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Antiperspirant
Hyperhidrosis Basics
Hyperhidrosis Treatments
Treatments for Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
What Antiperspirant Does & How it Differs from Deodorant
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

Humans have been using scents to mask the smell of body odor for thousands of years. Soap was invented by the Phoenicians in 600 B.C. and ancient Egyptians bathed in perfumed water to mask their scent. Sweat glands were not discovered until the late 1800’s, up until that point people did not understand the association between body odor and underarms.[1] Humans have two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine glands are found all over the body, but apocrine glands, which produce a thicker type of sweat, are only located in the armpits and groin area. The sweat produced by apocrine glands has a high concentration of proteins and fatty acids, and it is actually odorless. Bacteria live on the surface of the skin, especially in the axillary region, and they break down apocrine sweat into isovaleric acid and androsterone, which give off an unpleasant odor.[2] In response to the foul smell produced by underarm bacteria, the modern era of underarm technology began. In the late 1800’s deodorant was invented, and 15 years later antiperspirant was created.[1] Today, people all over the world use these products, and many are confused about what the difference between them actually is. The basic difference is this: deodorant kills bacteria on the surface of the skin and masks body odor with a scent while antiperspirant actually stops the production of sweat.[3]

What Antiperspirant Does

Antiperspirants are often used as a way to manage sweat, as they are able to stop its production. For those who have overactive sweat glands, or suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis, antiperspirant is a critical tool. Most antiperspirants use aluminum salts as an active ingredient, specifically aluminum chloride or aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Scientists are unsure of the exact way in which aluminum salts block sweat glands. Sweat glands look like tubes that open up to the skin, and it is thought that aluminum salts contain metal ions which interact with molecules in epithelial tissue within the sweat glands. This interaction damages the lining of sweat gland cells and forms a plug that blocks sweat output. Sweat can still build up behind the plug, but it can’t reach the surface of the skin as it is mechanically blocked, and it is eventually reabsorbed by the body. Some clinical strength products use aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex as an active ingredient. It is thought to act in a similar way as aluminum chloride, but the plug formed by aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex is more superficial. Other antiperspirants use an even newer active ingredient called aluminum sesquichlorohydrate which is thought to be less irritating. The large selection of products can make it challenging to choose the right over-the-counter antiperspirant, but they all provide the same end game. No matter what the active ingredient they use, all antiperspirants stop sweat from forming on the surface of the skin.[4]

Several years ago there was a controversy over the aluminum contained in antiperspirant products. People were worried that aluminum antiperspirants cause cancer. However, that worry has since been disproved, as several studies have been done to determine if there is a correlation between the two. In recent years, the FDA and the National Cancer Institute put statements out declaring that aluminum is not linked to cancer. In fact, antiperspirants are actually considered drugs, as opposed to deodorants which are not, and are therefore regulated by the FDA.[5]

What Deodorant Does

Deodorants are used to eliminate the bacteria that live on the skin and mask the odor they produce. This is done by combining an antimicrobial agent to kill bacteria and a fragrance to mask any foul smells.[5] Many deodorants use an ingredient called triclosan to fight bacteria, and it is suspended in a propylene glycol gel and thickened with sodium stearate.[1] Ingredients like triclosan target an enzyme found in bacteria cell membranes, the enzyme is used only in bacterial cells and not human cells, which allows it to kill bacteria.[5] Many people assume that deodorants are safer than antiperspirants, but the FDA has put the chemical triclosan on notice, as they are concerned that it may be carcinogenic. Most studies show that triclosan is a safe ingredient, but further research is needed. Triclosan is used in other antibacterial products like soap and toothpaste.[7] There is also a concern that triclosan may be a factor in bacterial resistance, which is becoming more and more problematic.[6] This has led some people to use more natural deodorants with ingredients like baking soda and essential oils, which can be made at home.[7]

Combination Products

Many products combine both deodorant and antiperspirant into one, so that they have a product that can prevent sweat, kill bacteria, and mask any smells that do occur.[7] These products are especially useful for people who have conditions that cause them to produce stinky sweat or too much sweat, like bromhidrosis and hyperhidrosis respectively. Each person has different needs based on the amount of sweat they produce, how irritated their skin becomes, and how stinky their sweat is. In some cases, deodorant is the best option, and in others an antiperspirant, or combination product is needed.[4]

