miraDry: Solution for Underarm Sweating

Now that my excessive underarm sweating has been curbed successfully by miraDry, I feel I can peacefully look back at the time when I suffered from hyperhidrosis and had no idea what to do about it…

 

My excessive sweating first manifested when I was in the fourth grade of elementary school. My underarm sweating was always at its worst during gym class, so I started lying that I don't feel well in order to avoid classes every once in a while… It all turned to be very stressful: half of the time I was teased and called “puddlestink”, my teacher soon called my parents to school because I started skipping gym class altogether… And so on. Eventually things calmed down when they realized what the problem is all about, and I was given strong antiperspirants. This was a far cry from miraDry, but it was a start!

 

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. I lived and fought against sweaty armpits the best I could, with tons of antiperspirants and baggy black clothes that allowed my skin to breathe and cool off, and at the same time hid the sweat stains. Then, over a year ago, my mother called me to tell me about miraDry – a “revolutionary new procedure” that was set to cure me from excessive sweat. I was intrigued, and at the same time annoyed: over the years, I've come to accept hyperhidrosis as a part of me, and the idea that my mother wants me “fixed” somehow hurt me.

 

Yet, I figured that a bit of a wounded pride shouldn't stand in my way, and after some research, I decided that I will look for a doctor who can perform miraDry on me. Now, since I don't have his permission to write this, I will refrain from specific details, but I can say this: the procedure took a little longer than I expected, and was less painful than I expected (we used a low setting, though). Everyone was really nice to me, and I was very nervous and impatient to see if miraDry will turn out to be the thing.

 

It did! After my swelling was gone (it took 4-5 days for the worst to pass), I noticed that I still do sweat – but a lot, lot less! I talked to my friends and family, and they confirmed that my new sweating looks pretty much normal. This was a huge relief. Months later, I went for the second treatment.

 

Now, nearly a year later, the miraDry dryness is still with me. It feels as if someone opened the door of a cage I've lived in so far… It is a huge relief to be this free.

 

Lauren’s Story: MiraDry worked for her Hyperhidrosis!

Note: Below is the story generously shared by Lauren regarding her Hyperhidrosis condition and the treatment she took. Her contact details were very helpfully shared with us by MiraDry. We believe that the below-mentioned story is accurate, and is not influenced by MiraDry in any way. However, in interest of full disclosure, we would like the readers to know the origin of this post and to interpret this accordingly.

A BIG “Thank You!” to Lauren for coming forward to sharing this with us!

Note: Lauren also shared her experience at RealSelf (http://www.realself.com/review/fort-myers-fl-severe-hyperhidrosis-patient-loved-miradry-wonderful-product). You may want to check that out as well. That was posted in 2012, so might be a bit dated.

Lauren's Story

BACKGROUND

My name is Lauren Tretolo. I am 21 years old and just recently graduated nursing school and am preparing to take my boards this month. I am also a nanny and have 5 years background working in a daycare with children 6 weeks old to one year. I live in Lakewood Ranch, Florida with my parents and my yellow lab, Bella! 🙂

HYPERHIDROSIS: FIRST INDICATIONS

I noticed my hyperhidrosis when I was about 12 years old. I will never forget that it was after a school dance that I had a pink tank top on and my sweat marks went all the way to the end of my shirt near my waist. I was mortified. From 12 years old to 19 years old, all the professionals I saw said my increased perspiration was due to puberty, but I knew it was a problem deep down because 19 was a little old to be hearing the “puberty” excuse, especially when I was dripping sweat while sitting in an air conditioned room.

HYPERHIDROSIS IMPACT ON MY LIFE

It impacted my life every second of every day up until I found miraDry. I was judged as being gross and disgusting in school because of the visible sweat stains. I wore only black — and sweatshirt hoodies thru school (keep in mind I live in FL) but those were the only things to mask the stains and wetness. Prom was another issue, I needed to find a dress that didn't come anywhere close to my armpits to prevent the sweating stains. I would always carry an extra shirt around to alway be prepared in case my sweating got out of hand. I was starting nursing school in July 2012 and knew they wore blue scrubs but I was petrified about sweating through the fabric and was trying to find a school based on their scrub color. So yes, it impacted me in every way possible.

