Research recently debuted at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) shows MiraDry, a new procedure that may be available to treat excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, without the use of neurotoxins such as BOTOX or Dysport. MiraDry uses electromagnetic energy to target sweat glands, reducing the size and therefore output of sweat for up to a year or perhaps even longer.
In the past few years, several new treatments have emerged to treat excessive sweating including using VASER or Smartlipo to treat hyperhidrosis, in which ultrasound waves are used to permanently damage a certain amount of sweat glands, prohibiting them from excreting excessive sweat. Another treatment includes using neurotoxins such as BOTOX or Dysport to treat excessive sweating. The neurotoxins are injected directly into the problem areas and the toxin blocks signals from the brain to keep them from reaching and triggering the sweat glands.
However, a new treatment has shown promise in halting hyperhidrosis - MiraDry, a device using electromagnetic energy to target sweat glands in the axillary (underarm) area. According to Dr. Suzanne Kilmer, the founding director of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center in Sacramento, CA, the treatment is on par in efficacy to neurotoxins but as BOTOX or Dysport breaks down within 6-9 months, this new technology shows a long-term and potentially permanent treatment to excessive sweating. "MiraDry heats up the lower dermis where eccrine or sweat glands are," describes Dr. Kilmer, "After which, they are thermally damaged (destroyed) and then reabsorbed into the body."
Studies at Dr. Kilmer's center, which was a study site for this research, has shown the procedure is completely non-invasive and may be performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. Treatment takes approximately one hour, depending on the size of the axillary glands but patients have noticed reduced sweating after the first treatment. At this point, Dr. Kilmer says only the axillary (underarm) may be treated.
"Anyone who wants underarm sweating decreased is an ideal candidate. The hyperhidrosis doesn't have to be severe; it could be patients who just want to limit damage to their clothing," states Dr. Kilmer. Follow-up in treated subjects have shown stable and continued results through 12 months. Continued ongoing clinical studies with optimized settings will show even more promising results, said Dr. Kilmer.