Does Hand Sanitizer Stop Sweating? (Solved)

Hand sanitizers are a part of our daily routines, giving us a quick way to kill germs when we’re out and about.

But some people have started using them for something else – to stop excessive sweating.

Turns out, hand sanitizer CAN stop sweating (kind of), but it’s temporary.

In this post, I’ll shed some light on how hand sanitizers work, how they temporarily stop sweating, and the side effects of overusing them.

How Hand Sanitizers Work

Hand sanitizers contain ingredients like alcohol or quaternary ammonium compounds.

Also Read: Does Rubbing Alcohol Stop Sweating?

These are designed to kill germs and bacteria on the skin’s surface. And it’s really good at it.

The alcohol, usually ethanol or isopropanol, basically attacks and breaks down the cells of the germs, so they can’t survive or multiply.


That’s why hand sanitizers are such a handy tool for keeping your hands clean and germ-free when you can’t get to a sink with soap and water.

But here’s the thing – hand sanitizers are designed for just that. It’s not for anything else!

Does Hand Sanitizer Stop Sweating?

Hand sanitizer doesn’t directly stop sweating. However the alcohol in them can cause a temporary drying effect on your skin’s surface.

It might feel like it’s stopping sweat, but it’s only drying the existing sweat, not preventing your body from producing more. This only lasts until the alcohol dries up and evaporates, which doesn’t take very long at all.

Sweat glands are located deeper within the skin, and the alcohol doesn’t reach them. So your body can still produce sweat even if your skin feels dry on the surface.

Using hand sanitizers for sweat control is just a temporary Band-Aid solution.

It’s kind of like putting a small piece of duct tape over a hole in a leaky pipe – sure, it might stop the dripping for a little bit, but as soon as that tape comes off or loses its stickiness, the leak will just start right back up again.

Sanitizers don’t fix the root problem causing you to sweat excessively in the first place.

Side Effects Of Overusing Hand Sanitizers

Using too much hand sanitizer, especially ones with a lot of alcohol, can actually be bad for your skin too. Here’s why:

Also Read: Can Effexor Cause Night Sweats

Dry, Cracked Skin

The alcohol in hand sanitizer can strip away your skin’s natural oils. 

These oils help maintain a healthy moisture barrier, keeping your skin hydrated and supple.

But when you use hand sanitizer a lot, it can wash away those oils.

That leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy, and sometimes even flaky. And if it gets really bad, you might end up with painful cracks, especially on your fingertips.

This can be especially bothersome for people with sensitive skin conditions like eczema.

Skin Irritation

Just like the dryness, the harshness of the alcohol can irritate your skin – especially if you already have sensitive skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

It can make your skin red, burn, sting, or even give you a rash.

And if you’re using hand sanitizer on skin that’s already irritated, it can make things even worse.

Disrupted Microbiome

Our skin is home to a delicate ecosystem of microorganisms, both good and bad.

The good bacteria help protect us from harmful pathogens.

Frequent use of hand sanitizer will kill these bacteria, and disrupt the balance. This can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria, potentially causing infections or skin issues like dermatitis.

Inhaling Fumes

This one’s not as common, but if you’re using hand sanitizer in an enclosed space or poorly ventilated areas, its fumes can irritate the mucous membranes in your nose and throat.


This can lead to dizziness, nausea, or headaches.

This is more likely to happen if you inhale a lot of it, and for a long time.

What You Should Do Instead

If you’re dealing with excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, there are better and safer solutions out there.

Strong antiperspirants and prescription meds can help reduce sweat production.

Or if you prefer natural remedies, things like sage tea, witch hazel, and baking soda have shown promise in managing excessive sweating.

Also Read: 6 Foods That Reduce Sweating

But if your sweating is really severe, it’s best to see a dermatologist or your doctor.

They can evaluate your condition and recommend the right treatments, whether that’s prescription medication, botox injections, or even surgery like ETS in extreme cases.

Bottom Line

Hand sanitizers can give you a temporary break from sweating, but they’re not a reliable or recommended solution for excessive sweating.

Using them for that can cause side effects and doesn’t really address the root cause.

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