Having good “climbing skin” is as important to climbers as having good tires for NASCAR drivers.
If you need something other than regular chalk, and the occasional dab of liquid chalk, then the Antihydral is an option. Antihydral is an extreme, skin-drying agent from Germany that is used for overly sweaty hands (and feet).
Read more: Antihydral: Skin Doping for Climbers - Squamish Magazine
(provided by local pharmacist and climber Brent Nixon)
- Synthesized industrially by combining formaldehyde and ammonia.
- Antihydral 13% Methenamine that is marketed in the USA, Germany, Austria, and Dehydral 8% Methenamine is marketed in Canada for this indication. On the skin, with a little moisture and a little acidity, Methenamine releases formaldehyde. The formaldehyde causes proteins at the sweat gland openings to become denatured leading to gel-like plugs that can last several days after use.
The drug was temporarily taken off the market in the early 90’s when better medications came along but has since been reintroduced due to bacterial resistance. Bacteria can't develop resistance to formaldehyde, eliminating any fears of breeding resistant bacteria from repeated exposure. For this reason, those climbers using Dehydral or Antihydral cream do not need to worry about developing resistant bacteria strains on their skin or in their body.