MiraDry is a treatment for managing excessive underarm sweating known as axillary hyperhidrosis. MiraDry delivers electromagnetic energy to the sweat glands using a specially designed handpiece. Super high energy is focused to the area where sweat glands are located & destroys them.
- MiraDry uses electromagnetic waves to destroy sweat glands
- Up to 70+% reduction in sweating can be experienced after 2 treatments
- Recovery from MiraDry is approximately one week
- Suitable candidates should have a good layer of axillary fat
- Side effects including prolonged nerve damage is not uncommon
MiraDry at a glance
Our results speak for themselves
Patients who suffer from excessive underarm sweating that is not responsive to anti-sweat injections & topicals who also have a good buffer zone of fat (read more to understand).
There are three steps to the procedure:
- Your axillary vault (armpit) is numbed with local anaesthesia.
- The miraDry handpiece is placed in the marked areas of sweating. A vacuum suction draws the sweat glands closer to the surface to protect deeper tissue. Electromagnetic energy is delivered through the skin which penetrates the skin to the sweat glands destroying them.
- You should experience a mild reduction in axillary sweat after one treatment with miraDry
The safety data from the multiple clinical studies in the US & Australia has been satisfactory, but not excellent.
Common side effects include moderate pain, swelling & discomfort in the treatment area lasting about one to two weeks. Numbness or altered sensation of the skin in the underarm area can last several months.
Our dermatologists were the first in Australia to use this treatment in 2015 to 2019. Given the 5% rate of significant side effects, we stopped this treatment 3 years ago.
After two sessions, up to 70-80% reduction in underarm sweating can be expected. The efficacy is directly proportional to the treatment level, which is in turn proportional to the side effects.
The higher the treatment level, the more intense the MiraDry treatment, the better the outcome. There are a few clinics in Australia that nuke the axilla with treatment level 5 (highest setting) from the start. Whilst this super high setting has the highest success rate, it also has the highest side effect rate (hence why you signed the consent form).
Patients should be comfortable while the MiraDry procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. During the procedure, most people experience some pressure & light pulling on the skin, with some sensations of warmth. There may be an occasional “hot spot” that lasts a few minutes.
Fortunately, most cases resolve within 6 months. Permanent nerve damage is rare. Your doctor will assess the severity & may prescribe pregabalin or gabapentin. They will discuss your dose & side effects.
No, however there is rumour that MiraDry 2 will be out in 2022. There have been attempts to manufacture a device for excessive sweating of the hands, however this is hampered with anatomy & complexity of the hands, namely nerves in the area.
Electromagnetic radiation can be an effective method of destroying sweat glands. Results can be permanent, however patients must be aware of the potential side effects of this treatment.
Other treatment options for underarm sweating include-
- Injections: Medicare subsidised, very safe, with 96% clinical efficacy.
- ETS or endoscopic thoracic symphectomy: higher rate of success, best for hands & underarms. Apart from compensatory sweating, the side effects are probably less than MiraDry. 57
- Antiperspirants: including aluminium chloride can be effective for mild cases of underarm sweating.
This is what marketing does not tell you. Poor candidates for MiraDry are those who-
- Have a low body fat percentage especially of the underarms. Sweat glands are in the subcutaneous fat. The lower the buffer zone the higher the side effects.
- Those who have had a good to excellent response to injections. With injections, underarm sweating is turned off, like a tap. MiraDry at best reduces the flow by 50-70%.
- Patients who require manual dexterity for work, including tradesmen & women, anyone in the medical field… ask your doctor if he or she would have MiraDry themselves AND what are the consequences of nerve damage pertaining to their job.
- Those with stress related sweating will have minimal outcomes with MiraDry. This is because the remaining 20-30% of sweat glands can compensate 10-fold. Patients should be screened for this PRIOR to MiraDry treatment.
MiraDry has been reported to help reduce BO due to apocrine gland destruction.
Treatments for BO include hygiene & topical antibacterial agents, drying agents, & injections. Surgical treatments include liposuction curettage, deep liposuction curettage, & ETS surgery.
There are 3 main patterns of sweating. Firstly, primarily axillary hyperhidrosis without stress associated with sweating. Essentially you sweat because you sweat, no matter what the season & situation.
Secondly, a combination of the above WITH added stress. Stress & emotional turn up sweating to the next level.
Thirdly, you have background sweating, but it’s upped a few levels with emotion & stress. If you have pattern two & three, MiraDry will most likely not work. The explanation is as follows-
Been there, done that. Our dermatologists were the very first trained in MiraDry well before the TGA approval. We helped launch MiraDry in Australia, & we have treated well over a hundred patients over 4 years. We have also published papers on the efficacy of electromagnetic description of sweat glands, & we thoroughly understand the side effects of this treatment.
We base our clinical practice on a risk to benefit ratios for all our patients. Given the side effect rate of this treatment, our dermatologists choose not to offer this treatment. Understandably if your research has shown otherwise, undertake this treatment.
The clinic in Brisbane that will preselect patients based upon risks is The Cosmetic Centre in Toowong. For Sydney & Melbourne, the clinic of choice is Laser Dermatology in Box Hill.