings in Australia at least as far back as 2007, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
5. It’s not a good idea
Spraying deodorant directly on bare skin for just 15 seconds can cause a 140-degree drop in temperature, risking frostbite, according to one study.
“(These kids) are giving themselves first-to-second-degree burns by doing this ‘deodorant challenge’,” dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD, told New Beauty. “These burns can harm their skin and cause dark spots, scars, and patches that may last for the rest of their lives.”
Ellie’s injuries from her brush with the deodorant challenge are healing slowly.
"It's a hole in my arm and there's all this yellow stuff coming out," Ellie told Fox News.