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View Full Version : Stypic pencil and health concerns



mr00jimbo
02-27-2008, 12:02 AM
Styptic pencils are made in part of aluminum, such a metal proven to cause Alzheimer's. Somehow I don't think adding this directly to your blood is harmless long term.
Or am I paranoid?
Alternative ways to stop bleeding?

mdunn
02-27-2008, 12:04 AM
i dont use a styptic pencil or alum block or any of that. my alternative way to stop bleeding is time. that being said, i dont really cut myself much, the occasional nick will normally have stopped bleeding by the time im up to my after shave balm anyway.

Lionhearted
02-27-2008, 05:13 AM
Styptic pencils are made in part of aluminum, such a metal proven to cause Alzheimer's.
This is incorrect. There is no such proof. "At this point, there is no evidence that aluminum increases a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." [Alzheimer Society of Canada (http://www.alzheimer.ca/english/disease/causes-alumi.htm)] Alzheimer's seems to be primarily hereditary, possibly with aluminum poisoning involved if certain defective genes are present. If your grandfather had Alzheimer's and you ate a dozen styptic pencils a day you might have something to worry about. I'm a retired M.D. and my wife's grandmother had Alzheimer's so I pay special attention to Alzheimer's research since it does seem to have hereditary factors.

You can buy styptic pencils without aluminum made of titanium dioxide.

You're doing something wrong if you get nicks or cuts that don't stop bleeding very quickly. Your technique needs improvement or you need a better razor (or you have abnormal blood chemistry).

I've been shaving with a DE razor for more than fifty years and I've never used a styptic pencil or alum block. I seldom get a nick, maybe one a month usually due to carelessness by starting to move the razor before it's fully down on my skin or by going too fast over a chin dimple. Nicks should be uncommon.

Richard

Brewman
02-27-2008, 05:40 AM
The aluminum vs alzheimer debate went around home brewing circles several years ago- probably close to a decade. Many homebrewers use aluminum pots to boil beer.
The research linking aluminum to alzheimer's disease was flawed, and as it turns out there was no link. I'm surprised this rumor is still alive- that's how long ago we were debating it in the homebrewing community.

spiffykyle
02-27-2008, 06:34 AM
As long as you don't chew on your styptic pencil or alum block , I think you'll be fine.

spiffy

skydivemd
02-27-2008, 07:34 AM
This is incorrect. There is no such proof.

Thank you. Beat me to it!
Don't want anyone to feel bad -- just want people to be well informed.

Rick

Bflobill 1125
02-27-2008, 07:42 AM
I agree, I very seldom ever nick myself. I have a styptic in my bag but can't remember the last time I used it. Maybe a blade change might help. Anything relating to Alzheimers is very important to me,my Dad was a victim of this horrible disease. Good luck!

Hoos
02-27-2008, 08:16 AM
This is incorrect. There is no such proof. "At this point, there is no evidence that aluminum increases a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." [Alzheimer Society of Canada (http://www.alzheimer.ca/english/disease/causes-alumi.htm)] Alzheimer's seems to be primarily hereditary, possibly with aluminum poisoning involved if certain defective genes are present. If your grandfather had Alzheimer's and you ate a dozen styptic pencils a day you might have something to worry about. I'm a retired M.D. and my wife's grandmother had Alzheimer's so I pay special attention to Alzheimer's research since it does seem to have hereditary factors.

You can buy styptic pencils without aluminum made of titanium dioxide.

You're doing something wrong if you get nicks or cuts that don't stop bleeding very quickly. Your technique needs improvement or you need a better razor (or you have abnormal blood chemistry).

I've been shaving with a DE razor for more than fifty years and I've never used a styptic pencil or alum block. I seldom get a nick, maybe one a month usually due to carelessness by starting to move the razor before it's fully down on my skin or by going too fast over a chin dimple. Nicks should be uncommon.

Richard

^^This. ALL of this. There's no proven connection. And repeated nicks would indicate some improvement being required in the shave routine.

I've been DE shaving for five months and have had exactly two nicks and used the styptic once.

If you are concerned about getting something from a styptic pencil, you can use bits of toilet paper.

Mr Mockett
02-27-2008, 08:19 AM
If you are concerned about getting something from a styptic pencil, you can use bits of toilet paper.

