Underarm Sweating Showdown: Antiperspirants Versus miraDry

Sweaty armpits? You’re not alone. Dark spots under the arms happen to everyone, especially during hot weather or while performing vigorous activity. But when those sweat spots show up all the time—and they spread beyond the underarm area—you may have hyperhidrosis: excess sweating.

Hyperhidrosis can be embarrassing, can cost you money and ruin your clothes, and can even compromise your mental health and quality of life. Luckily, you have a number of safe, effective options for treatment.

While many treatments exist for excessive sweating of the underarms (also known as axillary hyperhidrosis), let’s take a look at two of the most effective and least invasive types of treatments: antiperspirants and miraDry®.

Solution: Antiperspirants

Just about everyone in the United States has at least one little tube of antiperspirant somewhere in their house. Let’s face it, though: Using drug store deodorant on axillary hyperhidrosis is unlikely to solve your problem. Here’s why.

Prescription antiperspirants are temporary: Antiperspirants work by plugging sweat glands. However, these plugs don’t last forever—not even close. You’ll have to reapply a number of times throughout the day. And, since antiperspirants don’t last long, you’ll have to reapply them day in, day out, indefinitely.

Prescription antiperspirants may irritate your skin: The armpits are a sensitive area of the body. Prescription-strength antiperspirants and the increased concentration of aluminum chloride hexahydrate they contain are powerful and work better than over-the-counter ingredients. But prescription antiperspirants are potentially irritating to the skin because of the increased concentration of aluminum chloride hexahydrate. You might sweat less (for a while), but you might also scratch more.

Solution: miraDry

If you’ve tried prescription antiperspirants and found that they weren’t for you, don’t give up hope yet. One of the most convenient and effective forms of axillary hyperhidrosis treatment is known as miraDry.

miraDry is a safe in-office procedure that destroys the glands in your armpits that produce sweat. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, a local anesthetic is applied to the underarm area.
  2. Next, the miraDry handpiece is applied to the underarm.
  3. The miraDry machine keeps the surface of the skin cool while sending heat penetrating to the lower layers.
  4. The thermal energy destroys sweat and odor glands, as well as a large portion of the hair follicles.

This approach is superior to prescription antiperspirants for a number of reasons.

miraDry works fast. Results from miraDry are immediate. Our patients have told us that they start sweating less before they even leave our office. Often, one treatment is all that’s necessary; only a small percentage of patients undergo a second treatment. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, patients experience an average of 82 percent less sweating after the miraDry treatment.

miraDry is permanent. Instead of merely temporarily plugging sweat glands to stop them from working, miraDry works by destroying sweat glands at their source. These glands do not grow back.

miraDry is safe. No one wants to trade sweaty armpits for itchy armpits. With miraDry, you get to give up both. After the procedure, ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs will combat any remaining discomfort. Swelling will subside within a short period and it will feel like you’ve never gotten a procedure—except you’ll sweat far less!

So, do you go with a treatment you have to use every day and risk skin irritation for a small benefit, or do you try a treatment that requires one or two sessions and permanently  reduces sweating with very few side effects? The choice is clear. If you’d like to learn more about how miraDry can help your axillary hyperhidrosis, request an appointment at The Hyperhidrosis Center at Thoracic Group.