What is it?
Sweating can be a problem for many reasons, especially for people in the northern part of the North Island where humidity and temperature remain high for many months of the year. Excessive sweating can cause unsightly sweat stains and, at times, strong body odour and discomfort which can, unfortunately, hinder social events due to embarrassment. Until recently, management of underarm sweating included invasive surgical procedures or ongoing management with topical products or botulinum toxin injections for temporary results. The Skin Specialist Centre is a specialised dermatology practice where the latest medical, surgical, cosmetic and laser and light techniques are either carried out or supervised by specialist dermatologists. The Skin Specialist Centre was the first in New Zealand and Australia to offer the FDA-approved miraDry technology and is still the only specialist dermatology centre in New Zealand which offers this technique, which is a non-invasive procedure which eliminates sweat glands through the delivery of precisely controlled electro-magnetic energy beneath the underarm skin to the specific location of the sweat glands, resulting in their destruction. At the same time, the top layers of the skin are cooled and protected.
You will typically see a reduction in underarm sweat immediately after one procedure session; two procedures are typically required to maximise the results and the duration. In controlled clinical trials, after one treatment between 70 – 90% of patients saw a significant reduction in their underarm sweat, and virtually all the patients achieved some reduction, and continued to show a dramatic reduction of sweat when followed twelve months after the procedure. Like any other medical procedure, results can vary from patient to patient, so be advised that large reductions may not occur in every single case. The procedure is successful in reducing underarm sweat by around 85% after two treatments when patients have been assessed one year following treatment. Unfortunately, it cannot be used to treat excessive sweating in other areas such as sweaty hands or sweaty feet as the procedure requires an underlying layer of fat. Underarms have this, but hands and feet do not.
If you have been concerned that you could not raise your arms with confidence, or felt you had to throw away your favourite blouse because of staining, the miraDry system may be the appropriate treatment for you.
How Does it Work?
The miraDry system delivers precisely controlled electro-magnetic energy to where the sweat glands reside in the axilla (underarm). The sweat glands are eliminated, and because sweat glands do not grow back, treatment results are lasting and dramatic. As only about 2% of the approximate four million sweat glands in your body are located in the underarms, this treatment will not affect the body’s ability to cool itself.
What Happens During the miraDry Procedure?
The dermatologist and/or his specialist laser nurse customise treatment for each underarm with multiple placements of the miraDry system. Local anaesthesia is administered to the area prior to the procedure to maintain comfort by the tumescent technique (high volume anaesthesia). The procedure normally lasts around one hour. Minimal or no down-time is required following the procedure. We would recommend a mild pain relief medication such as Paracetamol and the application of ice-packs to the treated sites for a few days. Exercise can typically be resumed within two weeks. Localised soreness or swelling is normal and usually clears within one to two weeks. To hasten these symptoms, we would suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and, occasionally, Prednisone. Occasionally, swelling can be significant, but always resolves with time. It has been reported that the occasional patient will have a temporary, short-term altered sensation in the skin of their underarms or upper arms, which gradually disappears. This is extremely rare and is most unlikely to happen when the armpits have been anaesthetised using the tumescent technique.
Are Sweat Reduction Results Permanent?
Yes, the results are permanent as the technology destroys sweat glands, which the body then permanently eliminates.
Is it Safe?
Electro-magnetic energy has been used safely in other areas of medicine for years. Electro-magnetic energy is used in cardiology, general surgery, urology, oncology and cosmetic treatments.
How Do I Know if I am a Good Candidate for miraDry?
The miraDry procedure is ideal for people who are bothered by underarm sweat, have embarrassing underarm sweat outbreaks, and are frustrated through constantly ruining clothes and frequently applying antiperspirant. The miraDry procedure is not for use for hand and feet sweating. Patients must be adult, aged 18 and over.
The miraDry is a two-step process – the first treatment will produce significant results, and following the second treatment you should see as much as an immediate 85% improvement. The treatments are spaced three to four months apart to maximize the results and duration. Patients may also experience a decrease in odour, as well as some permanent hair reduction. Around 10 – 15% of patients will require a third treatment to see full improvement.
Advantages of miraDry
A quick in-office procedure with minimal downtime
Dramatic reduction of sweat
Fast and lasting results
Non-invasive and toxin-free