Aluminum chloride sees use primarily as a topical remedy, reducing sweating and perspiration from sweat glands and the scalp. Many deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, which exists primarily in solid form, but is also found as a liquid and powder. Aluminum chloride works by changing the activity of excretory cells in the body, ultimately reducing the quantity of sweat that glands produce.
As with other drugs and medicines, aluminum chloride works best when applied following certain application instructions. Most physicians recommend applying a thin layer of aluminum chloride to the scalp or under the armpits before going to sleep. At night, sweat glands reduce activity, letting aluminum work. This substance spreads over the affected skin, working into the sweat glands during the 6 to 8 hours overnight.
People apply aluminum chloride to dry skin, avoiding application after shaving, on irritated skin and on wet skin. Take care to avoid the eye area when using aluminum chloride as it can easily cause irritation. If exposure occurs, rinse eyes with warm water for several minutes. Like other topical creams and medicines, aluminum chloride may irritate the skin. Side effects include a burning sensation, itching and development of a rash. After starting nightly use, aluminum chloride gradually reduces sweating, producing noticeable results in about a week.