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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