Wet Spots? No Sweat
Wave good-bye to excessive underarm perspiration; a quick outpatient procedure
Because we cherish the sun, there are some drawbacks. Summer heat and the moist air can cause axillary hyperhidrosis, for instance, a doctor's term for excessive sweating. Heavy perspiration is not only embarrassing but it's a tremendous social burden. First there are the ugly marks that heavy perspiration leaves on clothing, and then when you launder your favorite blouse or shirt, you realize that the stubborn stains do not come out. So countless garments are relegated to the garbage can and over years the cost of replacing them can take a toll on your budget. Most of the time excessive underarm sweating is classified as primary, i.e., no known cause. But that doesn’t mean there’s no known fix for the problem. Many people have found miraDry therapy to be a successful solution. The procedure is done in a physician’s office as an outpatient. MiraDry uses a microwave technology that destroys the sweat glands (eccrine) as well as the odor producing glands (apocrine). Only about 2 percent of our sweat glands are in our axillar, so the miraDry procedure that treats the underarm area will not affect the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. The treatment takes about an hour to an hour and a half and is done with local anesthesia so the patient can drive to and from the office. Patients are asked to shave their axillaes about four to five days before the planned treatment and wear a sleeveless blouse or shirt the day of their treatment. For relief after the procedure, post-op patients can take over- thecounter drugs such as Motrin, or request prescription painkillers. The key is to ice the underarm area. Patients are instructed to fill small Ziplock bags with ice and keep icing the area down. They are advised to take it easy for the rest of the day; they can shower the next day. The downside is a little soreness, and there may be some tingling in the arm, obviously some swelling, which can be moderate if you don’t ice it enough. Usually only one treatment is required, but about 5 to 10 percent of the patients may need to do an additional treatment. One of the things I love about miraDry is that it actually works. We have probably done the procedure on close to 50 patients now, and they all are so relieved to be rid of the socially embarrassing stigma of underarm sweating. Judy Dennison is among the patients who had the miraDry treatment. “My sweating under the arms was horrible. If I wore a tank top outside, there was always a sweat stain.” After the first treatment she experienced no sweating for the first month. She then had a second treatment, which reduced her underarm sweating by 80 percent. “The area was sore and swollen for a few days, but nothing that Motrin didn’t help,” she says about her post-op experience. “Icing during the first 24 hours really helped.” Kristin Brantley, who perspired extremely heavily even in cooler weather, was not apprehensive at all about the miraDry therapy. “Knowing that it’s not an invasive procedure and you are completely numb when it’s done, just made me excited for the end result,” she says. For the first few days after the procedure she kept ice under her arms, which helped to alleviate swelling and made it a bit more comfortable. Within a week she was completely pain free, and the swelling was gone as was the excessive perspiration. “I’m looking forward to having my second procedure done, to be sweat free under my arms for good,” she says. To learn more about miraDry therapy, arrange a complimentary consultation at Dr. Robert Brueck’s office in Fort Myers, Cape Coral or Punta Gorda. Financing is available. So get ready for summer and put an end to embarrassing underarm sweating. For more information, contact 239939-5233, beauty-by-brueck.com
Robert Brueck is a boardcertified plastic surgeon and guest contributor to TOTI Media.