Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic doctor, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower, Berwick and Beaumaris Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2005, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
Excessive underarm sweating is a medical condition that affects millions of people around the world everyday. Currently it is estimated that hyperhidrosis affects 4.8% of the population. This condition means you may find yourself changing clothes multiple times a day or avoid social situations where you may get sweaty. Dr Gavin Chan (MBBS, Cosmetic Doctor, Liposuctionist) explains that until now there have been very few non-surgical solutions to excessive underarm sweating.
Applying aluminium-based antiperspirants like Driclor can be effective for some people, but it can irritate the underarm skin. While having the surgical procedure called Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is effective; it’s a big operation that can result in the sweating occurring in other parts of the body. ETS is typically used to treat excessive sweating in certain parts of the body (focal hyperhidrosis), facial blushing, Raynaud’s disease and reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Dr Gavin Chan notes that it’s not the best option for underarm sweating as post-surgery the sweating can migrate from the underarms to your trunk or legs.
Since 2005, led by Dr Gavin Chan our team of highly trained and experienced Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses have treated patients for excessive sweating using methods that don’t involve surgery including anti-wrinkle injections and miraDry treatment.
How do anti-wrinkle injections and miraDry treatment help stop excessive underarm sweating?
Anti-wrinkle injections are an effective non-surgical option to treat excessive underarm sweating. Made from a natural, purified protein, when anti-wrinkle injections are injected into your underarm sweat glands they stop the nerve signals that produce sweat. While this treatment is effective, patients need to have anti-wrinkle treatments every 7-8 months to prevent the sweating from reoccurring.
One of the newer non-surgical treatments for underarm sweating is called miraDry. This revolutionary non-invasive solution uses microwave energy on the underarm skin containing the sweat glands to reduce their number and decrease sweating significantly. Dr Gavin Chan explains, “the microwave energy only passes very superficially into the skin, usually at the dermal-epidermal junction – the top 2 layers of the skin”.
Excessive underarm sweating split trial: anti-wrinkle injections V miraDry
To gauge which underarm sweating treatment is best, Dr Gavin Chan performed a scientific evaluation by doing a split study. His patient Stephanie volunteered to have one underarm treated with anti-wrinkle injections and the other underarm with miraDry.
Before starting, a Minor’s starch-iodine test was performed to identify where Stephanie’s sweat glands were. This involves coating the underarm skin with iodine and letting it dry before heating the room so she started to sweat. Once she started to sweat, cornstarch was applied resulting in the iodine turning black. These black areas indicated how much sweating was occurring.
Dr Gavin Chan notes that cost wise per session, the miraDry treatment is about 30% more than anti-wrinkle injections. However, with miraDry, usually you only need maybe one or two treatments. With anti-wrinkle injections you’ll need regular treatments every 7-8 months to prevent the sweating reoccurring.
Cosmetic Nurse Laura began the miraDry treatment by sizing up Stephanie’s underarm for a stick-on template that indicates exactly where to use the miraDry. To make the procedure more comfortable, local anaesthetic is then injected into the treatment areas to numb them. Dr Gavin Chan notes that by using local anaesthetic you give your skin a protection buffer for the microwave energy so it doesn’t affect any underlying structures or nerves. It’s important to note that because the treatment area is so small, the body won’t compensate by sweating elsewhere like an Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy surgery. Once the local anaesthetic has numbed treatment area the miraDry handpiece is used to deliver a set dose of microwave energy to the underarm.
When anti-wrinkle injections are used to treat underarm sweating, they stop the signals that tell your brain to activate the sweat glands in the injection areas. To ensure anti-wrinkle injections are evenly distributed, Cosmetic Nurse Laura drew a grid on Stephanie’s underarm. A cooling spray was used to minimise any pain during the injection process.
Three months after Stephanie’s split trial treatment you can see the significant reduction in underarm sweating.
Where to get the best excessive sweating treatment in Melbourne
There are ways you can treat and minimise excessive underarm sweating. Since 2005 led by Dr Gavin Chan our team of Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses have effectively treated thousands of people who experience excessive underarm sweating. Because excessive sweating is a medical condition that requires a medical assessment prior to treatment, it’s important to visit a reputable medical clinic that performs this treatment regularly.
The miraDry treatment is only available at our Templestowe Lower clinic. For optimal results we recommend patients have two miraDry treatments scheduled 3 months apart, however many patients only require one treatment. After your first miraDry treatment you may experience a reduction of up to 82% of underarm sweating1. Find out how we can help you with excessive sweating by booking a consultation with our friendly and helpful team on 1300 863 824.