TREATMENTS I TRIED

I feel as if I had tried everything in regards to treating my issue. It started with the OTC deodorants such as certain dri, and all of the “clinical strength” brands that claimed to work wonders. Well, they didn't for me. Then my dermatologist at the time prescribed me a prescription topical (I can't remember the name of it, I can double check for you) but that didn't work either and honestly made my underarms feel worse. Our next idea was oral medication or Botox injections. My doctor wouldn't clear the Botox as medically necessary so my insurance company would not cover it at all,  and I was not completely thrilled about the lack if permanence. Then I found miraDry and had my first procedure May 2012!

MIRADRY EXPERIENCE

I drove about 2 1/2 hours to a doctor in Fort Myers, FL and had the procedure done there. I roughly spent $3,000. I am sure you are familiar with the procedure, but I basically had 50-60 lidocaine injections and then the miraDry device. My first visit was a level 2, and my second a level 3.  The swelling was normal and the most important thing to me was icing my underarms to help with the swelling.

MY RESULTS

With my 2 year “anniversary” of having miraDry is approaching, I couldn't be happier with my results. I have slowly added color into my wardrobe, and thankfully only sweat when normal people sweat like when I am at the gym or it is very hot outside, but I do not usually perspire through my shirt. I would love to have a third treatment just to really nip it in the butt, but I haven't gotten around to it nor do I know if my doctor supports a third treatment.

MY TIPS FOR MIRADRY

My tips are: ice, ice, ice, and more ice. That really helps with the swelling and the awkward feeling. And secondly- if someone has suffered as long as I have they need to know this isn't a quick fix. Sure, it fixes the sweating, but there is a huge psychological aspect that patients need to keep in mind. It took me about a year to realize that I could buy different color shirts and wear them without the fear of sweating, and I needed a lot of time before I wasn't always checking my arm pits in the mirror or constantly feeling to see if I was wet. I still wouldn't say that I am “cured” to this day because I am still self conscious about the potential sweating! So, although miraDry was my “cure” to the sweating, it did take time for my brain to get up to speed with my body and realize that it was going to be okay and to relax.

Any questions for Lauren? Please send them to [email protected] and I will try my best to get them answered from her (no promises though).

Sandra’s Story: Hyperhidrosis & Miradry

Note: Below is the story generously shared by Sandra (name changed on request) regarding her Hyperhidrosis condition and the treatment she took. Her contact details were very helpfully shared with us by MiraDry. We believe that the below-mentioned story is accurate, and is not influenced by MiraDry in any way. However, in interest of full disclosure, we would like the readers to know the origin of this post and to interpret this accordingly.

A BIG “Thank You!” to Sandra for coming forward to sharing this with us!

miradry works by destroying sweat glands in underarm area

Susan's Story

I started sweating excessively from my underarms when I was in middle school. I would sweat right through my clothes and it would be very noticeable. I was embarassed and would layer clothes and wear sweaters over everything to hid it. I tried DrySol and other prescription strength deodorants, but nothing worked. The DrySol ruined clothes and made my underarms itch. I just dealt with it as best I could, and avoided wearing anything that would show my sweat marks. I would have to wear heavy sweaters and lots of black.

When I was a teacher, it was a challenge. I wasn't hot, but would just get a little nervous getting up in front of my kids and teaching lessons. I would have to be careful how I gestured to the board or screen so as not to show my sweat marks. Again, I wore sweaters over everything and layered my clothes.

When I was working part time at Dr Karamanoukian's, I heard about the miraDry procedure. He got the machine and I was eager to try it. The procedure itself was very easy. Just some pinches as he numbed my underarms and then I didn't feel a thing. It took about 45 mins per underarm and just felt like a vacuum sucking up parts of my skin. I iced my underarms and took advil every 4-6 hours afterwards and that helped the swelling go down immensely. It felt like I had tennis balls under my arms and I was a little swollen, but other than that, I immediately stopped sweating. I continuously iced my underarms for the next few days. I had the procedure on a Friday and by Monday was fine to go back to work.

The first time I had the procedure it was done on the lowest setting and about a year afterwards, I noticed I was sweating again, so we repeated the procedure on a higher setting. I knew what to expect and was prepared to ice my underarms for the next few days. It was very easy to have done again.