Just remember to take the paper off before going outside! :biggrin:

Mr. Gillette
02-27-2008, 11:10 AM
This is incorrect. There is no such proof. "At this point, there is no evidence that aluminum increases a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." [Alzheimer Society of Canada (http://www.alzheimer.ca/english/disease/causes-alumi.htm)] Alzheimer's seems to be primarily hereditary, possibly with aluminum poisoning involved if certain defective genes are present. If your grandfather had Alzheimer's and you ate a dozen styptic pencils a day you might have something to worry about. I'm a retired M.D. and my wife's grandmother had Alzheimer's so I pay special attention to Alzheimer's research since it does seem to have hereditary factors.

You can buy styptic pencils without aluminum made of titanium dioxide.

You're doing something wrong if you get nicks or cuts that don't stop bleeding very quickly. Your technique needs improvement or you need a better razor (or you have abnormal blood chemistry).

I've been shaving with a DE razor for more than fifty years and I've never used a styptic pencil or alum block. I seldom get a nick, maybe one a month usually due to carelessness by starting to move the razor before it's fully down on my skin or by going too fast over a chin dimple. Nicks should be uncommon.

Richard

A red-letter day...Mr. Gillette agrees COMPLETELY with Richard! :lol:

Technically, it's ALUM...no different than the alum that is purchased on the spice rack in your local grocery store. In fact, I simply use powdered alum I bought for 89 cents. It has the same stypic effect, but it doesn't roll off the medicine cabinet shelf and into the sink/water!

Were this a legitmate concern (Aluminum/Alzheimer's), and this rumor has been prevalent for a good number of years (10+), I'm quite certain that aluminum foil, alumnium pie pans, and all manner of aluminum cookware would have been pulled from sales. Alumnium beverage cans would be a thing of the past. Many people I know got rid of their alumnium cookware when this idea started to circulate. (Most of them replaced it with something like Farberware-- stainless steel, still bonded to Aluminum!) At the very least, it would seem that all of the aluminum products we use would carry some type of warning label...

"WARNING...Use of Aluminum cookware may lead to...uh...uh...I can't remember."

Dill Pickles have a large amount of Alum in the processing of them. I'm sure the amount of alum consumed in a jar of Vlasics would exceed a year's worth of stypic use.

Richard is right-- the threat is minimal, if at all. The alternative is to bleed.

Use it and enjoy it...(if there is ANY enjoyment to be found in howling while you apply the pencil to the cut!)

Pickles, dill pickles, use a considerable amount of alum

Diggity
02-27-2008, 11:28 AM
Yes, there's no proven connection, but there also isn't anything that disproves it. I think that since aluminum closes up your pores, it isn't that natural and really can't be that good for you. I do use a stypic when i need one (not that often), but definitely refrain from using aluminum based deoderants.

Randy
02-27-2008, 11:34 AM
it isn't that natural

Sorry, but it's one of the most common elements on the planet (#3)...

http://education.jlab.org/glossary/abund_ele.html

- R

mr00jimbo
02-27-2008, 07:28 PM
Thanks guys. I never said that I am nicking myself frequently. Unfortunately if I do nick myself, and I shave over the same area before it can close up completely (say the next day) it may re-open the cut
but as far as introducing NEW cuts, rare.

VR6ofpain
02-27-2008, 08:14 PM
This is incorrect. There is no such proof.
I was going to say the same thing. People really need to research things more these days. I could go out and tell everyone that elephants weigh more than the Moon. Pretty soon there would be people arguing that elephants weight more than the Moon.

_JP_
02-27-2008, 10:04 PM
I don't see any problem with any type of styptic pencil, unless you are painting your face with it. That would mean that you desperately need to adjust your shaving technique.

Ookla The Mok
02-27-2008, 10:29 PM
Just don't get one of those "septic" pencils. Otherwise, you should have nothing to worry about.

Mr. Gillette
02-28-2008, 06:22 AM
I have trouble remembering what this post was about. I do remember using my stytic pencil, using antiperspirant with Aluminum chlorhydrate, eating a piece of pie out of an aluminum pan, and cooking dinner in my 1950's
"Club Aluminum" cookware, then wrapping the leftovers in foil... but what was this thread about again? I can't remember.

