Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
miraDry is a quick, non-surgical sweat reduction treatment procedure performed under local anaesthetic. The miraDry device precisely delivers electromagnetic (microwave) energy to the underarm sweat glands to permanently eliminate them.
We specialise in miraDry treatment for excessive underarm sweating and provide you with a full medical assessment of your condition. Our miraDry treatment is available at our Lower Templestowe clinic.
miraDry may be appropriate if you are:
- Wanting to permanently reduce underarm sweat and odour.
- Want a long-term alternative to 8 monthly injections for your excessive underarm sweating.
- Wanting to wear lighter coloured tops or reduce underarm clothing stains or wet patches.
What is miraDry and how does it work?
- miraDry is a non-invasive, excessive sweating solution for underarms that provides lasting results for reducing excessive underarm sweat or perspiration.
- When the miraDry handheld device is placed on the underarm, it distributes electromagnetic (microwave) energy precisely to the sweat glands to eliminate them. The sweat glands will not grow back, resulting in long-lasting results.
- Because your underarms only have about 2% of your body’s sweat glands, eliminating them will not stop your body’s natural cooling process.
- Each miraDry treatment is customized for the patient’s underarm area. To ensure you remain comfortable, local anaesthesia is used before the treatment commences.
- 90% of patients experience an 80% in sweat reduction with a single treatment.
- While miraDry results vary, most patients report seeing a sweat reduction of around 86%. After the first procedure, you will see results immediately.
- While some patients report feeling localised swelling and/or soreness, this generally clears up in a few weeks. In rare cases, patients can experience short-term numbness in the underarm area or the skin of the upper arms.
What causes excessive sweating
Hyperhidrosis (also known as excessive sweating) is a condition characterised by perspiration or sweating in excess of the usual needs of the body. There are two types of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary.
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs without any underlying reason, and results in excessive sweating in the palms, underarms, feet, scalp and face. The excessive sweating or perspiration usually affects both sides of the body and is normally worse during the day. In many patients there is an associated family history. Recent estimates suggest that up to 3% of the population are affected by primary hyperhidrosis, particularly between the ages of 18 to 54 years.
Secondary hyperhidrosis occurs because of underlying medical conditions including infection, metabolic disorders, endocrine disorders, spinal cord injuries, neoplastic diseases, neurological conditions, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory disorders, stress and anxiety. Addressing the underlying problem or cause usually treats secondary hyperhidrosis effectively.
Miradry is more suited to those with primary hyperhidrosis. If sweating is due to a separate underlying problem, then that should be addressed. For example, there are a group of anti-depressant medications that cause sweating, and if this is the underlying problem, then a change of medication may be warranted.
Also, the degree of sweating and the sweat distribution may also need to be considered when deciding which treatment to have. For those with significant and localised sweating of the armpits, miraDry may be indicated. If sweating affects a more extensive area, then a treatment such as an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy may be indicated instead.
How can hyperhidrosis be treated?
Primary hyperhidrosis can be treated with topical treatments, iontophoresis (not performed at Victorian Cosmetic Institute), oral medication (anti-cholinergics, anti-wrinkle injections miraDry and surgery. Usually, hyperhidrosis treatment begins with the least invasive measures.
Anti-perspirants are generally the first line of treatment for palm and underarm sweating, but are not effective in other affected areas. Another method of non-invasively treating hyperhidrosis is by using anti-cholinergic medication. Anti-cholinergics affect the part of the autonomic nervous system, which is the nervous system for unconscious functions, and help to reduce sweating. It is not completely selective for sweating, and also tends to affect other parts of the autonomic nervous system leading to dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, and blurred vision.
Anti-wrinkle injections have been widely used for the successful treatment of primary hyperhidrosis, particularly in the face, scalp and underarms. Watch this video as Dr Sara Mullen (MBBS, FRACGP, Cosmetic Doctor) from Victorian Cosmetic Institute explains and demonstrates the treatment of excessive sweating with anti-wrinkle injections.
miraDry uses a precise amount of electromagnetic energy to destroy the sweat glands located in the armpit to radically reduce odour and excessive sweating in this area. Because your underarm sweat glands are only 2% of the body sweat glands, eliminating them will not affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature. The miraDry treatment is fast and involves minimal discomfort with no downtime required after it.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy is usually the last step in improving primary hyperhidrosis. This surgery disrupts the nerves that cause sweating and effectively reduces sweating in the feet, upper limbs, or underarms. It is important to note that this part of the nervous system is also responsible for other bodily functions including opening the eyelids. This surgery can potentially disrupt these functions and compensatory sweating may arise in the areas that have not been treated. This surgical treatment is not performed at Victorian Cosmetic Institute. Read more details about effective hyperhidrosis treatments here
What is involved in a miraDry treatment?
