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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 3 minutes read

Driclor is a roll-on solution that contains the active ingredient aluminium chloride hexahydrate at a 20% concentration. It is licensed over the counter to treat excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis) of the armpits, hands, and feet. Driclor can be used by adults and children and is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How does Driclor work?

Here's how aluminium chloride hexahydrate reduces sweating:

  1. Blocking sweat ducts: Aluminium chloride hexahydrate works by forming a gel-like plug within the sweat ducts. This plug effectively blocks the passage of sweat from the sweat glands to the skin's surface.

  2. Reducing sweat production: By blocking the sweat ducts, aluminium chloride hexahydrate decreases the amount of sweat that is released onto the skin. This reduction in sweat production helps to alleviate the symptoms of hyperhidrosis and control excessive sweating.

  3. Antimicrobial properties: Aluminium chloride hexahydrate also exhibits antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce the growth of bacteria on the skin. Bacteria thrive in moist environments, so by reducing sweat production, aluminium chloride hexahydrate can create a less hospitable environment for bacteria to thrive, reducing body odour associated with sweating.

How do I use Driclor?

You should apply the medication at night just before you go to bed and then wash it off in the morning. Do not reapply the medication during the day. Initially, it is recommended that you do this each night until you see an improvement in your symptoms, then you should try reducing the frequency of application. You can apply the medication to your skin in the same way you would use a roll-on deodorant.

Affected areas must be dried thoroughly and carefully before applying the medication to prevent it from causing a burning sensation on the skin. This happens when aluminium chloride hexahydrate reacts with water on the skin to produce hydrochloric acid. You should also make sure you only apply the medication to affected areas and do not use it on broken or irritated skin. Avoid shaving hairs or using hair removal products on affected areas within 12 hours (before or after) of using the medication.

It is important to let the medication dry before putting any clothes over the applied areas as aluminium chloride hexahydrate can stain them.

Contact with jewellery and metal surfaces should be avoided as it can stain these too.

You can still use deodorant whilst using Driclor, just make sure you apply it in the morning after you have washed the medication off your skin and wash any deodorant off before applying the medication again at night.

Who should not use Driclor?

  • Driclor is not suitable for everyone. You should not use Driclor if you have previously had an allergic reaction to aluminium chloride hexahydrate or another ingredient listed in the medication.
  • Driclor is unlikely to interact with other medications.

Are there any side effects of Driclor?

Some people may experience some unwanted side effects. These can include a burning sensation, stinging, irritation, itching, swelling, rashes, pain, and redness at the site of application. Reducing the frequency of application can help to reduce these side effects. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if any of these side effects become bothersome.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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