In addition to adversely affecting quality of life by interfering with daily activities, excessive sweating can also undermine self-confidence. It is a condition that touches men and women of all ages. The most commonly affected areas are the hands, feet, groin, face and underarms.
Store shelves abound with countless types of antiperspirants to help reduce sweat production. Alas, most "traditional" antiperspirants fail to control excessive sweating. Products that contain aluminum chloride however, are much more effective at controlling perspiration. For these preparations to be effective, it is important to follow application instructions carefully.
To ensure optimal results, a thin layer of the product must be applied at bedtime, after having thoroughly washed and blow dried the affected area with a hair dryer (cold air). To minimize irritation, avoid rubbing, massaging or applying the product on recently shaved skin. Aqueous solution preparations can be applied with or without occlusion. A plastic film is used for the underarm area (which is kept in place with a form-fitting t-shirt), while gloves and plastic bags are used on the hands and feet respectively. Occlusion is kept overnight. Gel-based preparations do not require occlusion and must be stored in the refrigerator.
Initial frequency of application is 2 to 3 times a week for the underarms, groin, scalp and forehead (hands and feet require daily application). Once perspiration is under control, application is reduced to once a week or less. Optimal frequency may vary from person to person and may even be as seldom as once a month. For treatments involving the underarms or groin, it is recommended that application be discontinued after more than 18 months to see whether treatment is still required.
If the product is used in the armpits, additional deodorant or antiperspirant is not required during the day since it fights both perspiration and odour.
Aluminum chloride may irritate the skin. If minor irritation occurs, it is recommended that you apply a hydrocortisone-based cream one hour before applying the product and 1 to 2 times a day, as necessary. If the irritation persists and becomes too uncomfortable, stop using the product for a few days until the irritation disappears. If the irritation reappears, your pharmacist or doctor can recommend an alternative product with a lower concentration or a less irritating base.
For more information:
Canadian Dermatology Association
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