While Drysol deodorant is commonly prescribed for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), there are some non-prescription alternatives to the Drysol solution on the market, including some that use the same ingredients that are present in Drysol.
I suffer from hyperhidrosis myself, and I tried many of those alternatives. I discovered that many of those “solutions” didn’t work at all. Others caused so much discomfort, inconvenience, or pain that they didn’t actually make my life easier.
I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I created the Duradry 3-Step System. Duradry is designed to give people who are suffering from hyperhidrosis complete peace of mind by blocking sweat effectively, comfortably, and affordably.
What is Drysol?
If you have been to the doctor about your excessive sweating, you may have already been prescribed Drysol. Drysol contains 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate and ethanol (alcohol) — a combination that works to stop wetness and odor.
While over-the-counter antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, Drysol contains aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which is among the most effective antiperspirants currently available. However, Drysol is only available by prescription, so opting to use this will involve a visit to the doctor and a trip to the pharmacy, which may not fit well into your busy schedule.
You cannot get a Drysol generic formulation, but there are non-prescription alternatives that use Drysol ingredients in lower concentrations. These can be equally effective at treating hyperhidrosis and less likely to cause skin irritation.
How Drysol Combats Excessive Sweating
Drysol is formulated with 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate to effectively protect against excessive sweating for up to 72 hours. Drysol is a nightly topical treatment that is applied at bedtime to completely dry skin and washed off in the morning shower. There's no need to apply a regular deodorant afterward.
Prescription and specialty antiperspirants typically contain aluminum chloride hexahydrate as an active ingredient. But while this is very effective for controlling excessive sweating, it can cause skin irritation. This is why a lower concentration of 10% to 15% is recommended instead.
Is Drysol Safe and What are Drysol Side Effects?
Although Drysol deodorant is a reputable, safe, and effective treatment, many patients complain of Drysol long-term side effects like:
Drysol’s high concentration of aluminum chloride and ethanol, combined with its lack of any soothing ingredients, can cause severe irritation.
Some patients have difficulty adjusting to Drysol’s “dab-o-matic” application method and find that it doesn’t allow for smooth, effective application even when they follow Drysol's instructions. Others complain that Drysol’s container tends to leak, which means you can’t take it anywhere.
Getting Drysol involves visiting a doctor, paying for a prescription, and visiting the pharmacy.
Drysol Solutions Overview
Drysol has several different formulations with different percentages of aluminum chloride (ACH) to meet the varying needs of hyperhidrosis sufferers.
- Drysol Mild 6.25% ACH Dab On
- Drysol Regular 12% ACH Dab On
- Drysol Extra Strength 20% ACH Dab On
- Drysol Extra Strength 20% ACH Dab On (Liquid)
Drysol Mild 6.25% ACH Dab On
Drysol Mild is a milder Drysol solution that is less likely to cause irritation in sensitive areas. Drysol Mild is especially useful for ensuring dryness in the groin area, underarms, and skinfolds.
Drysol Regular 12% ACH Dab On
With 12% ACH, Drysol Regular is a tougher Drysol solution for dealing with more troublesome sweat areas like skinfolds and underarms. A little dab makes drippy areas dry.
Drysol Extra Strength 20% ACH Dab on & Solution
Drysol's Extra Strength 20% ACH Dab-On is clinically proven to reduce perspiration 98% of the time, with a 30% reduction in volume. This Drysol solution can handle the toughest hyperhidrosis cases.
Drysol Extra Strength 20% ACH Dab on & Solution (Liquid)
Drysol's most effective antiperspirant for hyperhidrosis, Drysol Extra-Strength Dab-on Liquid has the same 98% track record for reducing perspiration. This Drysol solution in liquid form is ideal for sweaty hands and feet.
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. After Drysol, medication is not the only alternative. There are a few prescription-only Drysol deodorant 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 solution without offering you an alternative, but there are two other treatments they could choose to prescribe:
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 AC 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.
Because of the lower aluminum chloride hexahydrate concentration, Xerac AC is less likely to cause irritation to sensitive or exposed areas. This makes Xerac AC better suited for the face and forehead (for craniofacial hyperhidrosis) — or the hands (palmar hyperhidrosis) and the feet (plantar hyperhidrosis). Drysol on the face or hand may cause some irritation.
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, dizziness, breathing difficulties, severe dizziness, or itching and swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat).
If irritation persists, or if you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
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.
You should not use Hypercare if you have experienced an allergic reaction to aluminum chloride. Tell your doctor if you have ever had kidney disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not apply any other deodorant or antiperspirant while you are using Hypercare.
Avoid getting Hypercare in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your lips. Rinse with water if contact occurs.
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.
