Antiperspirants For Hyperhidrosis
Antiperspirants are the least invasive, inexpensive and easy to use of all the hyperhidrosis treatments. These are generally considered to be the first line of treatment, especially for hyperhidrosis impacting underarms, hands, feet, and sometimes face. Experts normally recommend that they be tried first before moving to more invasive options such as Iontophoresis or Surgery.
Note that antiperspirant is not same as deodorant. Sometimes people use deodorant wishing to reduce sweat, but deodorant does just what its name implies – i.e., it ‘deodorizes' and sets boundaries for the odor-causing bacteria and therefore minimizing odors.Deodorant cannot prevent sweat from breaking out.
How Antiperspirants for Hyperhidrosis Work
The main “active” ingredient in all antiperspirants is aluminum based. This aluminum-based compound may consists of several different forms of aluminum such as Aluminum chlorohydrate, Aluminum chloride, Aluminum hydroxybromide or Aluminum zicronium tricholorohydrex glycine, in addition to many others.
When an antiperspirant is applied to the skin it prevents or blocks sweat from reaching the surface of the skin, thus reducing undesired sweat. Once an antiperspirant is applied to the skin, perspiration in the underarm grabs and dissolves the antiperspirant particles, pulling them into the pores and forming superficial plugs that are just below the surface of the skin. When the body senses that the sweat duct is plugged, a feedback mechanism stops the flow. The plugs can stay in place at least 24 hours and then are washed away over time.
Side Effects of Antiperspirants for Hyperhidrosis
Antiperspirants are generally safe (unless you have any specific reaction to them);. However, aluminium chloride (a common ingredient) may cause mild to moderate skin irritation.
How To Get Antiperspirants for Hyperhidrosis
Antiperspirants are available either over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescription from your dermatologist.
- Over-the-counter antiperspirants are available in different strengths with “clinical” strength products offering the most sweat protection. Brands offering clinical strength include Secret, Gillette, Degree, Dove, Arrid, and Sure, as well as PerspireX, Certain-Dri and Hydrosal. See: Summary of popular OTC clinical strength antiperspirants
- Prescription antiperspirants (e.g. Drysol) often contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate as an active ingredient. These are among the most effective antiperspirants but can cause skin irritation.
So, Should You Try Antiperspirants for Hyperhidrosis?
If you haven't' yet, yes!
Antiperspirants work for a lot of people, and are the least invasive – so they deserve a try. Experts recommend a systematic approach to combating hyperhidrosis with antiperspirants. Start with the most gentle-to-the-skin formulations (traditional over-the-counter products) and progress to clinical strength over-the-counter antiperspirants, and then try stronger and stronger products (such as prescription formulations) until relief is found.