People sweat differently. Most of us experience increased perspiration only in hot weather, during excercising or physical work. And that’s exactly how it should work. Sweat is as a “coolant” that is always activated when a bodily temperature raises. All processes happening in our organisms need a stable temperature (around 37°C). When it is getting higher, a brain awakens sweat glands and make them active. But what if these glands start with making sweat even the body doesn’t need it? This phenomenon is called excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis.
Excessive sweaters already know several ways how to reduce perspiration. Antiperspirants, medicaments, iontophoresis, or invasive methods such as Botox or ETS surgery. So how can MiraDry contribute to these treatments? What is different about it? How does MiraDry work? In this article, we are going to answer these questions and tell you everything you need about MiraDry.
What is MiraDry?
MiraDry is a procedure designed for treating excessive underarm sweating. It is a special medical device developed by Miramar Labs of Sunnyvale, California. The device consists of the main part, hand-held adapter and a screen for monitoring. In 2011, the procedure was approved by FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) for reducing axillary hyperhidrosis. It is the latest non-invasive method approved by this organization. MiraDry is now available in 50 countries worldwide. Except minimizing of underarm sweating, in 2015 was Miradry also cleared by FDA for permanent eliminating of armpit hair (the name of the device is MiraSmooth) and odor-producing glands.
How Does it Work?
MiraDry uses microwave technology for eliminating sweat glands. During the procedure, the device produces and distributes electromagnetic energy to these glands in underarms (2mm to 5mm below the skin’s surface) and make them inoperative, while cooling the upper part of the skin.
Precisely controlled electromagnetic energy creates heat that destroys sweat glands in the affected area, but at the same time, the device protects the skin from damage. While eccrine sweat glands are primarily affected by the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis, microwave technology is able to disarm also apocrine sweat glands responsible for body odor.
Thanks to MiraDry, Electromagnetic energy was first time applied for fighting against abnormal underarm sweating, but microwave technology has been used in other fields of medicine (oncology, cardiology, urology, cosmetics) for many years.
Is MiraDry Safe?
Maybe you already know that the human body has about 3 million sweat glands. But only 2% of them are found in armpits. That’s why the procedure doesn’t affect the ability to cool the body. Sweating will continue normally in other areas. Since MiraDry uses microwaves and not laser, the safety of this method is guaranteed for all skin types and skin tones.
What is Happening During the Procedure?
MiraDry is not designed for home treatment. You need to visit a dermatologist who has a device and who is trained to use it. The entire process starts with measuring your armpits and marking the area that will be treated. Then, the physician applies a numbing substance (usually lidocaine) to your armpits. It should be a little uncomfortable and mildly painful due to sensitive skin in underarms. After that, the doctor takes a hand-held part of the device and attach them to the marked area. The whole procedure takes about one hour.
A recovery period is relatively short, you can continue with your work or other common activities directly after the procedure, but it is not recommended to do some sport or exercise for a few days.
Effectiveness of MiraDry
There are some studies and clinical trials that can help with answering this question. The research published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website shows that MiraDry was successful in underarm sweat elimination in over 90% of patient. It is also a number representing the satisfaction of these patients with this treatment.
Another study examined the third generation of microwave-based device for treating axillary hyperhidrosis. Thirty-one participants were monitored for 12 months after the procedure. More than 85% of them recorded a significant reduction in underarm sweating.
One or two weeks after the procedure, many patients don’t sweat at all in affected areas. After about two or three weeks, sweating usually return but in much less amount. For ensuring a long-lasting effect, many patients repeat the operation after several months, some patients even three times if recommended by a dermatologist after an examination. But many heavy sweaters who undergo MiraDry treatment experience perfect results after one procedure. Generally, the biggest positive of MiraDry is a significant sweat-eliminating effect that lasts many years and can be permanent.