When to Use Which Product

Now that you understand what antiperspirants and deodorants do, it is important to know when it is appropriate to use each product. As antiperspirants actually prevent sweating, they are most useful for people who sweat excessively. Antiperspirant is actually the first line treatment for hyperhidrosis, a condition in which people sweat excessively from various parts of their body. For people dealing with a normal amount of day to day sweating, however, antiperspirant is not usually necessary. It is considered to be a drug by the FDA so it is probably best not to use it if you don’t need to.[4]

Deodorant is something that the average person is more likely to benefit from. That is because everyone has bacteria in their underarms that produce body odor. While deodorants do contain bacteria-killing chemicals, they are generally thought to be safer than antiperspirants. However, many people don’t like the fact that deodorants have unnecessary chemicals at all, and they may want to opt for a more natural option. There are many recipes online that teach you how to make your own deodorant in your kitchen if you prefer not to have to use mainstream deodorants for that reason. Overall, deodorant provides odor protection that is pleasant and most people tend to lean towards using some form of deodorant.[6]

Combination products are great for some people and bad for others. They are convenient because they combine two products that would otherwise have to be bought and applied separately. For some people, however, combination products can be limiting. They may contain one ingredient that works for you and another ingredient that irritates you. When someone is especially sensitive to products, it may be harder to find a combination product that works. In that case it is preferable to find a separate antiperspirant and deodorant that don’t cause irritation and use them in combination with each other.

Deodorants and antiperspirants tackle the same problem in different ways, and each product has its place. Thanks to these products, people today smell much better now than they did in ancient times.

Sources
  1. Ramirez, A. (1990, August). All About/Deodorants; The Success of Sweet Smell. New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/12/business/all-about-deodorants-the-success-of-sweet-smell
  2. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
  3. Zirwas, M. J., & Moennich, J. (2008). Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy Diagnosis and Management. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 1(3), 38-43. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3013594/
  4. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  5. How do antiseptic soaps work? (2009). Retrieved October 3, 2018, from http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=2168
  6. Feltman, R. (2015, September). How deodorant makes you stink less. Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/09/21/how-deodorant-makes-you-stink-less/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4a62ab6edd98
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Antiperspirant

What You Need to Know About Carpe Clinical Regimen

By Katie Crissman /

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen - it combines several high performing products with a specific care routine to provide long term sweat reduction for even the heaviest sweaters. Read on to see if Carpe Clinical Regimen is right for you!

Antiperspirant is great - for most people. You apply it once a day and it stops your sweat! It’s easy. But, what if that’s not what happened? You bought it, read the label, and used it exactly as directed and, unfortunately, you’re still sweating - excessively. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There are products specifically made for heavy sweaters who haven’t had luck with traditional antiperspirants. These products typically include the words “extra strength”, “clinical strength” or “prescription strength” and they are, thankfully, available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. 


The difference between clinical strength products and their weaker counterparts are the active ingredients they use. Clinical strength lines typically use one of several newer types of metallic salt ingredients that are known to be both stronger and less irritating than aluminum chloride (which is the standard active ingredient in antiperspirants) [1]. While there are many clinical strength products on the market, we are going to focus on a new clinical strength regimen that combines a strong active ingredient with a specific care routine to get excessive sweating under control. 


Carpe Clinical Regimen -  What It Is and How It’s Different

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen. It’s different from other prescription grade products because it combines several strong products with a specific care routine to ensure maximum product performance. It’s also different from Carpe’s other products because it uses a stronger active ingredient and delivery system. The system is geared toward people who experience intractable armpit sweating, but Carpe also makes products for people who struggle with other types of sweat. The Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm includes three specific products that, when used together, have been found to be highly effective at reducing sweat production. These products include:

  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Antiperspirant 
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Exfoliating Wash
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Wipes[2]

Carpe Clinical Grade Regimen uses an active ingredient called Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%) combined with other soothing inactive ingredients to effectively stop sweat in its tracks while reducing skin irritation.[3] Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex is a newer generation metallic salt that stops sweat production and is known to be more effective than other types of active ingredients antiperspirants typically use. One study mentioned in the journal Dermatologic Clinics found that antiperspirants using Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex were, on average, 34% more effective than antiperspirants that used aluminum chloride as an active ingredient.[1] Carpe’s traditional products use an active ingredient called Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15% which is effective, but less potent than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.[4]


It’s important to note that Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen provides a long term impact on sweat reduction from making short term lifestyle changes. This is because the results build up over time and peak at about 4 weeks. It takes 4 weeks of using the Carpe clinical grade products once each morning and every other night to see the full effect of what they can do. This is typical of all antiperspirants as their effects tend to build up with consistent use. Consistently using antiperspirant products is especially important for those with hard to treat sweat problems because it can be the difference between treatment success or failure.[1][2] 


If you’re frustrated with the way your current antiperspirant is working or how it isn’t working, then consider giving Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen a try! It’s active ingredient is comparable to other prescription strength products on the market but it’s multistep system with easy to use wipes is completely unique! Remember, an easy to use, consistent antiperspirant routine is going to give you long term sweat reduction so it’s important to find a system that works for your lifestyle. 


Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0>https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
  2. How It Works (Clinical). Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/pages/how-it-works-clinical
  3. Clinical Underarm  PM Wipes. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/clinical-grade-underarm-antiperspirant-wipes?variant=34814174724229
  4. Underarm Antiperspirant for Excessive Underarm Sweating. Carpe. https://mycarpe.com/products/underarm-antiperspirant-tube?variant=39247505358981
Antiperspirant

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

By Daniel McCarthy /

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

Our worries about shirt stains, sweaty underarms, and smelly armpits may dominate how we think about excessive armpit sweating. Hey, we may even avoid thinking about these all together. But guess what? There are some random and interesting facts that just may change how you think about excessive underarm sweating! Let’s take a look: 

Fact number 1: Sweat by itself ISN’T smelly

Sweat is often associated with smelliness. But by itself, it doesn’t smell AT ALL. The reason sweat can smell (in places like your armpit) isn’t really about sweat. It’s about the sweat glands (and hair)! Apocrine glands are the biggest of sweat-producing glands and are usually located near hair. It’s this combo that leads to smelly armpits.

Fact number 2: Excessive armpit sweating is as old as cavemen

Hang with me here. Excessive underarm sweating is connected to the fight-or-flight response ingrained in even the most ancient of human predecessors. This excessive armpit sweating response has helped humans survive for millenia. And yep, it means our cavemen ancestors likely had sweating armpits, too. Even though they didn’t have to worry about shirt stains like us, we have the benefit of products like carpe underarm and antiperspirant in general to help with our excessive armpit sweating.  

Fact number 3: Famous people worry about excessive armpit sweating too

Michael Gary Scott, fearless and deliciously cringeworthy leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on the show The Office, is perfectly played by actor Steve Carell. Carell seemed to play the role with such ease, comfort, and confidence that nobody would ever know he was worried about excessive underarm sweating due to his hyperhidrosis. Co-star Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on the show) even pointed out that the set temperature was a cool 64 degrees to keep Carell’s sweaty underarms from becoming the focus of the scene. 

Even though Carell’s excessive armpit sweating wasn’t part of the show, I like to think Michael’s approach to sweat stains could be summed up by his famous line:  “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” 

Fact number 4: Other celebrities combat hyperhidrosis too

Steve Carell is not the only notable person looking for the best sweat prevention. As a longtime vampire and real-life human with hyperhidrosis, Robert Pattinson is another actor who combats hyperhidrosis (and werewolves) on the regular. 

Like Pattinson and Carell, Halle Berry also has hyperhidrosis. Famously, Berry confidently showed her sweat stains on the Ellen Show back in 2010. So when you’re feeling a little self-conscious about your own excessive underarm sweating, remember you too can confidently move through your day like Berry barring her pits for the world. 

Fact number 5: Ventilation over here please!

If you’re still worried about how to get rid of pit stains, some ventilation could provide a brief respite. Because we sometimes get pesky pit stains, it can feel like our excessive underarm sweating is due to our pits proclivity to produce the most amount of sweat. Yet, this annoying issue is more commonly attributed to a lack of ventilation, although sweaty armpit causes cannot be narrowed to one thing. Still, a little ventilation and clinical strength antiperspirant can go a long way in dealing with pesky pit stains and excessive armpit sweating. 

Fact number 6: An underappreciated aspect of a non-meat diet

Sometimes even the best antiperspirant and deodorant may not feel like enough to help with excessive armpit sweating and underarm smell. That’s okay though because there are other interesting ways to approach this issue. A 2006 study showed that women found mens’ armpit odor “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” when these men ate a non-meat diet [1]. If you haven’t already thought about eating less meat, the improved aroma of your pits (and the kitchen) may be another reason to eat a non-meat diet. 

Fact number 7: Fashion matters

Choosing clothes is a fashion statement for many. And while fashion may matter more to some than others, there’s one interesting reason we can all get behind to choose our clothes. Our clothing choices can help deal with excessive underarm sweating. That’s right, there are clothes, materials, styles, and pads that all can help with excessive armpit sweating as well as excessive sweating and shirt stains in general. 

