Antiperspirant Questions

How do antiperspirants work?
The precise way they work is not known but it is thought that the metals in the antiperspirant mix with the sugars in the sweat and cause the tubes leading form the sweat glands beneath the skin to be blocked.
Which antiperspirant should I use?
You should look for a product containing aluminium chloride.

Solid or gel or roll-on types tend to be the best for most parts of the body. Spray types can be more useful for the feet.

What is the difference between an antiperspirant and a deodorant?
The two terms are often used interchangeably but they are not the same thing.

A deodorant is a product that masks unpleasant smells, often with a stronger smell of its own so is more like a perfume.

An antiperspirant is a product that contains a substance such as aluminium chloride that actively reduces sweating.

What is the best way to use antiperspirant?
Antiperspirants are best applied at night-time to clean dry, sweat-free skin. It can be washed off in the morning and then can be reapplied but the night time application is considered the most effective.

If the skin is wet then it will cause irritation.

The antiperspirant my GP prescribed me is irritating my skin, what should I do?
This can be a problem with prescribed antiperspirants which are very strong and can irritate some parts of the skin that are more delicate.

Make sure that you follow the instructions from your GP and the instructions on the product.

If the skin has been shaved, leave at least two days before applying antiperspirant.

Sometimes an application of an emollient cream or 1% hydrocortisone cream to the area once the antiperspirant has been washed off can help.

It might be worth trying another type of antiperspirant or one that is developed specifically for the part of the body you are using it on such as SweatStop.

If you still find that antiperspirants do not work for you, ask you GP to be referred to a dermatologist.

I have heard that antiperspirants can cause breast cancer, is that true?
No, some rumours were spread on the internet some years ago but there is, as yet, no scientific proof that such products cause cancer. There is a good explanation of this on the Cancer Research UK website. Although if you are concerned, there are aluminium-free alternatives available now such as IXAL.