We all sweat. In fact, sweat is a normal part of a healthy lifestyle. But what about those of us who sweat too much? For millions of people around the world who suffer from excessive sweating, a treatment known as miraDry® can effectively stop the problem—which, for many people, is a source of great discomfort and embarrassment—and will undoubtedly come as a great relief.
Excessive sweating, also referred to as hyperhidrosis, affects approximately 3 percent of people worldwide. Sweat is, of course, a natural response the body uses to cool itself when temperatures are high or we are engaging in strenuous activity like sports or exercise. What differentiates a case of hyperhidrosis from ordinary sweating is that people affected by the condition will find that they sweat excessively even when their bodies do not need to be cooled down, which is why a treatment like miraDry® is often recommended.
Patients with hyperhidrosis, before it has been treated with miraDry®, may find themselves sweating from one part of the body—such as the palms, feet, underarms, or head—while other parts of the body stay cool. As a hyperhidrosis treatment, miraDry® focuses solely on excessive underarm sweating.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “This excessive sweating can interfere with everyday activities. Hands can be so sweaty that it becomes difficult to turn a doorknob or use a computer. Sweat from the underarms often soaks through clothes, causing obvious sweat marks. Because the skin is often wet, skin infections can develop.”
As a treatment, miraDry® is used to significantly reduce sweat glands under the arm. First, it’s important to understand that there are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. There are approximately 4 million sweat glands in the body, and miraDry® destroys only about 2 percent of those—but removing that 2 percent can contribute to vast improvements in a patient’s lifestyle by reducing unwanted sweat.
The treatment works on both types of sweat glands found there: apocrine and eccrine glands. Eccrine glands open directly onto the skin’s surface across most of the body. These glands secrete fluid onto the skin’s surface, which then cools the body as it evaporates. Apocrine glands develop specifically in areas where there is an abundance of hair follicles, such as the underarm. They empty into the hair follicle beneath the skin’s surface and secrete a milky fluid that can develop an odor once it mixes with the natural bacteria on your skin. Eccrine glands secrete when we are engaged in exercise, whereas apocrine glands come into play when we’re nervous or stressed.
miraDry® uses targeted energy to destroy sweat glands in the underarm. However, by targeting those glands, miraDry® does not adversely affect the body’s overall ability to cool itself.
During a miraDry® treatment, your doctor will first numb the area in the underarms. Next, a miraDry® handpiece is placed on the treatment area. Patients will feel a slight suction as the handpiece draws the tissue closer to the surface. It then uses energy to destroy the unwanted glands while delivering a cooling sensation to make for a comfortable patient experience.
Indeed, miraDry® is the only non-invasive technology the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared for reducing sweat in patients. After miraDry®, patients might experience some swelling or bruising, with minimal to zero downtime afterward. The results will take effect almost immediately, and clinical trials have shown that sweat glands do not grow back, making the results of a miraDry® session essentially permanent in many cases.
If you are one of the millions of people who is suffering from hyperhidrosis and looking for help, there is a great resource for miraDry® in South Jersey. Dr. Robin Levin has been practicing since 2000. She is a board-certified dermatologist at the South Jersey Skin Care & Laser Center and ready to answer your questions about hyperhidrosis and help you find relief from excessive sweatiness. If you would like to learn more and schedule an appointment, contact the center online or call them directly at (856) 810-9888.