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‘MiraDry’ Procedure Battles Excessive Underarm Sweat

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
Angela Davis joined the station in 2006. Angela co-anchors the Sund...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When it is this hot outside, all of us sweat. But for some people, the problem is much worse than others.

Excessive underarm sweating is actually a medical condition known as “hyperhidrosis.” People who have it struggle with clothing that’s ruined by sweat as well as embarrassment. In 2011, the FDA approved a new treatment, called MiraDry, for the problem.

“Some people, it actually impedes their daily function in life. We have a lot of increased sweating, not only under our armpits, but on our palms and soles,” Dr. Brian Zelickson said.

Zelickson is a dermatologist who runs Zel Skin & Laser Specialists in Edina. He and his staff are using the most current technology available for excessive underarm sweating.

“What the MiraDry is, it uses focused ultrasound to basically heat the area where the glands are in the skin,” Zelickson said.

MiraDry literally destroys sweat glands when the handheld device hovers over one small area at a time. The underarm area is numbed first and then marked.

“The concept of it is that heat destroys the sweat glands and once they are destroyed, they are gone permanently. So, generally, it takes two treatments at three-month intervals and you should have long term reduction in sweating,” Zelickson said.

The doctor and one of the nurses at the clinic demonstrated how it works. He says the treatment is safe because your body still continues to sweat in many other places.

“If they don’t respond to the normal treatments we have, like prescription deodorants and Botox injections don’t work well for them, then this is really a nice option for people,” Zelickson said.

A national survey of patients showed that 86 percent of them reported a dramatic reduction of underarm sweat. Again, unlike Botox injections to help control sweat, the MiraDry treatment is permanent. Two treatments at three months apart, and you’re done.

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