Drysol is a prescription-only treatment for hyperhidrosis, containing 20% Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate and Ethanol (Alcohol). If you’ve already been to the doctor about your excessive sweating, they may have already prescribed Drysol for you as a way to stop your perspiration.
While Drysol is a reputable treatment, many people are unsatisfied with it, because:
- Drysol’s high concentration of Aluminum Chloride can cause severe irritation, due to the high concentration of ethanol in the formula along with the absence of any soothing ingredients that reduce side effects.
- The hassle and cost of getting hold of Drysol get in the way of a treatment since you need to go to the doctor, pay for a prescription, and pick it up from the pharmacy.
- The “dab-o-matic” application method doesn’t allow for smooth or effective application on underarms, and the container tends to leak easily so you can’t take it anywhere.
Unfortunately, for hyperhidrosis sufferers, it can seem like the next step forward from prescription antiperspirant is towards more extreme treatment options — like surgery or botox injections. This is especially tempting when you’ve gone through dozens of conventional deodorants and antiperspirants and also tried the “extra strength” antiperspirants to no avail.
However, in this guide, we want to show that you don’t need to go in the direction of medical intervention. There are a few prescription-only Drysol alternatives available, and there are also robust specialist antiperspirants that will help you manage hyperhidrosis. One of these is Duradry, which has a simple 3-step process that actually works to prevent excessive sweating.
Prescription-Only Drysol Alternatives
If you’re living in the US, any FDA-approved antiperspirant with a greater than 15% concentration of Aluminum Chloride requires a prescription. These rules vary between countries. In the US, your doctor might prescribe Drysol without offering you an alternative, but there are two other treatments they could choose to prescribe:
Xerac AC: This formula contains Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate at a concentration of 6.25%, which is significantly weaker than Drysol and other alternatives. This means that Xerac doesn’t technically need to be prescribed — but the doctor’s office is the only place you can get hold of it, probably because it’s made by the same manufacturer as Drysol. This weaker strength means that it’s less likely to irritate sensitive or exposed areas, and makes Xerac AC better-suited for the face and forehead (for craniofacial hyperhidrosis) — or the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis) and feet (plantar hyperhidrosis).
Hypercare: Like Drysol, Hypercare’s prescription-only antiperspirant contains 20% Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate in an Ethanol solution. There is no material difference between Drysol and Hypercare — they both contain the same ingredients, and they’re both applied by dabbing the solution onto the affected area.
QBREXZA: QBREXZA stands out because it works differently than Drysol and its alternatives. Rather than plugging your pores, the active ingredient, Glycopyrronium Tosylate, binds to receptors in the sweat glands and blocks the neurotransmitter (Acetylcholine) from binding and activating them. It’s applied via a towelette wipe. Note: Without insurance, QBREXZA costs upwards of $600 (!) for a box of 30 towelettes.
- Oral medications: Anticholinergics — such as Oxybutynin, Propantheline, Benztropine, and Glycopyrrolate — are not FDA-approved as treatments for hyperhidrosis specifically, but they can be used “off-label” to systematically decrease generalized sweating levels. Like QBREXZA, these drugs work by blocking Acetylcholine. However, oral medication can’t target receptors locally, meaning it affects your entire body. This can bring about a long list of side effects, including dry mouth, body temperature overheating, urinary retention, blurred vision, and constipation.
If Drysol isn’t working, or if it’s causing irritation and other side effects, you’re unlikely to have a better experience with Hypercare. And with just 6.25% Aluminum Chloride, Xerac AC’s strength is below the optimal concentration for people with excessive underarm sweating.
QBREXZA and oral treatments are more conventionally “medical” in nature, preventing sweat gland receptors from receiving messages that trigger sweating. However, oral Anticholinergics are not FDA-approved as hyperhidrosis medications, and side effects are common. Research has also shown a potential link between these meds and dementia in older patients (≈65 years old).
Finally, if you’re exploring Drysol alternatives because of the hassle and cost of needing a prescription, getting hold of any of these three alternatives won’t be any easier.
Non-Prescription Drysol Alternatives (Specialist Antiperspirants)
If you’re looking to combat excess sweating without visiting a healthcare professional, there are also some powerful Drysol alternatives that you can get over-the-counter or on the web.
The most effective products will also contain Aluminum Chloride (like Drysol), but at 15% concentration or below — the limit set by the FDA before a product has to be prescribed.
Note: We’re not going to waste your time focusing on the big-brand "clinical strength" or "extra strength" antiperspirants. The products made by companies like Sure, Dove, Degree, and Secret tend to use less effective active ingredients. This is because they don’t want to risk causing any irritation. However, this renders them useless for people who suffer from excessive sweating.
Introducing Duradry’s Simple 3-step Solution to Hyperhidrosis
I developed Duradry because I suffer from hyperhidrosis myself. I was frustrated at how many of the “solutions” didn’t actually work — or caused so much discomfort, inconvenience, or pain that they didn’t actually make my life easier. So, I set about creating Duradry to give people with hyperhidrosis complete peace of mind — blocking sweat effectively, comfortably, and affordably.
Here’s what sets Duradry apart from other specialist antiperspirants:
- We offer an FDA-approved 3-step system, which is simple and gives complete dryness in less than a week for more than 97% of our users. It includes:
Duradry PM: The heavy-lifter, containing Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate (15%). Apply Duradry PM gel to your underarms at bedtime, and it works overnight to block your pores. We pair this with Salicylic Acid, which reduces irritation and makes the active ingredients more effective.
