Don’t Sweat It! Using Microwave Technology to Treat Excessive Sweating

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Excessive sweating can put people in embarrassing social and professional situations while ruining clothes and confidence, but a technology utilizing microwave energy can provide patients with a reliable long-lasting solution. New York Dermatologist Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, M.D., the first physician to perform the miraDry procedure in the New York area, explains the benefits it can bring to someone suffering from hyperhidrosis based on his recent miraDry clinical study.

Sweat glands are non-regenerative, which means miraDry results will last, unlike other treatment options such as antiperspirants and prescriptions that temporarily disable the glands for a limited time.

Sweating is a natural cooling system, designed by the body’s gland system. But for some, too much sweating will not only interfere with daily routines, but sabotage socializing. One in five adults in the United States is burdened by their underarm sweat. The scientific term for excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis, a medical condition known for causing uncontrollable sweating through sweat glands. Prescription antiperspirants, Botox and surgery have been the most widely used treatments for excessive sweating, but without surgery, no treatments have proven as long-lasting and effective. MiraDry is a non-invasive microwave-based technology for the treatment of hyperhidrosis. The effectiveness of the technology was developed by Miramar Labs in 2006 and has since been FDA-approved in 2011.

In a clinical study conducted by Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, medical director of New York Cosmetic Skin & Laser Surgery Center, the treatment of underarm sweating with miraDry decreased excessive sweating by over 50 percent after the first treatment, with over 60 percent decrease in odor. After the second treatment, patients reported over 95 percent decrease in the severity of their hyperhidrosis. The study entitled “A Retrospective Analysis of the Treatment of Axillary Hyperhidrosis with Novel Microwave Technology” will be presented at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery annual meeting in Boston this weekend.

“Sweat glands are non-regenerative, which means miraDry results will last, unlike other treatment options such as antiperspirants and prescriptions that temporarily disable the glands for a limited time,” Dr. Rokhsar says.

MiraDry emits electromagnetic energy into the underarm treatment area, using a hand piece treated repeatedly into the numbed area. The device vacuums the skin and stabilizes it into place, which brings the sweat glands closer to the surface. The system then administers focused electromagnetic energy through the skin, deep into the region where the sweat glands reside. No incisions are made throughout the process. A cooling system is simultaneously released to protect the skin and help keep the heat energy at the same temperature as the sweat glands. The heat ultimately ablates the glands that cause the excessive sweating.

Destroying sweat glands does not mean the body will struggle or lose its ability to cool itself down because underarm sweat glands account for only two percent of the body’s sweat glands. Excessive sweating occurs when overactive sweat glands produce more sweat than is necessary to cool the body. Sweating is a natural and necessary bodily function used to cool off and get rid of excess heat from working muscles and warm temperatures. In fact, the human body has over four million sweat glands, which can be found virtually anywhere on the body except the lips.

There are two different kinds of sweat glands. The most common sweat gland is the eccrine glands, which cover most of the body, but are concentrated in the hands, feet and forehead and secrete clear, odorless sweat glands controlled by the hypothalamus. These glands are primarily activated by emotional stimuli and stressors that increase the body’s temperature. When the body’s thermoregulation system fails to proportionately excrete and distribute sweat for cooling, many suffer from stained clothes and complications in social and professional interactions. The apocrine gland develops during puberty and is triggered by a secretion of adrenaline, controlled by the adrenal medulla. Apocrine sweat is composed of protein and carbohydrates, which has been known to cause odor because it can come into contact with healthy bacteria on the skin.

Neurologic, metabolic and other systemic diseases can sometimes cause hyperhidrosis, but it has been known to affect those who are otherwise healthy. Those that do suffer may trigger the excessive sweating through physical exertion or emotional distress, but many sweat around the clock, regardless of exercise or anxiety.

MiraDry is currently FDA-approved for treating axillary sweat glands, the glands located in the underarm. The underarm doesn’t actually have a larger quantity of sweat glands, like most people think. It’s the infrequency of exposure to fresh air that causes a buildup of sweat and consequently odor. However, for those that not only suffer from axillary hyperhidrosis, but excessive sweating in the feet and hands, there is another non-invasive option.

Botox injections are most commonly known for treating facial wrinkles, but have also proven to be successful in blocking the chemical involved in sending contraction signals to the muscles that lead to sweating. Besides surgery, miraDry and Botox are the only two ways to either destroy sweat glands or to disconnect the nerves responsible for excessive sweating. Botox is a purified neurotoxin that simply immobilizes nerves making it a non-permanent solution to excessive sweating. Botox can block the connection for a certain amount of time, depending on where the injections are made. Botox injections can decrease sweating up to five months, when injected into the feet, up to six months when injected into hands, and up to nine months when injected into armpits. This makes miraDry the most effective non-invasive procedure because of its ability to create a permanent solution for someone suffering from the distress of excessive sweating.

Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, M.D., is the leading authority in laser surgery and non-invasive techniques and is the first and most experienced physician in New York and the Tri-State area to offer the miraDry treatment. A graduate of Harvard and New York University, Dr. Rokhsar is a fellowship-trained dermatologist and laser surgeon and extensively published medical author and Professor of Dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His offices are located in New York City and Garden City, Long Island.

For more information please contact: Samantha Olson (212) 285-1110

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Cameron Rokhsar
NY Cosmetic Skin, & Laser Surgery Center
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