Please put down your clinical-strength deodorant and remove the wads of paper towels balled up under your pits, because you’re going to want to focus on this major medical news: The FDA just approved a new wipe to stop your excessive underarm sweating. No, that isn’t sweat you suddenly feel—it’s tears of joy.
It was announced this morning that the FDA has approved Qbrexza (glycopyrronium) cloth as a safe and effective topical treatment for hyperhidrosis under the arms. The cloth—which would be applied directly to the armpits—works to block sweat production by inhibiting the sweat gland.
It’s Not Deodorant
If that sounds a lot like the skin-burning, medical-grade antiperspirants you’ve been applying your whole life, then hey, I agree. But according to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital (who is not affiliated with the product), Qbrexza is actually quite different.
“Antiperspirants work by preventing wetness from reaching the surface of the skin,” he says. “Their active ingredient is an aluminum salt that creates a plug within the sweat gland that physically blocks the sweat.” Qbrexza, however, “decreases the activity of the sweat gland itself, so you’ll have less sweat to begin with.”
“This new topical wipe contains the same active ingredient that is currently available in a pill formulation, but without the same side effects you might get from oral medication,” says Dr. Zeichner. And lest you think this treatment would require weekly treatments for the rest of your life, enslaving you to a life of debt and doctor’s appointments, Dr. Zeichner notes that “patients experienced statistically significant reductions in sweating by one week, according to the studies.”
You’ll Have to Wait
Before you throw away your drawer of deodorants, though, know that the treatment was just approved this morning and won’t be available in pharmacies until October 2018. And, with all drugs, there are some possible side effects, like dry mouth, sore throat, dry skin, and stinging.
Still, if you’re an exceptionally sweaty person like I am, your eyes have already glazed over with dreams of dry armpits and light-colored tops. BRB as I go book a derm appointment for October 1 at 9 a.m.