If you sweat a lot, antiperspirants and deodorants can be lifesavers. Unfortunately for people with hyperhidrosis, many over-the-counter antiperspirants can’t stop the excessive sweating, but prescription-level antiperspirants may do the trick. Whether you sweat a lot or a “normal” amount, you likely use an antiperspirant in your daily life. However, do you know what’s in an antiperspirant? What ingredients are in it? What is keeping you from sweating?
As a hyperhidrosis physician and surgeon, I want to share with you some main ingredients that are found in antiperspirants. It’s a good idea you know what you’re rubbing on your skin, as many of these ingredients are controversial. Researchers are worried about long-term effects.
Parabens – These were developed in the 1950s and they help preserve products and prevent bacteria from developing. Parabens include butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. It’s debated if parabens are bad for the body, because they have been known to disrupt hormones in the body, which can lead to several medical conditions.
Sulfates – Sulfates are used in foaming and cleansing products and they are known to break down proteins, which can cause cell membranes to degenerate.
Aluminum – Aluminum can plug the sweat ducts and keep moisture from leaving your sweat glands. Being a heavy metal, there is concern that it is absorbed into the skin and, over time, lead to a higher risk of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Propylene glycol – This chemical keeps substances from drying out and was originally developed as an antifreeze product. It has been known to cause kidney damage, liver damage, and dermatitis.
For most, these ingredients are a necessary evil to keep sweat away. However, there are alternatives. There are plenty of natural antiperspirants out there that contain none of the above ingredients. But for people with hyperhidrosis, natural antiperspirants may not be enough, so other hyperhidrosis treatments like iontophoresis or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be the better solution.
If antiperspirants are not working for you or you don’t want these chemicals on your skin, it’s time to talk to a doctor about alternative treatments for your hyperhidrosis. Dr. Peter Mikhail is a Tampa hyperhidrosis physician and surgeon in New Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Mikhail will determine the best treatment plan for you. To book a consult, click our Tampa hyperhidrosis contact page or call 727-312-4844. Dr. Mikhail treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater area.