What is the difference Between Antiperspirant & Deodorant?
Antiperspirant is formulated with aluminum chloride and other compounds to block the opening of sweat glands, known as ducts. When these active ingredients (which also happen to be quite acidic) bond with your sweat, they’re prone to stain clothing.
Deodorant does not stop sweating the way an antiperspirant can, but it does work to control odor associated with sweating.
An antiperspirant deodorant is just what its name suggests: a combination of antiperspirant and deodorant. It can reduce sweat production, kill bacteria, and mask the smell of body odor with a fragrance. These are the products that will be most helpful for someone with hyperhidrosis.
How to choose between antiperspirant & deodorant?
“It’s a common misunderstanding that antiperspirants and deodorants work the same way since the terms are often used interchangeably”Deodorants reduce odor, while Antiperspirants prevent both odor and sweat.
If you want to control sweating and avoid underarm wetness, you should use an antiperspirant. But if you don’t sweat excessively, and just want to limit body odor, deodorant is all you’ll need.
Since we typically use an antiperspirant or deodorant every day, it’s important to choose ones that keep our skin in good condition. If you have sensitive skin or a history of conditions like eczema or psioriasis, try a fragrance-free formula. If your skin tends to dryness, use a soft-solid formula or a product that has added conditioners.
Research has found that some people think deodorants are ineffective for controlling body odor. In fact, the 2005 study published in Journal of American Academy Dermatology showed antiperspirants can be just as effective at stopping body odor!
How to Use Antiperspirants Effectively?
Antiperspirants are considered the first-line of treatment for excessive sweating of hands, feet, underarms, and sometimes face. They are called the first-line of treatment because they are the least invasive and experts recommend that they be tried first, before other more invasive treatments. Antiperspirants are applied to the top of the skin (which is why they are called ”topical“ treatments) and work by blocking or plugging your sweat gland, thereby reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the skin.
Antiperspirants are available either over-the-counter, like Secret and Sure, or by prescription, like Drysol from your doctor. The most widely used ingredients in antiperspirants are metallic salts. Preparations containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate are among the most effective. Aluminum chloride hexadhydrate 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 sweating, too, but because skin irritation can occur, it’s important to talk to your doctor before applying an antiperspirant to such a tender area. He or she may have recommendations about which antiperspirants, or active ingredient concentrations, may be more suitable for the face and other sensitive skin areas. In addition to irritating the skin, antiperspirants, especially the stronger ones, can damage fabrics. So be careful with your expensive pajamas and undergarments.
Use Over-the-Counter Antiperspirants Effectively
You may be surprised to know that many people with hyperhidrosis do find some relief from over-the-counter antiperspirants. The key is learning to use them correctly. A recent study funded by Procter & Gamble Beauty, the makers of Secret Platinum, found that applying over-the-counter antiperspirants in the morning and evening, or just in the evening, was significantly more effective than applying them in the morning alone.
If you’re not sure you want to, or can’t find the time to apply your antiperspirant more than once a day, you can still improve its efficacy, say the researchers. Just change the time of day that you apply it. Studies show that applying an antiperspirant just in the evening, as opposed to just in the morning, gives better results.
To minimize the risks of skin irritation, completely dry your skin before you apply an antiperspirant and wash it off after 6 to 8 hours.
Use Prescription Antiperspirants Effectively
As with any prescription, you should, first and foremost, follow your doctor’s instructions. Instructions may vary depending upon the product prescribed and your individual situation. Generally, though, it’s recommended that prescription antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride remain on the skin for 6 to 8 hours and be applied before bedtime, when sweating is at its most minimal. Be sure your skin is dry before you apply the product – use a cool blow drier if necessary. Washing your skin before application is not necessary and may actually lead to greater irritation. If you shave your underarms, wait 24 to 48 hours after shaving before applying the antiperspirant. If your skin gets irritated, treat it with a topical hydrocortisone cream but if irritation lasts for two weeks, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Use the antiperspirant every night until sweating is reduced. Once you’ve noticed that the antiperspirant has taken effect you may cut back on how often you use it.
You may have heard of people trying an “occlusion” technique to make their antiperspirants more effective. Occlusion is when you wrap the body area to which you’ve applied an antiperspirant in Saran or plastic wrap for an extended period of time, such as overnight. Please be advised that there is no evidence that occlusion improves antiperspirants’ efficacy. On the contrary, occlusion often causes skin irritation. If you are considering occlusion, talk to your doctor first.
Have you talked to your doctor about excessive sweating? If not, now is the time! Learn more about how you and your doctor can work together to find the right treatment, or combination of treatments, to manage your hyperhidrosis.
Have you tried antiperspirants, making sure to apply them as recommended above, and still feel like your quality of life is suffering due to excessive sweating? Learn more about how iontophoresis can help if antiperspirants not works.