You’re in the aisle at the grocery store and you see signs for “deodorants” and “antiperspirants” – some products say both words; other products say one or the other. Aren’t deodorants and antiperspirants essentially the same thing? No, they’re not. If you’re a person who suffers from hyperhidrosis, it’s crucial you know the difference. Deodorants block odor and antiperspirants block sweat.
Deodorants cannot block your sweat, but they do prevent bacteria buildup, which causes body odor. A deodorant by itself cannot keep you dry. Deodorants contain antibacterial ingredients and fragrances to reduce bacteria on the skin and hide body odor. Cetyl alcohol, activated charcoal, cyclomethicone, propylene glycol, hydrolyzed corn starch, dimethicone, baking soda, and coconut oil can all be found in deodorants to fight off odor.
Antiperspirants do not block odor, but they do reduce sweating. Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which blocks the sweat glands on the skin. Since the sweat glands are blocked, less sweat will come out of them. Antiperspirants are considered a drug because they prevent sweat formation. The FDA recognizes only aluminum as an antiperspirant, but other natural ingredients like witch hazel, baking soda, and talc may reduce sweat, as well.
Many natural antiperspirants/deodorants that do not contain aluminum are not guaranteed to stop sweat. Antiperspirants work best when applied before going to bed and deodorants work best when applied in the morning.
If you hardly sweat, a deodorant may be enough for you as it will block body odor; however, if you sweat a lot or suffer from hyperhidrosis, you need to purchase an antiperspirant to stop the sweating.
If you sweat excessively and your antiperspirant isn’t reducing your sweat enough or if you don’t like the idea of aluminum going on your skin, talk to your doctor about some hyperhidrosis treatments. From Botox and medications to electric-current therapy, there are other treatment options for you to combat sweat besides antiperspirants.
Looking for a doctor to help with your hyperhidrosis? Dr. Peter Mikhail is a Tampa hyperhidrosis physician and surgeon with offices in Tampa and New Port Richey, Florida. Dr. Mikhail will look at your symptoms and determine if you have hyperhidrosis. Once you have a diagnosis, he will recommend the best treatment plan for you. To book a consult, click our Tampa hyperhidrosis treatment contact page or call 727-312-4844.