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Antiperspirant
Lifestyle
Sweat Biology
Treatments for Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
Treatments for Secondary Generalized Hyperhidrosis
Will Baby Powder Help With Sweating?
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

Baby powder, also known as talcum powder, can help to manage some of the symptoms associated with excessive sweating, but it is not as effective as some other over-the-counter topical treatments. It is also important to note that there has been some controversy over whether or not baby powder is safe. The company Johnson and Johnson has been manufacturing baby powder for over 100 years and several generations have used it as a way to manage unwanted sweat.[1]

What’s In Baby Powder and How It Works

Baby powder is typically made from a substance known as talc. It is a mineral found in clay that can be mined from underground deposits. It is one of the softest minerals in the world which is one of the reasons it is so useful. Talc is sometimes referred to as talcum powder, talcum, magnesium silicate, or cosmetic talc. In addition to baby powder, talc is used in several other cosmetic products like mascara, lipstick, blush, and many others. It is also used to make crayons, pills, chewing gum, and many other products. Talc gives these products a silky texture and the ability to absorb water easily. Some baby powders use cornstarch as an alternative to talc, but this is less common. It will say on the label if a particular brand uses talc or cornstarch.[2]

People use baby powder to manage excessive sweat because it is both astringent and absorbent. Astringent means that a substance causes body tissues to constrict which helps them to remain dry. So, when you apply baby powder to your skin it absorbs extra moisture on your skin while also encouraging the skin to stay dry. Baby powder also reduces friction between body parts and acts as a barrier to protect skin. Historically, it was used by parents to prevent diaper rash on babies, although this practice is now discouraged by doctors. Many baby powders also contain a fragrance which helps detract from bad smells that often come along with heavy sweating. Most of the time people use baby powder to help with sweating in the axillary and groin regions, although it can also be used on hands and feet. It is generally less advantageous for those who have craniofacial hyperhidrosis.[1]

Baby powder is not irritating and can be used on sensitive skin. However, it does have some downfalls. It tends to clump when exposed to lots of moisture which can be uncomfortable or unpractical depending on which part of the body it is used on. It is also not as effective as an antiperspirant when it comes to reducing sweat production. Finally, baby powder made with talc, has been subject to controversy for the last several years and no definitive conclusion has been made as to whether or not it is entirely safe to use.[2]

The Difference Between Baby Powder and Antiperspirant

Antiperspirant is the first line treatment for people who have hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes the body to produce excessive amounts of sweat. It usually contains an active ingredient like aluminum chloride, or another type of metallic salt. The active ingredients in antiperspirant are so strong that they are actually able to prevent the body from producing sweat and the FDA classifies antiperspirants as drugs. This means that they are regulated by the US government.[3] Unlike antiperspirants, baby powder can’t stop the body from producing sweat and it is not regulated by the FDA. Often baby powder is not a strong enough treatment alone for those with hyperhidrosis, but it can be a helpful alternative method to manage hyperhidrosis, especially for those with sensitive skin. If you are interested in choosing the right over-the-counter antiperspirant for your situation, or the right type of baby powder, it is a good idea to read the label on the products so you know which products will work best for your situation.[1]

Baby Powder and Possible Health Concerns

It is thought that baby powder made from talc might lead to the development of cancer. This is because, in its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, which is known to be cancer causing. [4] Talc can be contaminated by asbestos because it lines some of the same mines that talc is taken from.[2] However, it has not be proven that all talc is contaminated with asbestos. In 1976 the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CTFA) said that all cosmetic products containing talc should be free from detectable amounts of asbestos. However, there is controversy over whether or not consistent exposure to Johnson and Johnson baby powder has led some women to develop ovarian cancer.[4] Roughly 12,000 women filed a lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson citing that using baby powder is the cause of their ovarian cancer.[2] So far, results from studies looking into whether or not baby powder causes ovarian cancer have been mixed. The nternational Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization (WHO), currently does not classify talc as a carcinogen if it doesn’t contain asbestos. The same organization has also said that the use of talc containing powders on the genitals may be cancer inducing for humans. Better studies need to be conducted before an official consensus can be reached.[4]

It is also important to note that baby powder should not be used as a preventative for diaper rash. This is because talcum powder is so tiny that is poses a risk for babies to inhale it and aspirate on it. Several babies have died from baby powder inhalation and doctors have been recommending against its use for decades.[2]

If you have hyperhidrosis and you want to incorporate baby powder as a part of your routine it may be prudent to a little research beforehand. If you are worried about the health issues talc can cause, you can always try a cornstarch based baby powder. Cornstarch does not pose any of the same risks that talcum powder has and it is still quite effective at absorbing sweat.

Sources
  1. Freeman, S. (n.d.). Does baby powder stop sweating? Retrieved May 6, 2019, from https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/men/sweating-odor/baby-powder-stop-sweating
  2. Rabin, R. C. (2018, December 14). What Is Talc, Where Is It Used and Why Is Asbestos a Concern? New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/business/talc-asbestos-powder-facts
  3. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  4. Talcum Powder and Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2019, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer
  5. Gill, K. (2018, October). Does baby powder cause cancer? What to know. Retrieved May 6, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323525.php
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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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