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What is Clinical Strength Deodorant?

By Tracey Parece
Updated May 21, 2024
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Clinical strength deodorant is deodorant marketed as having superior ability to provide wetness protection and protection against underarm odor. It is the strongest deodorant available without a prescription. For people afflicted with hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, it may be a suitable alternative to prescription deodorant. Some users have reported that clinical strength deodorant is superior for odor control while not necessarily better for controlling perspiration than other deodorant.

The active ingredient in some clinical strength deodorant is identical to the active ingredient in many other types of deodorants. A popular active ingredient contained in both clinical strength deodorant and other types of deodorants is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, which is an antiperspirant. Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly works by preventing perspiration from being excreted through the pores.

Generally, the maximum amount of aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly available without a prescription is 20 percent. Some non-clinical strength deodorants have concentrations of aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly in amounts up to 19 percent. Various deodorant scents are used in conjunction with the active ingredients. Alternatively, non-scented versions are also made for people who are sensitive to fragrance or prefer an unscented product.

Another common ingredient sometimes found in different types of deodorant is aluminum chloride. In prescription deodorants, the concentration of aluminum chloride can be as high as 20 to 25 percent. Anyone with kidney disease is advised to consult a physician prior to using any product that contains this particular ingredient. In addition, some studies have shown a potential link between aluminum and breast cancer. Both women's deodorant and men's deodorant may contain aluminum as an ingredient.

There are deodorants that contain alternatives to aluminum for people who choose to use non-aluminum deodorant. These products may rely on zinc ricinoleate and natural ingredients to provide protection from wetness and odor. Unlike clinical strength deodorant, medicated deodorant commonly relies on zinc to provide the user with a fresh feeling that lasts all day. Alternatives to zinc may include mulberry tree extract, sophora root extract, and triclosan.

Crystal deodorant is another alternative for people who are concerned about the absorption of aluminum from their deodorants. Also called deodorant stone, crystal deodorant is a potassium aluminum sulfate whose molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Mineral salts may also be used to neutralize the bacteria that cause odor.

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Discussion Comments
By anon350424 — On Oct 04, 2013

You're right. I specifically remember Mitchum being so strong it burned my skin if I wasn't careful. I try it today and it doesn't even last the day. I hate that! It's total crap. The clinical strength deodorants cost three to four times the amount, for a 1.7 ounce container.

By anon332363 — On Apr 28, 2013

Prior to the "clinical strength" marketing scam, mitchum, adidas and many others carried a 20 percent product that worked very effectively. But they have been reducing the amount of aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly in their products, reducing their effectiveness so they can make room for the introduction of a more expensive tier of antiperspirants in this new "clinical strength" class.

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