Duradry Wash: This is an everyday wash, which you use in the shower to clean away residue and bacteria, eliminating odors and moisturizing your skin using vitamins and natural ingredients. It prepares your skin for Duradry AM and PM, so they can have full contact with your pores. Duradry Wash improves sweat control capabilities by up to 20% when it’s used within the 3-step system.
- Duradry AM: Our extra strength antiperspirant stick, containing Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex GLY (20%), adding an extra layer of daily protection to the sweat-blocking effects of Duradry PM.
- Duradry PM: The heavy-lifter, containing Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate (15%). Apply Duradry PM gel to your underarms at bedtime, and it works overnight to block your pores. We pair this with Salicylic Acid, which reduces irritation and makes the active ingredients more effective.
- Even when specialist antiperspirants use the same active ingredients, these can actually vary in quality and efficacy. Duradry sources only the purest ingredients from reputable European sources, which use micronized particles (to get into the pores easier), and have a low pH (to make sure they’re potent).
- Duradry PM’s 15% concentration of Aluminum Chloride is scientifically proven to be the optimal strength for Axillary Hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Put simply, there’s no need to rely on Drysol’s 20% strength because it’s not more effective. It increases the risk of adverse effects such as skin irritation.
- Applying Duradry is simple and straightforward. Duradry PM is a gel that’s easy to apply in the affected area without a mess. Duradry AM is a stick — familiar, and simple to use.
Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. Use Duradry PM at bedtime, Duradry AM in the morning, and Duradry Wash to deep clean and prepare your skin for total protection against hyperhidrosis. Get started for just $20.
Extreme Alternatives to Drysol: Medical Procedures
As we mentioned earlier, if a prescription treatment isn’t working for you, it can be tempting to feel like you need to “graduate” to something more serious. As we’ve explained, this isn’t necessarily true — because there are treatments like Duradry that can be effective.
At the same time, it’s good to know what the options are in the medical world.
Botox, otherwise known as Botulinum Toxin, is the most poisonous substance known to humankind. It is widely used in the realm of cosmetic surgery because injecting botox disrupts the nerves and smoothes out wrinkles on the surface of the skin.
Now botox has also gained a reputation as a treatment for excessive sweating. This is because it can interrupt nerve signals that trigger the secretion of a chemical that activates sweat glands. Put simply, it can reduce the activity of overactive sweat glands in the area where it is injected.
For botox to prevent excessive sweating, you need between 25-50 injections in each underarm. As you can imagine, this is very painful — which I know from experience. At the same time, botox is only a temporary solution. In the same way that people go back to a clinic to top up the botox in their lips or face, it also wears off in your underarms after 4-6 months.
Not only is this painful, but it’s costly. On average, to maintain sweat protection from botox, you’re likely to have to shell out around $3000 per year. This varies between clinics.
The surgery for hyperhidrosis is called an Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS). This involves cutting or clamping the nerves to stop the sympathetic nerve activity, thereby interrupting the mechanics of sweat production. Surgery is no small fry. When the nerves are cut, it’s permanent, and there is a real risk of complications.
For example, 80-90% of patients undergoing ETS for underarm sweating experience compensatory sweating — meaning they perspire excessively in other areas of the body as a result of the surgery. And there are other risks associated with going under general anesthetic.
Iontophoresis is typically used for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis — a.k.a. sweaty hands and sweaty feet — or “palmoplantar” if you experience both. This treatment has been shown to be effective for between 81-91% of patients with these conditions.
Iontophoresis is the process of passing a low-level electric current through the water in a shallow tray, in which you place your palms or soles. It’s usually done once per week. You may need a prescription to get hold of an “FDA cleared and approved” Iontophoresis machine (in the USA), just like many other medical devices. Seek medical advice if you’re in any doubt.
Traditionally, this treatment wasn’t ideal for underarms due to the application method. However, the leader, Dermadry, has now launched a machine for armpits. In the absence of studies, anecdotal feedback suggests it can have an impact — although Iontophoresis is still better suited to hands and feet because they can make contact with the current in the water.
Microwave Therapy (Thermal Energy)
The leading provider of microwave therapy for hyperhidrosis is miraDry. It’s a permanent solution, which burns off the sweat glands in your underarms using microwaves. In order to undergo this treatment, you’ll need dozens of local anesthetic injections in the region.
MiraDry is safe and effective, but there are some potential side effects. This includes discomfort, swelling, and numbness in the localized treated area. Indeed, some people have felt numb for many months after the procedure. This treatment usually costs upwards of $3000.
Instead of escalating to medical procedures, try Duradry’s simple 3-step solution. You can start for just $20, and get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the results. No questions asked.
Final Thoughts: What is the Best Drysol Alternative?
The best Drysol alternative will solve your excessive sweating problem without causing irritation, without breaking the bank, and without forcing you to visit the dermatologist. But with so many of the store-bought products falling short, you need a topical solution that has been specially designed to solve the problem of hyperhidrosis.
Luckily, there are plenty of robust hyperhidrosis treatments to choose from that don’t need a prescription. Duradry’s 3-step solution is one of these treatments — giving complete dryness to 97% of our users within just one week of use. Get started today for just $20.