Bubarubu
02-28-2008, 10:56 AM
Yes, there's no proven connection, but there also isn't anything that disproves it. I think that since aluminum closes up your pores, it isn't that natural and really can't be that good for you. I do use a stypic when i need one (not that often), but definitely refrain from using aluminum based deoderants.

2 notes. First, there would be no way to the negative you propose; we prove things by finding the evidence left behind by their connection, and something that doesn't exist would not leave such evidence. because there is no reliable and significant evidence that demonstrates aluminum/alum causes Alzheimer's, we can say that aluminum/alum does not cause Alzheimer's. Second, lots of things that we use to close pores are plenty natural. Witch hazel is an astringent, tannins in tea and red wine are astringent, oatmeal is an astringent, etc.

Hoos
02-28-2008, 11:21 AM
Yes, there's no proven connection, but there also isn't anything that disproves it.

While I don't disagree that one should be a careful consumer, one should also be an informed consumer.

So, following that logic can lead to all kinds of folly:

Fire is alive (nothing to disprove it).

Breathing causes death (nothing to disprove it).

My shaving routine could be considered an Olympic event (nothing to disprove it).

My opinion is the only one that counts (nothing to disprove it).

So, you see simply saying "there also isn't anything that disproves it" is something of a hollow argument?

Brewman
02-28-2008, 02:46 PM
You cannot prove a negative.

And even when proof exists that something may be dangerous, the research methods could be faulty.

Remember back in the 1970's when saccerine was pulled from the market becuse it caused cancer in lab mice? After several decades it was discovered that it wasn't dangerous like first thought.

So which is it? Safe or dangerous.


First eggs were nature's perfect food. Then the cholesterol hysteria made them evil. Now they're okay again.

Many more could be listed.

DarkCanuck
02-28-2008, 02:59 PM
What was this thread about? :confused:

Ookla The Mok
02-28-2008, 03:04 PM
What was this thread about? :confused:

Who the hell are you?!!

AsciiSimon
02-28-2008, 03:22 PM
This reminds me of all the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. We wet shavers are exposed to that nasty stuff all the time!

http://www.dhmo.org/

Simon

Hoos
02-28-2008, 03:31 PM
This reminds me of all the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. We wet shavers are exposed to that nasty stuff all the time!

http://www.dhmo.org/

Simon

Yes, it's horribly dangerous stuff. I do my best to avoid it. Perhaps mixing it with alcohol helps defuse the problems somewhat? :biggrin:

I recall something about a high school or college student(s) doing "man in the street" interviews with people: informing them of the dangers of DHMO and whether or not they would expose themselves/their families to it. Quite an entertaining little bit.

And Penn and Teller did a similar bit - on this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw).

skydivemd
02-28-2008, 04:14 PM
This reminds me of all the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide. We wet shavers are exposed to that nasty stuff all the time!

http://www.dhmo.org/

Simon

Everyone needs to beware of this stuff! Seriously, it's been implicated in numerous drowning deaths, floods, and typhoons!!! :tongue_sm

ScottS
02-28-2008, 04:17 PM
I don't see any problem with any type of styptic pencil, unless you are painting your face with it. That would mean that you desperately need to adjust your shaving technique.

Isn't that exactly what people do with an alum block?

-bp-
02-28-2008, 11:05 PM
Brewman said:
Remember back in the 1970's when saccerine was pulled from the market becuse it caused cancer in lab mice? After several decades it was discovered that it wasn't dangerous like first thought.

What the hell ever happened to Cyclamates? They were pulled and never came back. I still remember using that as a kid. Tasted Waaaaaaay better than Saccaharine.
I guess the Cyclamates lobby didn't have enough money to grease the wheels of freedom. Ah well. At least I can still oblitherate my short-term memory with Aspartame and Blow out my long-term with aluminum magnesium silicate.

...Allegedly...

To actually answer your question. I use Nick Fix. It's a liquid in a white tube that looks like a Chapstick. But it's so old, I have no idea if they even make it anymore.

gking86
02-28-2008, 11:21 PM
Funny...we talked about the potential causes of Alzheimer's Disease in psychopharmacology today. I think you'd have to go through massive amounts of alum daily in order to cause a problem. You'd probably die from blood loss before you could have problems with alum in a shave.:001_smile