EXTRA STRENGTH ANTIPERSPIRANTS

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Today you are going to learn everything you ever wanted to know about strong antiperspirants, for both men and women!

Specifically, I will give you my recommendations of the 10 best clinical strength antiperspirants that work great in reducing excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).

Let's jump right in:

1. The 10 Best Clinical Strength Antiperspirants

Certain Dri Antiperspirant

AHC30 Forte -- Liquid

Pros: A crazy high 30 percent aluminum hexachloride.

Cons: Prescription strength. Seems to only be 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.

Carpe -- Hand Lotion

Pros: Hand lotion product that is preferred by some. Good price.

Cons: 15 percent aluminum sesquichlorohydrate makes this product much weaker than the Mitchum product I listed earlier.

2. Clinical Strength Antiperspirants

For localized hyperhidrosis problems, the first treatment of choice is strong (or clinical strength) antiperspirants. How often should you use antiperspirants? Most people do so on a daily basis. Basic anti-perspirants and deodorants from renowned brands such as Dove, Secret and Gillette are usually ineffective in reducing highly excessive sweating. Stronger clinical strength products can prove to me more effective, especially in the armpit region.

There are dozens of well known top rated clinical strength antiperspirant products out there, and some require a prescription (due to a high aluminum content and an alcohol rather than water base). The few extra strength products that I have tried using to relieve my excessive feet sweating proved to be ineffective. However, I have seen good results on my armpit sweating. Some people have success using antiperspirants on their face and hands too, but generally speaking, iontophoresis machines have 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, anti-perspirants are so much cheaper than other hyperhidrosis 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 sweaty feet (or hands or face); towel dry the wet skin thoroughly; apply the strongest antiperspirant you can tolerate; cover the feet (or hands or face) in saran wrap; go to sleep; and then 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.

3. How do Antiperspirants Work?

Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat ducks underneath your armpits. These are located near the opening of the epidermis top layer of the skin in the underarms. This significantly reduces the amount of sweat that can reach the skin surface and cause wetness. Typically, you will need to reapply the antiperspirant once per day. The active ingredient in most strong antiperspirants consists of aluminium salts (specifically, aluminium chloride or aluminium chlorohydrate). The aluminum ions modify the pH balance in the axillary region.

There are two types of sweat glands in the human body: apocrine and eccrine. The underarm and genital regions are the only part of the body which contains both apocrine and eccrine glands. The former is responsible for foul body odor and stinky smell. The latter causes perspiration without any strong odors. Some natural products such as baking soda can help reduce excessive sweating, but not entirely.

4. Antiperspirants vs. Deodorants

People confuse antiperspirants with deodorants all the time. However, the two are quite different and its time for a definition of each. The main function of anti-perspirants is to reduce excessive sweating significantly. This is accomplished by a chemical compound ingredient forming a plug around the sweat glands and reducing or eliminating the flow of moisture. In effect, clinical strength antiperspirants are considered as a drug, sometimes even requiring a prescription. Antiperspirant sticks often incorporate an astringent.

On the other hand, deodorants are mainly used by both men and women to reduce armpit odor (bromhidrosis), and are thus classified as cosmetics. This is accomplished by the key ingredient in the deodorant (e.g., triclosan) killing bacteria and fungus that causes the bad smell. Some of these antimicrobial antiseptic ingredients are used in combination with alcohol, parabens, propylene glycol, steareth-20, triethanolamine and diethanolamine. These can cause side effects such as dryness, irritation and breakouts in those with sensitive skin. Some of those ingredients can also be toxic and carcinogenic in animals the long run, although there is some debate about this when it comes to humans.

Nowadays, there are many organic "green" natural antiperspirant deodorant products available for purchase. Note that many two-in-one products include both antiperspirant and deodorant ingredients. However, most people seem to prefer buying each product separately.

Antiperspirants versus Deodorants

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. Newer generation antiperspirants contain aluminium zirconium compounds, with aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine recently becoming a popular option. Another variety called aluminum bromohydrate (also known as aluminum hydroxybromide) is also used in some products. 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).

5. Breast Cancer Risks

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 products could potentially lead to the development of breast cancer.

However, 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, and the American Cancer Society seems to agree. Fact checking website Snopes also concludes that anti-perspirants do not cause breast cancer.

If you are overly concerned about the potential of side effects from using aluminum based anti-perspirants, I would suggest reducing the frequency (and strength) of each application. Or trying alternative treatments such as miraDry and laser sweat ablation. Note that similar fears have arisen when it comes to deodorants and antiperspirants causing Alzheimer's disease. Something that has not been proven conclusively.

Methenamine Based Products

Dehydral

See my experiences with Dehydral for more.

Antihydral

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