If you are tired of constantly dealing with underarm sweat, excess odor and the hassle of trying to clean sweat stains off your clothing, there is an easy non-surgical underarm sweat treatment available and the team at Dr. Thaxton’ plastic surgery office can help.
A Quick Look At Hyperhidrosis
While just about everyone does have to deal with underarm sweat from time to time, there are many people that suffer from a condition known as hyperhidrosis. It is estimated that perhaps 3-4% of the population has this condition, which typically starts around puberty and causes the overproduction of sweat, especially in the armpits, feet and hands.
With this condition, a person will experience excessive sweating that is not always caused by exposure to heat or exercise. It might be a perfectly pleasant day and you still might suffer from sweaty palms, sweaty feet or excessive underarm sweat. In some cases, people suffering from anxiety also might experience hyperhidrosis.
In general, hyperhidrosis is more unpleasant than it is dangerous, and many people with this condition are embarrassed to shake hands or embarrassed by the sweat that constantly seeps through their clothing.
In the past, the main treatment has been using strong deodorants or even prescription deodorants, which tend to simply mask the problem. Additionally, in some cases Botox was used to treat this problem, but this could be quite uncomfortable and would need re-treatment every six months or so.
Sometimes surgery was used to remove the sweat glands, but this, of course, requires general anesthesia and a lengthier recovery time. Fortunately, we now have a permanent solution that can eliminate or greatly reduce underarm sweat without surgery or painful procedures every six to 12 months.
What Is miraDry®?
The miraDry® procedure removes the sweat glands under your arms, which eliminates the excessive sweating as well as the odor associated with this excessive sweat and even much of your underarm hair. After a miraDry® treatment, many patients don’t even have to use deodorant at all, as there is little to no sweat and odor.
During this underarm sweat treatment, microwave thermal energy is used to eliminate the sweat glands in your in armpit area. Once removed, these glands will not grow back. Our body does need sweat glands to regulate body temperature, but the sweat glands in your armpits only account for about 1-2% of all of your sweat glands. Removing them should have no effect on your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
For the procedure, we begin by injecting numbing medication into the armpit area to prevent discomfort. A temporary tattoo is placed on the armpit so that your technician can target the exact area where glands are to be removed. At this point the miraDry® machine is placed on the area and treatment begins. Typically, there is no pain, perhaps just some pressure in the area being targeted.
The procedure takes about one hour from start to finish, and most people simply go back to their normal routine right away, although it is recommended to take it easy for the rest of the day and perhaps hold off on exercise for a day or two.
After the procedure, swelling and some mild pain is normal but typically goes away quickly. We recommend patients use ice packs off and on for the first day or two to help reduce swelling. We also may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce any pain and further reduce swelling.
Numbness, some bruising and sensitivity also is common, but usually resolves in just a few days. Some patients will have some bruising and swelling for several weeks, but generally, the area should be almost back to normal in about a week or so.
The miraDry® procedure targets hair follicles as well as sweat glands, so many patients will see no underarm hair or very reduced amounts of hair. If hair does remain, it is best to hold off on shaving for about 5-6 days after the procedure. Typically, we recommend a very mild soap to gently cleanse the area and, while it’s likely that you won’t need deodorant, if you do, a mild spray deodorant might be a good option. If you use stick deodorant, we just recommend you use a new stick after your mira dry, just to reduce any risk of infection. We will provide you with aftercare instructions following your miraDry® procedure.
How Many Underarm Sweat Treatments Will You Need?
For many patients, one treatment will be all that is needed for some patients. In some cases, we might recommend two or even three procedures, but the patient should see significant results after just one treatment.
Often, even if the treatment doesn’t completely eliminate sweat, the results are so significant that further treatment doesn’t seem necessary. Typically, if you do opt for additional treatments, you will need to wait for three months between mira dry treatments. Overall, most patients see about a 70% reduction in underarm sweat or more in general, as well as huge reduction in odor and underarm hair.
Who Will Benefit From Underarm Sweat Treatment?
In general, most healthy people that suffer from hyperhidrosis are good candidates for miraDry®. We don’t recommend treatment during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you are allergic to lidocaine, which is used to numb the area, this underarm sweat treatment is not recommended.
We also typically don’t provide patients with miraDry® treatments if they currently are taking Accutane or for those with a cardiac pacemaker or any other type of electronic implant. Currently, miraDry® is only FDA-approved for use as an underarm sweat treatment, and cannot be used to remove sweat glands on the hands and feet.
To find out if you are a good candidate for miraDry®, give us a call at (304) 925-8949. Or contact us by email. We also offer a full range of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, as well as a variety of facials and skin treatments.