Aluminium Chloride esahydrate and its different activities in skin disorder control

Aluminium Chloride (AlCl3 · 6H2O) is used in dermatologic galenic preparations and in cosmetic products mainly as anti-perspirant agent.
In fact Aluminium Chloride is a strong astringent, anti-itch and antimicrobial agent so that its applications in dermatology are manifold.
It is recommended at the concentration of 5% because this compound is scarcely efficient if used at lower concentrations while it can become irritating when applied at concentrations higher than 10%.
The most suitable carrier for Aluminium Chloride is a hydro alcoholic gel that allows a non-oily and even application. Aluminium Chloride in hydro alcoholic gel is commonly named Astringent Gel.
Hereby the main indications for dermatologic use of Aluminium Chloride are reported.

Sweat Gland in the Skin

Perspiration and excessive perspiration

The sweat gland has the function of dissipating body heat through perspiration. Sweat is essentially composed by water.
Armpit sweat: Armpits are rich in sweat glands and some subjects sweat, besides for dissipating heat, because of emotions.
Armpit sweat odour: the unpleasant smell is due to the bacterial presence, not to sweat itself.
Aluminium Chloride in hydro alcoholic gel (Astringent Gel) acts as an anti-perspirant and antimicrobial agent at the same time controlling both perspiration and odour.
Practically, the procedure consists of armpit cleansing, better if done with a Cleansing Cream, then drying the area well, and applying a small quantity of Astringent Gel with massage.
Frequency of application can vary from once a day to once a week depending on the subject and on physical and emotional activity.
After application of Astringent Gel as an anti-perspirant and for odour control, it is recommended to avoid spraying perfume on armpits. Armpit skin often does not tolerate perfumes. Perfumes can be sprayed on clothes or elsewhere.

Emotional Perspiration Of Palms And Soles

For excessive perspiration of palms and soles depending on the emotional state (emotional perspiration), Aluminium Chloride in hydro alcoholic gel (Astringent Gel) can be applied several times a day depending on the need.

Insect bites

Some subjects, especially children, develop severe reactions to mosquito or other insect bites.

Mosquito Bites With Inflammatory Reaction

When Astringent Gel is applied after the bite it stops the swelling, itching and prevents infection due to scratching.

Jellyfish stings

Jellyfish are aquatic animals that can cause a "sting" when they come into direct contact with humans or other animals. Injuries usually occur when humans are swimming or wading in the ocean and accidentally come into direct contact with these marine creatures. The stingers are usually located at the ends of the tentacles and contain poisons that can be toxic to humans. In most cases, however, the poisons only cause injury to the part of skin that comes into direct contact with the tentacles. The stinging structures on the tentacles are called nematocysts, which are spring-loaded venom glands that contain small, hollow, sharp tubes. The tubes release toxin (poison). The nematocysts are triggered by direct physical contact or abrupt changes in osmolarity (such as exposure to fresh water). When human skin comes into contact with a jellyfish, the poison is injected into the outermost layers of skin, causing the toxic reaction of a typical sting. Immediately after the contact a burning and itching sensation is felt and the area of skin appears raised and red. In order to stop toxin diffusion and to control symptoms of stinging and pain, Aluminium Chloride in hydro alcoholic gel (Astringent Gel) is applied.
The Astringent Gel has to be applied as soon as possible after the jellyfish sting and applied again several times until the itching sensation vanishes.


Leg pomphoid lesions after Jellyfish contact

Impetigo (school sores)

Impetigo is a common skin infection caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacterial species. It appears as an outbreak specially during the summer and mainly in children.
In localized impetigo the strong antimicrobial activity of Aluminium Chloride can stop and heal impetigo in a few days from the onset. Astringent Gel has to be applied three times a day until crust detachment.
In generalized impetigo it is recommended to use a systemic antibiotic (macrolide family) together with Astringent Gel.


Herpes Simplex (Cold sores), Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and Chicken Pox

Herpes SimplexVirus causes lip and genital cold sores and blisters. Blisters appear suddenly together with an intense itching sensation on red and raised skin.
Astringent Gel, applied several times a day dries blisters, stops itching and promotes healing.

Lip Blisters Of Cold Sores

Herpes Zoster or Shingles is caused by Varicella Zoster virus. The rash starts off as red spots, which quickly turn into blisters. The blisters burst and crust over, usually within a week and the area slowly settles, sometimes leaving pale scars. The rash may affect any part of the body, including head and limbs. It may thus appear as a band around one side of the chest or abdomen, or down an arm or leg. It may affect the head, and when it affects the upper cheek or the side of the forehead. It is usually a very painful rash, and typically people can't bear clothes touching the affected area.

Abdominal Shingles

Chicken Pox is caused by Varicella Zoster virus. An itchy rash of blisters can appear all over the body and may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. It appears first on the abdomen or back and face, and then spreads to almost everywhere else on the body, including the scalp, mouth, nose, ears, and genitals. Blisters are extremely itchy and get easily infected when scratched. Astringent Gel applied several times a day dries blisters, stops itching and promotes healing.

Children Chicken Pox

Foot Intertrigo or Intertrigo between toes

Foot Intertrigo is caused by proliferation of bacteria leading to maceration between toes and skin oozing. Maceration or very dry skin with cracks can predispose to infection. The skin becomes warm and blisters may form, followed by tissue dying and falling off. Moreover an itching sensation, pain, swelling, or heavy feeling in the foot can be present. In severe cases untreated Foot Intertrigo can involve toes, heels, or the entire foot. It is most frequent in workers wearing safety shoes or in persons that generally wear poorly transpirant shoes (sneakers, rain boots). This is a painful condition difficult to treat.
Astringent Gel has to be applied twice a day and cotton gauze is needed in order to keep toes separated from each other. It is recommended not to wash feet and proceed to “dry washing” with potassium permanganate solution (info in; “Focus” session on A topic Dermatitis: how to control it without use of drugs). Intertrigo will heal in 2-3 week time.

Foot Intertrigo treated with Astringent Gel

Ingrown nail and Pyogenic Granuloma

Ingrown nail is an acute event caused by dermal penetration of the lateral part of nail. It is complicated by a diffusion of skin surface bacteria, generally Staphylococcus spp., and it can involve several toes and fingers at the same time. It is clinically revealed by yellowish thick clotted exudates and crusts. Then erythematic, oedema, pus formation and pain occurs in tissue surrounding nail plate.
Pyogenic granuloma is often observed as a consequence of ingrown nail. It is due to an over growth of reactive dermal tissue.
Pyogenic granuloma is caused by an epidermis breakthrough of the lateral nail fold and nail contact with dermis. Pyogenic granuloma is very painful and it is always colonised by several species of bacteria.
In order to control Pyogenic Granuloma and pain, Astringent Gel has to be applied twice a day. When Ingrown nail doesn’t heal itself, surgery is needed as reported in, Podology Session.

Ingrown nail and Pyogenic Granuloma

Pyogenic Granuloma treated with Astringent Gel

Moreover Astringent Gel is an efficient haemostatic agent (to stop bleeding in injuries, abrasions as shaving nicks) similar to Alum sticks (potassium or aluminium sulphate).
In this case the application of Astringent Gel provokes an intense burning sensation that disappears after 5-10 seconds, bleeding halts immediately and the crusting phase starts.
The use of Astringent Gel prevents infection and promotes wound healing.

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