Miramar Labs even flew me out to NYC for a press conference so I could discuss my experiences, what I had tried and what the procedure was like. I was happy to share my experiences, as I know how difficult it was to live with this condition. It is very embarassing and I no longer had to feel that way. I could also wear whatever kind of clothes I wanted to with no fear of sweat marks. Also, while I worked at Dr Karamanoukian's office, I was able to talk to his patients so they could have a first hand account of the procedure and what it was like. It is definitely a procedure that I would recommend.

About My miraDry Procedure

Seeing that many fellow hyperhidrosis patients here have expressed interest in hearing more about miraDry, I decided to join and share my story. To spoil the end of the story: for me, miraDry worked, and now my underarms sweat 90% less than before. So, if you want to see how this all happened, keep on reading…

Why I Did It

I had axillary hyperhidrosis since I was 13 years old, and my ordeal lasted for two decades, until I finally decided to take up stronger measures to stop sweating. One of the main reasons I opted for a miraDry procedure was that it promised more lasting effects than other axillary hyperhidrosis treatments. I wanted something that will cure me – something that will let me forget that I ever had hyperhidrosis.

The Cost

I started saving up for miraDry in early 2012, when I first heard about the procedure, and eight months ago, I finally had close to $2900 saved up – which was the price of my miraDry treatments. To explain the plural: I have been recommended to attend two treatments to get the best, lasting results.

The Procedure

My first treatment made me very nervous. First of all, I am not a big fan of needles, and getting about two dozens of lidocaine shots in each of my armpits scared me. This lasted more than I would have liked, but was only slightly painful. Once my underarms were numbed, the doctor applied the miraDry device. This was essentially a sequence of suctions along the skin on my underarms. Thanks to the local anesthetic, I did not feel much pain. But yes, there was some pain – notably, during some of the suctions that were closer to my breasts. Overall, I only felt brief outbursts of localized heat while the device was destroying my sweat glands.

And now for the ugly part – it took me three weeks to recover from the miraDry procedure. At first, my underarms were swollen for days, and then slowly started going back to normal. This was annoying, but I can now say that it was worth it.

Three months later, at the second procedure, I was told that I will be given stronger miraDry intensity. (The first time around it was level 3, and for the second treatment level 4.) Despite this, the pain was virtually nonexistent, I was also less nervous, and everything went well.

The Results

After the first procedure, my underarm sweating was halved. After the second one, it was pretty much gone. This is how I live now – free of hyperhidrosis, and hoping to stay that way forever. All the money saving, the fear during the treatment, the painful recovery – everything paid off in the end.

I think that this is it – I think miraDry is the type of axillary hyperhidrosis treatment that we've been waiting for. 🙂

All About Miradry (well, almost all..)!

miradry works by destroying sweat glands in underarm area

So, if you are following what I am trying to do here, you might have seen my post about the hard time I had from MiraDry folks to get information about the procedure. However, the good news is… that they responded. Below are the official responses from MiraDry on some of the top queries people have about MiraDry. Some of it might be a bit “salesy”, but I think there is a lot of good information here.

Leave a comment if this helps you, or if you have any other question on MiraDry – who knows I might be able to convince them to answer a few more. Nothing better than to hear it from the company itself. So here we go.

 

How it works
The miraDry technology is the only non-invasive device specifically designed and FDA approved to provide a lasting treatment for underarm sweat. It eliminates the sweat glands and once sweat glands are destroyed they do not grow back.
The perfect candidate for treatment is usually someone who feels their excessive and bothersome underarm sweating is interfering with their everyday life. Having a lasting, non-invasive solution is important because excessive underarm sweating can have a significant impact on a range of events from how people approach social and professional situations to things as basic as their clothing choices.
Typically, two treatments performed three months apart are required to maximize the results.  The initial treatment takes about 90 minutes as we have consents to fill out, measuring of the axillary vaults, and explanation of the procedure. The second takes about 60minutes.

The cost
Typically, miraDry costs approximately $2,500 to $3,000 for two treatments, which in the long run can be a more cost-effective treatment than other coping mechanisms and treatments
 
Success rate
Results from a recent study showed 90 percent efficacy, 90 percent patient satisfaction, and an 82 percent average sweat reduction 18-months after receiving the miraDry procedure.
 
