miraDry (a treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis or excessive underarm sweating) was cleared by the U.S. FDA in January 2011: making it the first novel treatment option for hyperhidrosis to be introduced in nearly 7 years! miraDry now available in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy in 2013 showed that miraDry was effective in treating both axillary (underarm) hyperhidrosis and axillary osmidrosis (foul-smelling sweat). As part of the study, 11 patients in Asia were treated with miraDry and then evaluated 7 months later for improvement of symptoms. At the follow-up, 83.3% of the underarms treated were determined to have experienced a 2 point improvement in the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale (HDSS). Among those underarms that had exhibited foul odor (osmidrosis), 93.8% showed good to excellent results.
In of April 2012, clinical data from two study sites affiliated with the University of British Columbia showed that miraDry was successful in reducing underarm sweat in over 90% of patients through the final study visit (which was 12 months after treatment.) The average sweat reduction was 82%. Patients rated their satisfaction with the treatment at 90%.
Recently, Carolyn Jacob, MD wrote the following in an article published in the March 2013 edition of peer-reviewed Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery:
"The treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis can be rewarding using noninvasive microwave technology. Because the microwaves preferentially target the region of skin where the sweat glands reside, leading to localized thermolysis of the sweat glands, patients can now benefit from permanent targeted sweat reduction. The microwave treatment has been shown to be safe and effective in >6000 procedures to date."miraDry has been developed by Miramar Labs of Sunnyvale, California.
While miraDry is promising news for those who suffer with underarm sweating, it cannot be used to treat excessive sweating in other areas such as hands or feet because the procedure has been optimized to take into account the physical attributes of the underarms.
miraDry uses a non-invasive handheld device to deliver precisely controlled electromagnetic energy beneath the underarm skin to the specific area where sweat glands are located, resulting in thermolysis (decomposition by heat) of the sweat glands. While the sweat glands are being eliminated through electromagnetic technology, the top layers of the skin are simultaneously cooled and protected. Sweat glands do not grow back after treatment so the effect can be seen almost immediately and results are lasting. For best results, two procedures spaced three months apart are recommended.
While Miramar Labs is the first and only company to gain FDA clearance to use electromagnetic energy to combat excessive sweating through eliminating or damaging sweat glands, the technology has been used safely in other areas of medicine for years. Established medical uses of electromagnetic energy include applications for cardiology, cosmetics, general surgery, urology, and oncology.
The miraDry procedure is performed in the physician's office and typically takes one hour. Local anesthesia (usually lidocaine injections) will be administered before starting the treatment. Patients usually experience little to no discomfort during the procedure and there is minimal to no downtime afterwards. A mild over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs are generally recommended for a few days. Most patients are able to return to normal activities or work right after the procedure, and can typically resume exercise within several days.
The safety data from clinical studies of miraDry has been reported as very good. Common side effects include mild to moderate temporary swelling and discomfort in the treatment area lasting about one week. Mild numbness or altered sensation of the skin in the underarm area can last several months. While sweating is an essential body function for temperature-control, the underarms house less than 2% of the body's sweat glands. According to experts, the elimination of these sweat glands should, therefore, have no effect on body thermoregulation and compensatory sweating (sweating on other body parts, common after ETS surgery) has not been shown to be a concern. To learn more about research findings and the miraDry procedure, click here.
"Prior to the miraDry procedure, there were limited options available for treating axillary hyperhidrosis, none of which offered a lasting, non-invasive solution. While temporary, non-invasive solutions and local surgery have been available, miraDry provides my patients with the opportunity for a truly lasting solution in a non-invasive office procedure."
said Dr. William P. Coleman III in a Miramar press release in February 2011. Coleman is Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at Tulane University Health Sciences Center, Founder of Coleman Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery Center in Metairie, Louisiana, and Past-President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.