Drysol – Topical OTC Drug, Uses, Side Effects

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

Drysol Overview

Drysol (aluminum chloride solution) is an antiperspirant that acts by interfering with the sweat-producing cells. Drysol (for skin) is a treatment for excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis.

How and When to Use

This medicine should only be applied to the skin. Before applying the drug, the affected area should be completely dry. If necessary, use a hairdryer on the warm setting to dry the affected area for a few moments. Learn all of the product’s preparation and usage guidance. Consult your doctor if any of the detail is vague.

Avoid getting the drug in your eyes or applying it to skin that is torn, irritated, or freshly shaved. If you get the medicine in those places, wash them thoroughly with water.

Apply a thin layer of this drug to the affected area once every day at bedtime for 2 to 3 days, and once or twice a week afterward, or as advised by your doctor. Allow the drug to dry after application. Wrap the area with plastic wrap and cover with a mitten or sock if applying to the hands or feet. Wear a shirt if referring to the underarms. Wear a plastic shower cap if applying to the scalp. Allow 6 to 8 hours for this drug to take effect. In the morning, wash the affected area with soap and water (or shampoo if treating the scalp), then towel dry. When taking this drug, also don’t use other antiperspirants or deodorants.

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Side Effects of Drysol

When the drug is first applied, tingling, mild itching, or discomfort can occur. Inform your doctor right away if any of these side effects persist or intensify.

Consider that your doctor approved this drug because he or she believes the value to you exceeds the risk of side effects. Many people who take this drug do not experience significant side effects.

It is uncommon for this medication to cause a severe allergic reaction. However, seek urgent medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction: rash, itchiness (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

This is not an exhaustive compilation of potential side effects. Contact your doctor if you find any other side effects that are not mentioned above.

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What To Remember Before Applying This Drug

Talk to your doctor if you are allergic to aluminum chloride if you’ve any other reactions before using it. This medication can contain inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions or other issues. For any more information, consult your doctor.

Inform your doctor about your medical history before using this drug.

This drug can stain clothing or certain materials and may cause metals to corrode. Avoid contact with clothing, bed linens, other materials, or metals while using this drug. Allow this drug to dry completely before covering the treated area with clothing.

This medicine should be used only when clearly necessary during pregnancy. Consult your doctor about the risks and benefits.

It is unknown if this drug is excreted in breast milk. Most importantly before you start breastfeeding, talk to your doctor.


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These are not absolute contraindications, if you have any of these conditions then please consult with a doctor.

  • If you are allergic.
  • if you are suffering from any kidney disease.
  • If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding mother.

Alternatives of Drysol

If Drysol does not work for you or is not an option, there are other treatment options. These therapies vary from at-home interventions to more comprehensive solutions that are usually considered if the others fail. Iontophoresis, an at-home procedure, and Botox (botulinum toxin) injections are less invasive alternatives. Iontophoresis is a home treatment that prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Medicine should be combined with water to make a solution in which the hands or feet can be immersed. To address sweating, the electrical current lets the medication pass the skin barrier. Pregnant women, on the other hand, should prevent this procedure.

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the medication used to smooth wrinkles on the face also has been approved by the FDA to treat excessive sweating in the armpits, though it can also be used on the hands or feet. Botox is called a “lunchtime treatment,” which means there is no downtime and you can resume most regular everyday activities immediately. While injections can seem severe, they have one significant advantage: this procedure may last for up to a year. If you’re thinking about getting Botox for hyperhidrosis, consult with a medical professional(doctor) first.


Anticholinergic Medication

which is available only by prescription, is another alternative. This therapy is intended to help with hyperhidrosis by inhibiting sweat gland activation. It does, however, have its own set of possible side effects and is normally only prescribed after other therapies have failed. Anticholinergic medication can result in blurred vision, heart palpitations, and urinary problems.

Surgical Procedure

Surgery to remove sweat glands or cut the nerves that cause sweating is another alternative, but it is the most invasive. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), which involves removing or destroying portions of the sympathetic nerves in your trunk, is often used to treat excessive face or hand sweating. However, this is not a step to be taken lightly. ETS can induce compensatory sweating, which is unnecessary sweating on another part of your body (generally the back, abdomen, chest, legs, face, or buttocks).

Changing Lifestyle May Prevent Excessive Sweating

If you are allergic to Drysol or any of the above-mentioned option do not work with you. Then don’t worry, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to control your hyperhidrosis symptoms. Underarm liners can help to conceal the symptoms of hyperhidrosis in the armpits, which can improve comfort in clinical and social settings. Lighter clothing will also keep you cooler, reducing sweating as compared to heavier clothing. Spicy foods may also trigger sweating, so avoiding them can help control some bouts of excessive sweating.

Is Drysol (aluminum chloride solution) an OTC?

It is conditional. Some Drysol formulations, especially the stronger ones, are only available with a prescription. However, there are over-the-counter antiperspirants that are similar to this medication. Drysol Dab-O-Matic, for example, is a topical medication that is available in certain drug stores as well as online through sites such as Amazon. There are several varying amounts of aluminum chloride in Drysol Dab-O-Matic, so having a prescription might not be your only choice if one formulation does not work. Dab-O-Matic is available in three strengths: mild (6.25 percent), regular (12 percent), and extra strength (20 percent ).

However, Drysol may not be your only choice. Other prescription-strength antiperspirants, some of which are also deodorants, are sold at drug stores. To reduce excessive sweating, patients who want to try OTC antiperspirants should look for items that contain 10% to 20% aluminum chloride hexahydrate.

Drysol Summery

Drysol is an antiperspirant that is prescribed to treat excessive sweating. It is a topical solution (only for external use) that contains the active ingredient aluminum chloride hexahydrate. It alleviates hyperhidrosis by stopping sweat glands from developing sweat. Drysol may be applied to the armpits, palms, and feet to help minimize sweating in those areas. It is usually applied to clean skin in the affected region before going to bed. Simply wash off the treated region in the morning. It can be used every night or as directed by your healthcare provider. During the day, you should use your regular deodorant to control odor, but no other antiperspirant should be used.


However, there are several possible side effects of using Drysol. You will need to test a small area to ensure that it does not cause an allergic reaction. If you experience itching, hives, rash, chest tightness, or swelling of the ears, lips, tongue, or neck, contact your prescribing healthcare provider. This drug can also cause skin irritation, such as burning or redness, in the treated area. Aluminum chloride in high concentrations can also harm your clothes or sheets, but sleeping in an old t-shirt can help mitigate this issue.

Last Updated on October 26, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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