Side effect
Almost all patients will experience:

  • some swelling in their underarm (1-8 weeks)
  • altered sensation in the skin and around the treatment area (up to a few months)
  • soreness, discomfort, or tenderness of the treated area (2-3 weeks)
  • redness from the device suction (few days)
  • temporary bumps or lumpiness in the underarm (4-6 weeks)
  • patients may also experience some degree of hair loss

 
How Does MiarDry Compared with other options (e.g. antiperspirants, ETS etc), 
Until now, treatment options have been limited to prescription-strength antiperspirants, oral medications, botulinum toxin A injections and surgery, which contains inherent risks.
Current treatment options are designed to temporarily disable the sweat glands and have proven ineffective for lasting results.
 
Where should they go to get thMiraDry treatment
Readers can go to our website and find a miraDry physician in their area. The website address is: http://miradry.com/get-started/
 
How to get MiraDry financed by insurance
The miraDry procedure is not currently covered by insurance.

Is there any way to reduce the cost (if insurance is not paying)
 Many employers offer Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that allow employees to pay for medical expenses with pretax dollars. Also, doctors often offer flexible monthly payment plans to make miraDry more affordable.

Most people find the cost of miraDry surprisingly reasonable, after considering the physical and emotional costs of living with excessive sweat, and the significant, lifelong benefits that miraDry provides. Check out our Sweat Cost Calculator to find out how much you are currently spending on a sweat-ruled life.

 
Can it be done cheaper overseas (e.g. India)?
The miraDry procedure is currently only offered in Japan, Korea, Canada and the U.S. Costs are approximately the same comparatively. [CJ1]
 
How to identify a good facility for getting this procedure done?
www.miraDry.com website to locate a miraDry-certified physician offering the treatment. [CJ2]

miraDry for Hyperhidrosis

miradry works by destroying sweat glands in underarm area

miraDry for Hyperhidrosis

miraDry, is the trademark name of a non-invasive microwave-based technology for the treatment of underarm (axillary) hyperhidrosis. It was developed by Miramar Labs in 2006 and got FDA clearance 2011. Currently, this procedure is available only for underarm hyperhidrosis and does not treat hyperhidrosis for hands or feet

miradry works by destroying sweat glands in underarm area
miradry works by destroying sweat glands in underarm area

How miraDry Works

While the technical details are complex, at the most basic level MiraDry works by directing a pulse of high energy microwaves to the sweat glands – generating heat that destroys the sweat glands in the underarm area, thus curing the person of underarm hyperhidrosis.

In parallel, a continuous cooling system protects the outer layer of the skin while heat continues to spread into the region where sweat glands reside, resulting in cellular thermolysis. Sweat glands do not regenerate, so once destroyed, the excess sweat glands are expected to be permanently disabled.

How MiraDry is used

  • Outpatient physician visits for miraDry treatment typically take one hour during which a physician administers local anesthesia (usually lidocaine injections
  • Then he/she uses the miraDry handheld device to deliver electromagnetic energy non-invasively to the underarms.
  • The miraDry device cools the outer layer of the skin and patients usually experience little to no discomfort during the procedure.
  • There is minimal to no downtime afterwards. Most patients are able to return to normal activities or work right after the procedure, and can typically resume exercise within several days.
  • A mild over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs are generally recommended for a few days
  • For some cases, it may require upto two procedures to fully destroy the sweat glands in the are.

 Side Effects

Common side effects include

  • Mild to moderate temporary swelling and discomfort in the treatment area (generally lasting about one week)
  • Mild numbness or altered sensation of the skin in the underarm area (can last several months)
  • In rare cases, it has been reported that the process may destroy other nerve cells in the area causing numbness in the arms and fingers

Note that his process is relatively new, so the full extent of side effects or long term effectiveness is not known. Good news, however, is that compensatory sweating (sweating on other body parts, common after ETS surgery) has not been shown to be a concern.

Miradry Cost

The cost of the procedure depends on the provider, facilities and the location, but it broadly range between $1,500 – $4,000 for a single session (you may require upto 2 sessions)