Fact number 8: You aren’t alone

An estimated 2-3% of the US population suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Even though this percentage may seem small, 3% of the US population is right around 10 million people. That’s like all of NYC combating excessive armpit sweating at the same time. It can be easy to feel isolated in dealing with hyperhidrosis, but there’s some comfort in knowing many others are dealing with the same worries. 

Sources

 

  1. Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/31/8/747/364338
Antiperspirant

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands

By Daniel McCarthy /

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands 

Not sure how to stop sweaty hands and excessive sweating? You aren’t alone! Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or just trying to get your phone to recognize your thumbprint, it can get pretty dang annoying to constantly worry about how to stop having sweaty hands. In this article, we’ll cover 7 effective ways to help you stop sweaty hands:

    1. Reduce your stress
    2. Try (the right) antiperspirant
    3. Iontophoresis
    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions
    5. Medications
    6. Give a Botox shot 
    7. Take a more surgical approach

1.  Reduce your stress 

This one is often easier said than done - but it can help a lot. Research has shown that higher levels of anxiety cause sweat glands to become more active [1]. This is particularly true for hand sweating. 

Figuring out how to stop sweaty hands looks different for each person, but there are some relaxing activities that can either prevent sweat or help control it once it’s begun. Some possible activities to reduce your stress include listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily. Other helpful techniques include deep breathing and stretching. Everyone is different, so try some of these other tips to find what works best for you. 

2. Try (the right) antiperspirant

You’re relaxed, but maybe you’re still trying to work out how to stop having sweaty hands? While reducing stress is a beneficial home remedy, it should be combined with other easy-to-use remedies. Some home remedies, such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar, may help with hyperhidrosis, but the next best step is over-the-counter antiperspirant

Antiperspirants are great at preventing clam hands and often work better than deodorants to stop excessive sweating. Antiperspirants for hands are especially important in how to stop sweaty hands. Others prefer anti sweat wipes. Finding the right hand antiperspirant is an important step to combat sweaty hands. 

3. Iontophoresis

    Hate needles? Need to figure out how to stop sweaty hands? Iontophoresis may be for you. This method uses mild electrical currents to treat your hands while they’re submerged in water. And although iontophoresis sessions may be performed at a doctor’s office, some people choose to purchase their own iontophoresis machines for at-home treatment [2].  

    While this method can be a bit harder on the wallet, if you can pay upfront for a machine, you may save by avoiding paying for every visit to the doctors. However, if you don’t see progress after a few weeks, talk to your doctor to discuss how to stop your sweaty hands from affecting your daily life. 

    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions

    It can be easy to write off sweaty hands as a reaction to anxiety or nervousness. But sometimes sweaty hands can be caused by underlying conditions. These conditions might include diabetes, low blood sugar, overactive thyroid, infections, and other issues. To learn more on how to stop sweaty hands that may be connected to underlying conditions, it is best to talk to a medical professional about your hyperhidrosis needs. 

    5. Medications

    In addition to talking about your underlying conditions, a medical professional may also suggest a prescription to help with sweaty hands. More specifically, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medication for hyperhidrosis like a series of pills known as anticholinergics, which help your body produce less sweat. Like pills, topical creams may also be prescribed to help reduce excessive sweating. These creams are made up of solutions that will decrease the amount of sweat released, including hand sweat. If medications don’t cut it for you, you may need to take one of the two steps below. 

    6. Give botox a shot

      You may be thinking, I’m not sure how to stop sweaty hands, so why are you recommending botox? While many may not associate botox with hyperhidrosis, it can significantly reduce excessive sweating, including in your hands [3] . While botox may solve how to stop having sweaty hands, this method can cause temporary pain or weakness of the hands, so it is crucial that you consult a medical professional for appropriate botox delivery. 

      7. Take a more surgical approach. This one is only for serious sweaters who have tried everything else.

      If you can’t figure out how to stop having sweaty hands after trying these first six tips, you might consider surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis. While botox is a less invasive surgery, significantly more invasive procedures include endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy​ or an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy. These names may be hard to pronounce, but these surgeries can provide significant relief for people with certain kinds of severe hyperhidrosis. Of course, try less invasive options first, and talk to a medical professional before deciding to take a more surgical approach. 

      There may be no one-size-fits-all solution for how to stop sweaty hands, but hopefully one of, or a combo of these tips help you enjoy life a bit more and worry about sweat a bit less. 

      Sources

      1. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
      2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from <a href=https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0>https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0</a>
      3. Lakraj, A. A., Moghimi, N., & Jabbari, B. (2013). Hyperhidrosis: anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment with emphasis on the role of botulinum toxins. Toxins, 5(4), 821–840. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins5040821
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