If your home basement gets flooded, it’s no joke — the water needs special equipment to properly drain, furniture and floors need to be replaced, rot and mold have to be dealt with. Luckily, when your groin feels like it’s floating in a standing pool of water, it’s much easier to fix.
Surprisingly, though, while you can use regular antiperspirants in that region, they’re not your best option. “I don’t recommend putting commercial antiperspirant on your crotch,” says dermatologist Anthony Rossi. “The skin [down there] is very sensitive and it can become really irritated from traditional antiperspirants.”
This is especially true if you suffer from excessive sweating, a.k.a. hyperhidrosis, because treating that isn’t just about comfort, it’s about health. Firstly, wet skin chafes more easily, which can be exceedingly painful in such a sensitive area. Second, germs and fungi thrive in moisture, which means on top of being unpleasantly sweaty, you’re more vulnerable to jock itch. Before you apply anything, then, make sure you give the area a thorough scrub-down using plenty of soap to get rid of any bacteria hanging around first, especially after you’ve been sweating.
If you do find your underwear to be a permanent monsoon zone, the International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends using products containing metallic ingredients, especially aluminum salts. These help seal your sweat ducts and are the only kind of FDA-approved chemical antiperspirants. That said, it can irritate some people’s skin, as can certain fragrances, depending on your skin type. That’s why Rossi advises that whatever you try, “I always suggest doing a use test on a small area.” So apply anything you use down there lightly at first and see how your skin reacts before pasting the whole area with it.
While you’re taking care of the excess moisture, you might as well take care of the smell that goes with it, too. Again, some deodorant types could rub your skin the wrong way (so to speak), but sodium bicarbonate — a.k.a. baking soda — is a natural deodorant with antibacterial properties. (Now seems like a pretty good time to mention that our legendary Ball Spray has both aluminum salts and sodium bicarbonate, making it a much more sensible choice for your groin region.)
If you still have sweat problems down there after all that, visit your dermatologist, who can prescribe clinical-strength antiperspirants, medicine, or even Botox injections. Just remember, the absolute best way to deal with a flooded basement is to prevent it from flooding in the first place.