Antiperspirants are considered the first line of treatment for excessive sweating and can be used nearly anywhere on the body where sweating is a problem. That’s right, antiperspirants are not just for your underarms – you can use them on your hands, feet, face, back, chest, and even groin.
The most widely used ingredients in antiperspirants are metallic salts. Preparations containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate are among the most effective. Aluminum chloride hexahydrate concentrations of 10% to 15% are recommended for excessive sweating of the underarms. For the hands or feet, higher concentrations are needed - usually around 30%.
Antiperspirants can be tried for facial, back, groin, and bra line sweating, too, but because skin irritation can occur, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before applying an antiperspirant to sensitive areas. He or she may have recommendations about which antiperspirants, or active ingredient concentrations, may be more suitable for different regions of the body. For instance, aerosol antiperspirant products are particularly useful for the feet (experts recommend spraying an over-the-counter antiperspirant on the bottom of your feet and in between your toes as first-line treatment). If you suffer from an annoyingly sweaty face, consider applying an antiperspirant along your hairline. A soft solid formulation would work best in this case. Test the product on a tiny area of skin first to make sure that it won’t cause irritation.
In addition to irritating the skin, antiperspirants, especially prescription ones, can damage fabrics. Keep this in mind when applying products to large areas (like your back) and be careful with your expensive pajamas and undergarments. By the way, we've got handy advice to help you tackle sweaty laundry, click here and get the sweat out.
There are certain tricks to making sure you get the most benefit and least irritation from your antiperspirant – wherever you use it. Visit our Tips for Best Results to learn more. And for more sweat solutions, read our newsletter.