Antiperspirants

 

Antiperspirants work by decreasing sweat production from the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. Unfortunately most patients with hyperhidrosis do not find commercial non-medical antiperspirants or deodorants useful enough. One exception to this is Aluminum Chloride in high concentration found in over the counter products.

Drysol is a solution of 20% Aluminum Chloride in anhydrous ethyl alcohol. Drysol is a prescription only medication, which is moderately effective in treating palmar and axillary hyperhidrosis. However it may cause severe skin irritation. Drysol is applied to the affected areas and left on for 6 hours. This is best done at nighttime before going to sleep. The medication is then completely washed off the next morning. Initial success rates are good but long-term results are less satisfactory.

Xertac AC is another medical antiperspirant used in treating hyperhidrosis, but it is not as effective as Drysol. Tannic acid in ethanol and formalin solutions has also been used to treat hyperhidrosis but they have been associated with allergic sensitization. Other useful topical antiperspirants are Odaban and Maxim.

In general topical antiperspirants have to be applied at nights and work best if used with saran wrap or plastic gloves for maximal effect.



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