Excessive sweating makes summertime outings difficult, if not impossible for those afflicted. Embarrassing underarm circles show on silk and light-colored clothing, and, if an event isn’t held in an air-conditioned space, well, forget about it.
Dr. Whitney Bowe
“This really impacts people’s lives,” says Whitney P. Bowe, M.D. of Advanced Dermatology in Briarcliff Manor and New York City. “In the past, we used Botox to reduce armpit sweating, but that is just a temporary fix that needs to be repeated every five or six months.”
Enter MiraDry, a relatively new treatment that uses microwave technology to permanently kill the sweat glands. “Eighty percent of the time, people who have had the treatment report not even having to use deodorant afterward, while the other twenty percent end up with ‘normal’ sweat and can use over-the-counter deodorants rather than prescription-strength ones,” Dr. Bowe reports. The procedure takes about an hour to an hour and a half. While the area to be treated is numbed before the procedure, Dr. Bowe warns that patients will be very sore afterward (she advises icing the area and taking Aleve), but promises that, within hours, they will just stop sweating. A second treatment, three months later, ensures that any remaining sweat glands are dispatched.
The procedure has not won over everybody, however. Alternative medicine advocate Joseph Mercola has written about potential side effects of the procedure (such as nerve damage), and investigative journalist Scott Keneally wrote in the New York Times of his negative experience with the procedure when it was being pioneered in 2011.