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Clinical strength antiperspirants

For localized hyperhidrosis problems, the first treatment of choice is strong (or clinical strength) antiperspirants. Basic antiperspirant products are almost always ineffective in reducing excessive sweating. Stronger clinical strength products can prove to me more effective, especially in the armpit region. Note that deodorants are products that help control body odor and are not the same as antiperspirants. Some clinical strength antiperspirants also include deodorants in them.

There are dozens of well known clinical strength antiperspirant products out there, and some require a prescription (due to high aluminum content and an alcohol rather than water base). Although the few products that I have tried using to relieve my excessive feet sweating proved to be ineffective, I have seen good results on my armpit sweating. Some people have success on their hands and/or feet too, but generally, iontophoresis has a much higher rate of success in those areas. The hands and feet contain a majority of the body's sweat glands and also have very thick skin, making antiperspirant absorption difficult. Nevertheless, antiperspirants are so much cheaper than other treatments, that it makes sense to always try them as a first treatment of choice.

Note that I did not try applying antiperspirants on my feet in the most effective way per some people -- i.e., before going to bed at night, wash your feet (or palms), apply antiperspirant, cover feet (or palms) in saran wrap, go to sleep, and repeat the process the next night. Besides not wanting to participate in such a tedious process every day, my feet don't sweat at night when I am asleep and my hyperactive nervous system is relaxed.

Aluminum based antiperspirants

The vast majority of antiperspirants contain some kind of aluminum based compound as being the main active ingredient. Historically, aluminum chloride and aluminum chlorohydrate were the active ingredients of choice. However, both these products can cause irritation to the skin, so aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine has recently become a more popular option. The US FDA allows over-the-counter antiperspirants to consist of between 15 and 25 percent aluminum (with the figure varying based on the specific compound being used).

Popular aluminum based clinical strength antiperspirants

Antiperspirants and Cancer

Aluminum based compounds are the main active ingredient in virtually all high strength antiperspirants. These compounds temporarily plug sweat ducts, in the process stopping the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. In recent years, fears have been raised that frequent application of aluminum based antiperspirants on the skin near the breast may lead to significant absorption by the body and result in estrogen like hormonal changes. Since estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some researchers have warned that frequent use of aluminum based antiperspirants could potentially lead to the development of breast cancer.

There are no consistent and large-scale research findings on this issue regarding a positive correlation between antiperspirant use and development of breast cancer. I feel that these fears are overblown, but if you are overly concerned about the potential of side effects from using aluminum based antiperspirants, I would suggest reducing the frequency (and maybe strength too) of antiperspirant application, or trying alternative treatments such as miraDry and laser sweat ablation.

Methenamine based antiperspirants


See my experiences with Dehydral for more.


No official website for product, and hard to find elsewhere it seems.