Options to control excessive sweating

It’s another hot, sweaty, Houston summer and you might be desperate for a deodorant that works.

Here’s a variety of options to keep you comfortable.

Aluminum -- to use or not to use?

Dr. Sunaina Likhari from Kelsey-Seybold in Humble said all patients have different preferences, but what’s really going to make it work well is aluminum.

“You want to pick something that says antiperspirant because that’s actually what’s going to contain the aluminum salts that clog up your sweat glands,” Dr. Likhari explained.

There have been questions about what long-term use of aluminum can do and with that fear there’s been a surge in natural products that don’t contain any aluminum.

However, according to the American Cancer Society, there’s no link between aluminum and cancer.

Do natural products work well?

According to Dr. Likhari, the natural products might have other ingredients that can make you feel dry (baking soda, tapioca powder, etc.).

“Probably not quite as effective as aluminum but certainly lots of options out there,” she said. “I personally have tried the Native brand which is aluminum-free. I liked it as far as fragrances because they did stay away from synthetic fragrances ... but I did notice a difference not having aluminum.”

She said with her experience the aluminum works best at keeping you sweat-free.

Clinical strength antiperspirant

She said people with severe sweating who need more than just deodorant can try an over-the-counter product, including Drysol and Certain Dri. These contain a lot more of the active ingredient found in regular deodorant. They’re most effective when used the night before and can be used on hands and feet too.


Prescription treatments available include the following: Medicated wipes, prescription drugs and minor procedures like Botox or miraDry.

“[MiraDry] is an effective procedure but it’s not covered by insurance, it’s quite expensive,” Dr. Likhari said.


If someone has a real problem where their hands, feet, underarms are dripping with sweat, it could be a condition called hyperhidrosis and you might be a candidate for a surgery to permanently stop the sweating. The doctor said that happens in about 5% of people.

Why do deodorants sometimes stop working after using them for a while?

Dr. Likhari said there’s no scientific reason why this should happen but she doesn’t deny that it does for many patients. Her only recommendation is to rotate products if you find that helps.