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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 a 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 sympathetic nervous system is relaxed.

Aluminum based antiperspirants

The vast majority of antiperspirants contain some kind of aluminum based compound as 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 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

Certain Dri Antiperspirant 35 ml -- Roll-On (3 pack)

Pros: Very cheap at around $5 per pack (with each pack = 35 ml); Many favorable reviews on Amazon.

Cons: Potential itching and irritation due to the use of aluminum chloride; 12 percent aluminum chloride is not very strong, but perhaps worth testing out prior to getting higher aluminum content products.

Odaban Antiperspirant 30 ml -- Spray

Pros: 20 percent aluminum chloride = quite strong; The company adds no water to the product; Micro dosed pump avoids over-application of product and enables product to last for a long time; Many favorable reviews on Amazon (UK site) and on the company's own website; 40 years of market presence and product innovation.

Cons: Potential itching and irritation due to the use of aluminum chloride; Moderately expensive at $18 for a 30 ml spray.

Maxim Prescription Strength Antiperspirant & Deodorant 30 ml -- Roll-On

Pros: Reasonably priced at $14 for 30 ml; Includes antiperspirant as well as deodorant; Many reviews on Amazon.

Cons: 15 percent aluminum chloride is not as strong as some would prefer.

Hydrosal Professional Antiperspirant 50 ml -- Gel

Pros: Gel product that is preferred by some.

Cons: 15 percent aluminum chloride is not as strong as some would prefer.

SweatBlock Antiperspirant 8 Packets -- Wipes

Pros: Most favorable and huge number of reviews on Amazon.

Cons: Potential itching and irritation due to the use of aluminum chloride.

Driclor Antiperspirant 75 ml -- Roll-On

Pros: Very cheap at $20 for 75 ml; 20 percent aluminum chloride hexahydrate = quite strong; Reasonable number of favorable reviews on Amazon (UK site).

Cons: Potential itching and irritation due to the use of aluminum chloride.

AHC30 Forte -- Liquid

Pros: A crazy high 30 percent aluminum hexachloride.

Cons: Seems to be only sold directly in parts of Western Europe. I am uncertain about the long-term side effects of daily applications of 30 percent aluminum hexachloride.

Drysol -- Liquid

Pros: Reasonably priced at around $20 for 37.5 ml; 20 percent aluminum chloride hexahydrate = quite strong.

Cons: Potential itching and irritation due to the use of aluminum chloride; No reviews on Amazon.

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.