Don't Sweat It: New technological breakthrough to help over-sweating

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 8 at 6:54 AM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS - Medical Watch has shown past treatments for excessive sweating, tested right here in this area -- one was regular injections of Botox under the arms, and another was liposuction under the arms to get rid of sweat glands.

Now there is new technology that was tested here first, and people who have tried it said it works fast.

Stephen Hickman, 34, is in outside sales and has to wear a suit to work every day, even in this heat.

"Clothes were being ruined. Undershirts, would have to buy a new pack every two weeks," said Hickman.

His whole life he noticed he sweats more compared to others. Recently it has been getting worse. So he turned to a clinical trial in Metairie of a new machine that has only been tested in four places in the U.S. and Japan.

"It's actually pretty weird but I would say it's dry. I mean completely dry under the arms for the most part, even when I exercise," Hickman happily said.

Pharmacist Gretha Roos was also embarrassed and tired of her excessive underarm sweating.

"There was one time where I was doing a CPR class and I'm pumping the dummy and I'm sweating and like, it's so embarrassing because nobody else was sweating except me," said Roos.

She is also one of the first in the country to turn to this brand new technology just approved for safety and efficacy by the FDA.

Metairie dermatologic surgeon Dr. William Coleman was one of the first doctors to test and help design this new microwave machine that gets rid of underarm sweat glands. It's been in the works for five years and took three generations to perfect.

"In the underarm area, people who have trouble with a lot of sweating, often have excessive numbers of sweat glands or excessively active sweat glands. This treatment won't destroy every one of them. It will take out many of them and give them a more normal sweating profile," Dr. Coleman said.

Doctors actually have tests to see if you sweat excessively and say this treatment will not cause your body to overheat.

"We have sweat glands all over our body and if you eliminate many of the extra ones in your underarm, there's no problem. You can still cool and sweat as much as you want maybe more than you want," Dr. Coleman said.

The MiraDry process begins with stencils that fit the many sizes of underarms. Temporary ink is put on them and pressed onto your underarm skin. The area is injected with a local anesthesia so patients won't feel the microwave machine. The doctor then moves the microwave energy to each section of your underarm. The map helps so he won't overlap the same area twice. Each underarm takes about 20 minutes.

There is no pain and the skin is unharmed, while the sweat glands are dissolved away.

Most people lose the hair under their arms, and the treatment also helps get rid of some odor problems.

"Typical patients need two treatments. The first one probably gets rid of 75 to 80 percent of the sweating. And if they follow up with the second one, they'll be in the 90's in most cases," Dr. Coleman said.

For Hickman, one treatment was enough.

"Right away I noticed a difference, and I mean, it's still to this day been the same," Hickman said one year after the treatment.

Roos is hoping for the same result.

“[I'm looking forward to] wearing cute clothes without stains," said Roos.

If you get two treatments, the cost is $3,000.

Dr. Coleman is doing another study with the MiraDry machine. He is looking for 20 patients to be in the study. Those people will get the treatments at a discount. To see if you qualify, call: 504-455-3180.

 

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