Use as directed by your doctor, usually just once daily. Do not apply to broken skin. Do not cover treated area(s) with a plastic dressing or bandage. Do not save the cloth to use again.
To avoid accidentally getting this medication in your eyes or other areas, wash your hands right away after throwing the used cloth in the trash. There is no generic version of Qbrexza currently available. Without insurance, the average price of Qbrexza is around $766.12 for a 30-day supply.
Anticholinergics, such as Oxybutynin, Propantheline, Benztropine, and Glycopyrrolate, are other antiperspirant alternatives to Drysol. These are not FDA-approved treatments for hyperhidrosis, 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.
Anticholinergic medications work systemically to decrease sweating over your entire body, even in those locations where sweating is not a problem. This overall decrease in sweating can put you at serious risk for overheating and over-drying.
And so, anyone who may potentially cause themselves injury by becoming overheated, such as athletes, people who participate in sports and people who work outdoors must use extra care when considering these hyperhidrosis treatments.
A Wrap Up to Prescription Alternatives
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 medications and dementia in older patients (65 years old and above).
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 excessive sweating without having to visit a healthcare professional for Drysol deodorant, there are also some powerful Drysol alternatives that you can get over-the-counter or online.
These equally 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 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.
Some of the leading specialist products are Certain Dri, SweatBlock, Dr. Sweat, and ZeroSweat. And, of course, there’s Duradry — which we’ll talk about in further detail in the next section.
Introducing Duradry’s Simple 3-Step Solution to Hyperhidrosis
If you're tired of dealing with Drysol side effects, Duradry offers a simple, FDA-approved, 3-step system which has been proven to result in complete dryness within less than a week for more than 97% of our customers.
The Duradry 3-step system includes:
- Duradry AM: keeps you dry during the day
- Duradry PM: a powerful aluminum chloride antiperspirant you apply at night
- Duradry Wash: a deodorant and cleansing wash that keeps you fresh
The heavy-lifter, containing 15% aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Apply Duradry PM Gel to your underarms at bedtime, and it works overnight to block your pores. It also contains salicylic acid, which reduces irritation and helps to make the active ingredients more effective.
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.
Our extra strength antiperspirant stick, containing 20% aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly. This adds an extra layer of daily protection to the sweat-blocking effects of Duradry PM.
Duradry 3-Step System Advantages
Duradry sources only the purest ingredients from reputable European sources, with over 70% of ingredients coming from natural sources. Duradry products also use micronized particles that get into pores easier, and have a lower pH to increase their antiperspirant strength.
Active ingredients vary in quality and efficacy. Unlike Drysol medication that contains 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate, Duradry PM has a lower concentration at 15% yet it is as effective, if not better, than Drysol.
Duradry PM’s 15% concentration of aluminum chloride is scientifically proven to be the optimal strength for axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). There’s no need to rely on Drysol’s 20% strength because the higher concentration does not make it more effective and it even increases the risk of Drysol burning and 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 and Duradry Wash is a body wash — both familiar and easy to use next to the messy and often irritating Drysol application.
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 today for just $20.
Extreme Alternatives to Drysol: Medical Procedures
If a prescription treatment isn’t working for you, you may feel like you need to “graduate” to medical alternatives to antiperspirant. This isn’t necessarily true — because there are effective alternative non-prescription treatments like Duradry.
However, it’s good to know what hyperhidrosis options are available in the medical world. Let's take a look at these.
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 irons out wrinkles on the surface of the skin.
Recently, 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. Simply put, 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 to 50 injections in each underarm. As you can imagine, this is very painful — which I know from experience.
Not only is Botox painful, but it’s also costly. On average, to maintain sweat protection from botox, you’re likely to have to shell out around $3,000 per year. This varies between clinics.
At the same time, botox is only just 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 to 6 months.
The surgery for hyperhidrosis is called an Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS). This procedure 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% to 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. Plus, there are other risks associated with going under general anesthetic.
ETS involves general anesthesia, followed by two 5-millimeter incisions on each side so the thoracic surgeon can cut or clamp the sympathetic nervous chain. In some cases, this can be done as outpatient surgery. But there are situations when the patient will need as much as 24 hours in the hospital for observation.
You are likely to feel some pain when you take a deep breath or raise your arms after the surgery, and may need 2 to 3 weeks to fully recover. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise until your incisions have healed. While you may shower after your surgery, do not take baths or get your incisions wet.
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 in preventing excessive sweating in 81% to 91% of patients with these conditions, like Drysol on hands.
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 a week. You may need a prescription to get hold of an “FDA cleared and approved” iontophoresis machine (in the United States), 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 leading manufacturer of iontophoresis machines for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, Dermadry, has now launched a machine for underarms. In the absence of studies, anecdotal feedback suggests that 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. Unlike Drysol medication, 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 over $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.
