RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Effects of an antiperspirant with emollients on foot-sweat accumulation and blister formation while walking in the heat.

BACKGROUND: Friction blisters are a common injury in sports activities and military operations. Blisters can compromise performance, so it is important to devise preventive strategies to reduce these injuries.

OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the influence of an antiperspirant with emollient additives on frequency and severity of friction blisters, hot spots, and irritant dermatitis.

METHODS: Twenty-three healthy men walked on a treadmill (1.39 m/sec, 1% grade) in a warm environment (28 degrees C, 25% relative humidity) carrying a total mass of 21 +/- 1 kg. For 4 consecutive days before the walk, the subjects' feet were treated with either (1) an antiperspirant (20% aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine concentration plus water) with emollient additives, (2) emollient additives alone (placebo control), or (3) nothing (nontreated). In two separate trials (1 month apart) each participant received the antiperspirant treatment and both control treatments (emollient [placebo] and no treatment).

RESULTS: No differences were seen among treatment conditions for sweat accumulation (p = 0.86), blister incidence (p = 0.36), hot spot incidence (p = 0.83), or blister severity (p = 0.31). Irritant dermatitis was not reported in any of the treatment conditions.

CONCLUSION: The use of an antiperspirant with emollients reduces irritant dermatitis but does not reduce total foot-sweat accumulation, blister or hot spot incidence, or blister severity.

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