Quick Information on Antiperspirants and Deodorants

Quick Information On Antiperspirants And Deodorants



Prescription antiperspirants are typically a combination of aluminum-based compounds and other active ingredients such as ethyl alcohol. They are a person’s first tool to control excessive perspiration, and they work particularly well in the case of excessive underarm sweating which is medically described as axillary hyperhidrosis.

Most doctors will tell you that antiperspirants are the first course of treatment for excessive underarm sweating because they are the least invasive and potentially least harmful methods. Generally most prescription antiperspirants are applied at bedtime when you are least likely to sweat.

Prescription and non-prescription antiperspirants are also available to help reduce excessive foot moisture. Prescription antiperspirants are available for mild cases of hyperhidrosis. They are stronger than their over-the-counter counterparts. Stronger antiperspirants are now available with a doctor's prescription — your doctor may think a prescription-strength antiperspirant might help you. If you have generalized sweating, your doctor may prescribe an anticholinergic drug, such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul, Robinul Forte).

Deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to protect against odor. Treatment may vary slightly depending upon the location of the excessive sweating. Talk to your doctor before following any medical regimen to be sure it is safe and effective for you. These treatments are not permanent and must be applied continually or reapplied when the effect wears off. While deodorants are considered to be a cosmetic product because they only control odor, antiperspirants are actually drugs because they affect the physiology of the body.

Antiperspirants are applied to the surface of the skin (which is why they are called "topical" treatments) and work by blocking or plugging your sweat ducts, thereby reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the skin surface. They are available either over-the-counter, like Secret and Sure, or by prescription, from your doctor. Antiperspirants are available as solutions, lotions, powders, gel or roll-ons. They are not only highly efficient (effectiveness for 95% of persons concerned) but also cheaper, easier to apply and virtually without risk. Underarm and foot deodorants or antiperspirants are popular options.

Body odor coming from perspiration wet garments such as blouses, jackets or undergarments makes us sensitive when others around us feel uncomfortable in our presence. Body odor is caused when bacteria breaks down perspiration into smelly compounds. The cause of hyperhidrosis stems from your body's temperature regulation system, specifically your sweat glands. However sweat is also secreted from apocrine glands and is broken down by bacteria that grow on the skin causing body odor or bromhidrosis.

Given that the average human body contains over 3 million sweat glands, sweating is an indispensable part of our lives. Deodorant and antiperspirant helps prevent body odor, although they work in different ways. Perspiration is regulated by the Sympathetic Nervous System, which controls about five million sweat glands in the body. This is because other eliminative organs, such as the colon, liver, lungs and kidneys, are badly congested, which coerces the body to dump some of the excess toxic waste out to the skin's surface.

All prescription antiperspirants can be used to control underarm sweating, and they are widely marketed under the trade name of Drysol (manufactured by Person & Covey Inc) and are obtainable under prescription from a doctor. Antiperspirants are also acknowledged as deodorants because of their activity against Gram positive bacteria, which are implicated in the cause of underarm odor. Indeed, there is strong evidence to show that antiperspirants are safe and do not cause health problems.


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