If you're concerned about sweating and body odor, the solution may be simple: an over-the-counter antiperspirant and deodorant.
- Antiperspirant. Antiperspirants contain aluminium-based compounds that temporarily block the sweat pore, thereby reducing the amount of perspiration that reaches your skin.
- Deodorant. Deodorants can eliminate odor but not perspiration. They're usually alcohol-based and turn your skin acidic, making it less attractive to bacteria. Deodorants often contain perfume fragrances intended to mask odor.
If over-the-counter antiperspirants don't help control your sweating, your doctor may prescribe aluminum chloride (Drysol, Xerac Ac). For best results, apply the antiperspirant at night to the areas most prone to sweating. Prescription antiperspirants are strong solutions that can cause red, swollen and itchy skin in some people. If irritation develops, wash the medication off in the morning.
Jan. 25, 2014
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Smith CC, et al. Primary focal hyperhidrosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 18, 2013.
- Shirasu M, et al. The scent of disease: Volatile organic compounds of the human body related to disease and disorder. Journal of Biochemistry. 2011;150:257.