MiraDry Side Effects
Some complications are related to every treatment for every condition, and MiraDry is no exception. We should remember that medical using microwaves is a non-invasive procedure, that means no surgical instruments are using into the body. There are also no chemicals applied to the affected area. But instead, MiraDry affects an intervention in the human body, and the organism can react differently. All side effects were investigated during a clinic trial and considered by FDA before approving. These are the most common difficulties experienced by patients who have undergone treatment:
Few days after the procedure, certain discomfort related to soreness and stitching can occur. These symptoms can be suppressed by available over-the-counter pain medicine. While swelling, redness or pain usually doesn’t last more than 2-3 days, numbness in underarms can be experienced even for five weeks.
There is also a rare possibility of permanent nerve injury. It should happen in patients whose nerves are very close to the upper layer of the skin.
How Much Does Miradry Cost?
The price depends on location; one treatment costs about $2,000 – $3,000. But we need to consider that you will maybe need two procedures to see lasting results. You can start with a free consultation provided by more clinics, for example, WIFH and find out if MiraDry is proper for your condition. Many dermatology clinics offer a significant sale for second treatment (if it is needed) which costs about $1000. Some clinics say that less than 10% of patients need a second treatment.
Is MiraDry Covered By Insurance?
It depends on the individual insurance setting. But most of the insurance plan doesn’t involve miraDry even if you have hyperhidrosis diagnosis. Anyway, you can check it or contact your insurance provider.
Anyway, there are some companies, that cover miraDry in their plan. HSA (Health Savings Account), FSA (flexible spending account) or Care Credit.
MiraDry vs. Iontophoresis
MiraDry has several similarities with Iontotherapy. Both treatments are non-invasive and use a special medical device. But there are also some significant differences. While MiraDry is based on microwave technology, Iontophoresis uses an electrical current. MiraDry is specially designed for treating axillary hyperhidrosis, and iontotherapy is mostly used for sweaty hands or feet (even it is applicable for head and armpits, too).
Several possible side effects are related to both methods. If you are interested in iontophoresis, check the article: Iontophoresis Treatment – the Highly Effective Way How to Get Rid of Hyperhidrosis
Another difference lies in medical assistance. A dermatologist applies MiraDry procedure and an expert assessment is needed before the treatment. Iontophoresis can also be used by a doctor, especially in cases of heavy hyperhidrosis when the doctor uses a special fluid containing glycopyrronium bromide or glycopyrrolate. But patients with mild cases of hyperhidrosis can buy an iontophoresis machine for home use.
The difference is also in price. While miraDry session costs more than $2000, the price for one iontophoresis procedure with a doctor is about $150. If you decide to buy your own iontophoresis machine, you need to set aside about $500.
MiraDry vs. Other Botox And ETS
Injections of Botulinum toxin are another treatment approved by FDA. It is an invasive procedure performed by a specialist. Both methods boast long-lasting effects. But we need to realize that even Botox uses chemical paralyzing sweat glands, this substance can have several side effects. Botox is also used for excessive underarm sweating. For both underarm botox injections, you should prepare about $1,000, but the process should be repeated after six months.
People with extreme perspiration often search for surgical removing of nerve paths in the affected area. Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS surgery) is performed by a surgeon and usually is used for patients who have already failed with other non-invasive treatment.
MiraDry And Antiperspirant
Antiperspirants are probably the most common treatment of excessive sweating due to availability and relatively low price. This treatment requires often application, and it is mostly recommended for people with mild and non-aggressive sweating. Antiperspirant is based on acting aluminum chloride or other chemical that temporarily constricts skin pores. MiraDry doesn’t use any chemicals what is beneficial especially for those who have some allergies or sensitive skin.
MiraDry Near Me
We already mentioned that miraDry is available in 50 countries worldwide. On the official website, you can find the nearest provider.
Is Miradry For Me?
Am I a proper candidate for this treatment? There is a quiz on the miraDry website, that is specially designed for everybody who wants to know the answer to this question. Check the quiz now.
Your dermatologist can also give you a piece of advice whether you meet all the needed criteria for miraDry treatment.
MiraDry is quite a new treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis. It is a non-invasive solution that prevents sweat glands from producing sweat. Most of the patients who underwent the procedure had positive and long lasting results with minimal side effects. Besides other treatments for excessive underarm sweating, MiraDry is a reasonable option especially for those who weren’t satisfied with other treatments.