by Howard P. Horlick, MD

Everyone sweats, especially under their arms.  However, for some, underarm sweat is a major problem that can interfere with their personal and professional lives. For others, underarm sweat may be an occasional annoyance. Regardless of where they fall in this spectrum, sufferers may go to great lengths to hide their condition and may even avoid social situations and interactions.

Those who experience bothersome underarm sweat are often uncomfortable discussing their concerns and frequently feel responsible for treating the issue themselves. According to the National Institutes of Health, less than 40 percent of those affected by excessive sweating seek medical treatment.

Axillary hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive underarm sweat, is perspiration beyond what is normally required to maintain consistent body temperature.  People who suffer from this have sweat glands that are producing much more sweat than is needed to cool the body. In fact, some people’s sweat glands can produce four to five times more sweat than is normal.

Most people are not aware of solutions beyond antiperspirants. Medications and prescription antiperspirants provide only temporary relief and are largely ineffective. Botox injections can work very well. However, the treatment needs to be repeated twice a year.  Fortunately, advances in our understanding of sweat glands have yielded new technology that has helped many people take control of their sweat and, ultimately, their lives.

One of the newer advances is the miraDry procedure.  This treatment provides a long-lasting reduction in underarm sweating. Cleared by the U.S Food & Drug Administration, this in-office procedure delivers energy noninvasively to the area under the arms where the sweat glands reside and uses targeted heat to destroy the glands. Because sweat glands do not regenerate, results are lasting. The elimination of these sweat glands only impacts roughly 2 percent of the more than 4 million sweat glands that cover the body and will not affect the body’s ability to cool itself.

If you think you sweat too much, consider talking to your dermatologist about whether this new treatment option is right for you.  The miraDry procedure is designed to provide a lasting reduction of bothersome underarm sweat.