Antiperspirants can be effective for mild underarm sweating. Antiperspirants usually contain some form of aluminium chloride, and work by blocking the sweat gland. We encourage all patients to undertake a trial of antiperspirants before considering other underarm sweat treatments like sweat stopping treatments or miraDry, as antiperspirants are the least expensive of all excessive sweat treatments.
Facts on antiperspirants for underarm sweating
- Most antiperspirants function by occluding the sweat gland opening
- Depending on the location of excessive sweating, you will require a certain type of antiperspirant
- Aluminium chloride is the active ingredient of most products
- No Sweat is an excellent antiperspirant for mild to moderate cases of underarm sweating
- Driclor has a high concentration of chemicals, and can be used for more excessive sweating
- Antiperspirants work best for mild underarm sweating
- The correct application of an antiperspirant will yield the best results with the least side effects
- Severe underarm sweating will not usually respond to antiperspirants, and hence treatments such as sweat stopping treatments or miraDry are more effective
How do antiperspirants function?
They work by blocking the sweat gland or eccrine duct. Tiny particles clog up the duct over time, and decrease sweating. Antiperspirants only work for mild cases of excessive underarm sweating.
What forms of excessive sweating can be treated with antiperspirants?
All forms of excessive sweating can be treated with antiperspirants, including underarm, facial, hands, feet and compensatory hyperhidrosis. Note: only mild to moderate forms of excessive sweating will respond to this treatment.
Will antiperspirants work if I have severe excessive underarm sweating?
Highly unlikely, antiperspirants work best on mild forms of underarm sweating. If you suffer from moderate to severe sweating, most antiperspirants will cause a rash or skin irritation.
What brands do we recommend for underarm sweating?
For mild forms of underarm sweating we recommend the No Sweat range of antiperspirants. If your sweating is a little bit worse, try Driclor. Both of these antiperspirants contain aluminium chloride.
Moderate to severe forms of axillary hyperhidrosis may not adequately respond to antiperspirants, and other treatments such as sweat stopping treatments or miraDry maybe more beneficial.
How do I use antiperspirants for underarm sweating?
- Dry your underarms before application. Best done after a shower at night. Using the cool setting on a hair dryer can help.
- Firstly use a small amount every second night, then increase as tolerated. Mild cases of underarm sweating should not be a problem, however with severe cases you may develop a rash- especially with Driclor.
- Remember to rinse off the residue in the morning.
- If you have some skin irritation, buy some 1% Hydrocortisone cream or Eumavate to help settle underarm rashes.
- Increase your application of No Sweat or DRICLOR accordingly.
It often takes a week or two to notice an improvement. Once sweat production is reduced, you can apply your antiperspirant as needed.
What happens if I develop underarm skin rashes from using antiperspirants?
Don’t worry too much as most patients with moderate to severe sweating will develop a rash from antiperspirants. This is due to the fact that the skin has irritation from the sweat combined with the chemicals from antiperspirants.
Hints to reduce the rash from antiperspirants include -
- Application to dry skin (if at all possible) , best before sleep
- Limit the amount you use
- Decrease the frequency- possibly once every second night.
- Combine a steroid cream such as Eumavate or Sigmacort during the day
- Consider sweat stopping treatments or miradry as a permanent solution.
What other management options do I have if underarm antiperspirants do not work?
Don’t be disheartened if your sweating does not improve with antiperspirants. Only cases of mild excessive underarm sweating will improve with antiperspirants.
Patients who suffer from excessive sweating will benefit from other treatments options including sweat stopping treatments anti-sweat injections and miraDry procedure.
Specialist Viewpoint on treating excessive underarm sweating with antiperspirants
Dr Davin S. Lim
Consultant Laser Dermatologist
Sweat Free Clinics
Patients with mild sweating may benefit from over the counter antiperspirants. We endorse the ‘No More Sweat’ range of antiperspirants for milder cases of underarm sweating. Driclor can be trialled cautiously if sweating is more severe. Correct application of the antiperspirant is the absolute key to success.
Patients with SEVERE sweating may have no benefit from over the counter antiperspirants- this is when sweat stopping treatments injections and miraDry come into play. The choice of sweat stopping treatments or miraDry is up to the patient- anti-sweating injections are partially covered under Medicare, however miraDry is not. Anti- sweating injections last between 3-7 months, whilst miraDry is permanent. The decision to choose between sweat stopping treatments and miraDry most often comes down to financial factors, and the duration of the sweat free period one receives from injections.