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Family 411: Excessive Sweating
Updated: Tuesday, February 4 2014, 04:28 PM EST
About 30 million Americans suffer from the embarrassing problem of excessive sweating. But the same technology we use to heat food is giving patients back their confidence.
"I've actually had issues with sweating since I was in middle school. It's been very embarrassing for me actually," said Melissa Botkin.
Melissa Botkin suffers from Hyper Hydrosis, also known as excessive sweating.
"A lot of patients don't know it's a medical condition, and they don't know there's help for them," said Dr. Matthew Bakos.
People with Hyper Hydrosis may produce five times more sweat than necessary. Sweat glands under your armpits make up about 2% of what's in your body, so you don't really need them. Those sweat glands can be eliminated with Miradry, an FDA approved medical energy device. Once several injections numb the underarm area, the device uses a microwave to stop the sweat.
"It goes down and heats at the junction between the skin and the fat and permanently destroys the sweat gland," Dr. Bakos.
It's not cheap at $2,400 to $3,000 and it will cause some soreness and even temporary numbness under the arms, but the sweat glands can never grow back.
Miradry requires two treatments about three months apart, but patients will notice an 80 percent different after the first one.
"Once the swelling wore off, it was immediate," said nurse practitioner Jennifer Phillips.
Jennifer says getting her self confidence back was worth the steep price.
"I'm meeting patients, talking with patients, operating on patients. I was always worried about odor. I was worried about stains on my clothes," said Jennifer.
"Some also have problems with sweating of palms, feet, face and scalp," said Dr. Bakos.
Miradry is not approved for any other areas on the body, but clinical trials are underway.
Miradry is not covered by insurance. But it's the only permanent solution besides surgery to cut nerves. Some patients have also seen some success with Botox. But those treatments only last up to six months and some insurance won't pay for that either.