miraDry is a non-invasive, quick treatment that effectively treats excessive underarm sweating and delivers lasting results. The miraDry system uses the exact amount of electromagnetic energy via a handheld device to the underarm sweat glands to eliminate them. This energy is directed below the skin surface into the sweat glands. While the sweat glands are destroyed by thermolysis (a heating process) the surface of the skin stays comfortable and cool. Sweat glands in your underarms will not regenerate after the miraDry system. After the first miraDry procedure, most patients can expect to see a reduction of up to 82% of underarm sweating. Some will require more than one treatment.
The procedure begins with the armpits being cleansed with antiseptic. A grid-like template is drawn on to the underarms to help guide the placement of the handpiece during treatment for consistent outcomes. A fairly large amount of local anaesthetic is injected into the armpits. This is very dilute local anaesthetic combined with adrenaline which helps to stop bleeding and increase the duration of the local anaesthetic. It is administered with a cannula which is a blunt tipped instrument in a similar fashion to what is done prior to liposuction. Besides numbing the area, the local anaesthetic also lifts up the skin in the underarms to and provides a buffer to the microwave energy passing to deeper structures in the armpit (such as the nerves passing through the area). The local anaesthetic is the most painful or uncomfortable part of the procedure, and once the area is numb, the treatment cannot be felt much or at all.
The handpiece is then systematically applied to underarms, with placement being guided by the template applied previously. With each placement of the handpiece, the skin is suctioned into the handpiece. This helps to distribute the microwave energy evenly across the treatment area. The top layers of the skin are cooled whilst the microwave energy penetrates through to the skin. The cooling helps to protect the surface of the skin to prevent thermal injury. The penetration of the microwave energy is very superficial and does not have any effect other than on the treatment area. The handpiece is positioned for a few seconds in each area, the exact timing is determined by the machine. The entire armpit is covered on each side with multiple applications of the handpiece.
After the miraDry treatment, patients can resume their regular activities. In some cases, strenuous exercise may need to be restricted for a few days. Taking over the counter pain medication and/or using ice packs on the treatment area can provide comfort during the recovery process. While complications from the miraDry treatment are rare, some patients report swelling, discomfort, and numbness of the underarm area or down the arm. It is important to note that miraDry is only used to treat excessive sweating in the underarm area – it cannot be used to treat primary hyperhidrosis in any other body areas.
What are the benefits of the miraDry treatment?
The miraDry excessive sweating underarm treatment is the only non-invasive technology to provide lasting results for underarm sweat without using injections, chemicals or undergoing surgery. While two (and rarely 3) procedures are recommended 3 months apart, many patients only need to have one procedure.
The benefits of the miraDry procedure include:
- Dramatic reduction of underarm sweat
- Immediate and lasting results
- Minimal to no downtime after treatment
- No need to have regular injection treatments
How do I know if the miraDry treatment is appropriate for me?
The miraDry underarm excessive sweating treatment may be appropriate for you if:
- Your underarm sweat interferes with your daily activities
- You need to frequently apply deodorant and anti-perspirants
- Your underarm sweat appears on your clothing, making you feel embarrassed
- You change your clothes during the day due to underarm sweat
- You choose clothing that does not show sweat stains as easily
It is important to note that miraDry is not appropriate if you:
- Use supplemental oxygen
- Have had prior problems with locally injected anaesthesia, including lidocaine with epinephrine.
- Have a heart pacemaker or other electronic device implant
- Have more extensive sweating than just the underarms – possibly surgical methods of reducing sweat such as an endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy should be considered.
At your initial consultation, our highly trained and experienced practitioners will discuss your suitability and expected outcomes of the miraDry excessive sweating treatment.
What is the cost or price of miraDry treatments?
Costing for this treatment can be found on our pricing page.
Why should I choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as my provider of miraDry?
Primary hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that needs to be assessed by highly qualified and experienced practitioners. At Victorian Cosmetic Institute we provide you with a full medical assessment of your condition before advising you of the appropriate treatment. We specialise in miraDry treatment for underarm sweating.
Enjoy freedom from underarm sweating and book your initial consultation by calling us on 1300 863 824 of completing the form below.