Understanding What miraDry Is
miraDry is a permanent, non-surgical treatment that uses thermal energy to create heat in the area where bothersome sweat and odor glands reside and safely eliminates them. Most people get a permanent 80% to 90% reduction in underarm sweating with just one treatment, though some require a second miraDry session.
The miraDry procedure is simple and can be performed within an hour. There may, however, be some downtime as you can expect some swelling, redness, and pain in the treated areas for about a week after your miraDry procedure.
miraDry vs Botox: Which Should You Choose?
miraDry and Botox are both fast, safe, and effective treatments that can reduce sweating by over 80%. The major differences are:
- Cost: A miraDry treatment costs 2 to 3 times more than a Botox session, which means there is a much greater initial outlay if you choose to undergo a miraDry treatment.
- Duration: miraDry is a permanent solution for excessive underarm sweating, while Botox temporarily disables the nerves that trigger sweating, only lasting for around 3 to 12 months before you'll need another treatment.
- Pre-existing Conditions: If you have glaucoma or thyroid issues, you will not be able to use Botox but should have no problems with miraDry. If you have especially sensitive skin, you may find Botox less likely to cause painful reactions than miraDry's microwave treatments.
Final Thoughts on Drysol Alternatives
The best Drysol alternative is one that will solve your excessive sweating problem without causing irritation, breaking the bank, or forcing you to visit the dermatologist. But with so many of the store-bought products falling short, you need a topical solution specially designed to effectively treat 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Drysol a Prescription?
Drysol is a prescription medication. The Drysol dab-o-matic solution works while you sleep to treat your excessive sweating. Apply on your underarms (or to other problem areas like your hands, feet, or forehead) at night and wash it off in the morning. A Drysol deodorant prescription can help take care of even the worst cases of hyperhidrosis, so you won't have to take prescription anti-sweating pills or costly and painful medical procedures like Botox injections.
What is Drysol Used for?
Drysol is an antiperspirant used to treat excessive sweating, also called hyperhidrosis. At 20%, Drysol's dosage of aluminum chloride is beyond the FDA limit of 15% for non-prescription topical treatment, so it can only be bought with a prescription. You apply Drysol in the evening before going to bed. Drysol is strong and long-lasting, with one application effectively giving sweat protection for up to 72 hours.
It is important that you follow Drysol instructions carefully. Drysol can cause skin irritation and should never be applied immediately after shaving or if you have any broken skin.
How Long Does it Take for Drysol to Work?
You will need to apply Drysol deodorant once a day within the first three days, then reduce the application to once or twice a week. You should be seeing significant relief with weekly or bi-weekly Drysol applications. Because every case of hyperhidrosis is different, your results may vary. While many patients report dryness after the first application, some report that it takes longer before they start seeing their desired results with Drysol. Most Drysol customers report results within one or two weeks after starting treatment.
Can You Use Deodorant While Using Drysol?
According to Drysol's instructions, once you apply Drysol, you should not use a regular deodorant afterwards. Putting more deodorant or antiperspirant on your underarms after you have applied Drysol only increases your chances of rash, burning, and skin irritation. Once you start using Drysol as part of a weekly or bi-weekly sweat-reducing regimen, you can use deodorant or antiperspirant for extra protection on the days when you don't apply Drysol.
Can Drysol Cause Hair Loss?
When used as directed, Drysol is generally safe and has few harmful side effects. Remember that this medication has been prescribed to you because your doctor has assessed that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
However, on rare occasions, people using Drysol may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach/abdominal pain, hair loss, or headache. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor immediately.
What Happens if I Use Deodorant While Using Drysol?
A deodorant should not be necessary after you apply Drysol the night before and it can only increase your risk of redness, rash, or itching. Drysol is applied at bedtime to completely dry your skin. Do not apply deodorant or anything else before your evening Drysol application.
In the morning, wash the Drysol off in the morning shower. Do not use a regular deodorant afterward. Drysol can be somewhat irritating and it may take you a while to get used to it.
How to Stop Drysol Burning?
If you are having problems with burning and irritation after applying Drysol, there are a few things you can do that may help. Make sure the affected area is completely dry before Drysol application. Gently dab Drysol on and do not rub it into your skin, and be sure to wash the Drysol away when you awaken. Also note that after the first few uses, most people only need to apply Drysol every 4-7 days.
Does Hyperhidrosis Ever Go Away?
While there is no cure for hyperhidrosis, there are several effective forms of Hyperhidrosis Treatment. The trick is to find an anti-sweating solution that works for you. Over 97% of Duradry customers report complete dryness within a week of starting the Duradry 3-step Solution, and Duradry is available without a prescription. You may always have to deal with hyperhidrosis but, with Duradry, you don't need to be overly sweaty ever again!