• miraDry - A New Service Brought to the Pine Belt Area

    by Kristen Richardson, PA-C
    on May 23rd, 2017

Overview

   This blog post is an attempt to educate patients, and people that venture across our website, on the benefits of a new service that Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer now offers. The new product is called miraDry and it is for both debilitating excessive sweat and permanent hair removal. Did you know that 1 in 5 people are embarrassed by the amount of sweat that their armpits produce? We now have a product that will alleviate that! While 1 in 5 adults are uncomfortable with the sweat excreted by their underarms, a condition known as hyperhidrosis is much more of a burden and much more rare. These individuals’ bodies can produce more than 5 times the amount of sweat needed to cool the body. Hyperhidrosis, a condition that roughly 8 million Americans are afflicted with, was the reason that miraDry was originally created. However, after it began being used for axillary hyperhidrosis, it then became FDA approved for permanent hair removal under the armpits. For a more in depth discussion on hyperhidrosis, visit Dr. Conte’s previous blog on the subject (www.pinebeltderm.com/blog/excessive-sweat-weve-got-you-covered).  

Who Is This For?

   This product was approved for clinical treatment of the excessive sweating condition in 2011, and in 2015 it became FDA approved for underarm hair removal. One of the major advantages of miraDry is that it is able to permanently treat axillary osmidrosis, or foul smelling sweat. The Journal of Cosmetic & Laser Therapy performed a study in 2013 to determine how effective miraDry was at treating both hyperhidrosis and axillary osmidrosis. Patients that were treated during the study were followed up with at the end of 7 months and 93% of them had “good” to “excellent” results regarding odor causing sweat.  In April 2012, clinical data from the University of British Columbia showed that miraDry was successful in reducing underarm sweat in over 90% of patients. The average sweat reduction was 82%. Patients rated their satisfaction with the treatment at 90%. With that being said, Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center is extremely excited to be able to offer this service for patients who may be suffering from excessive sweat glands.

miraDry is right for people who:

The benefits of miraDry:

   The sweat glands do not come back once they are eliminated. During the clinical trials for miraDry, patients were followed for 12 months after the procedure. The average reduction in sweat produced by the underarms treated was 82%. Typically two procedures/sessions are required to achieve maximum results. The second session is typically conducted to treat any missed or resistant sweat glands.

Side Remarks:

   As previously mentioned, one of the unplanned uses discovered for the product was that of permanently removing the hair underneath the arms. It is common for people who want hair removed to purchase laser hair removal services. PBD offers laser treatments, however, one thing we wanted to shed light on was that miraDry can remove the hair regardless of skin or hair color. Often times the laser therapies’ efficacy is contingent on the color and thickness of the hair, which is not the case with miraDry. The hair will get zapped regardless.

 

   miraDry is customized to treat excessive axillary sweating in a non-invasive procedure. Previous procedures would include injections of Botox into the underarm, which, over time would become incredibly expensive. Other therapies for hyperhidrosis may include:

   Patients usually experience little to no discomfort during the procedure and there is minimal to no downtime afterwards. A mild over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs are generally recommended for a few days. Most patients are able to return to normal activities or work right after the procedure, and can typically resume exercise within several days. The only downside to miraDry is, because it is customized to the functionality of axillary sweat glands, it cannot be used to treat excessive sweating of the hands, feet, or groin region. This may be something that the makers of miraDry are working towards finding a solution for, however for the time being, it is only available to patients who have axillary hyperhidrosis. The good news is that roughly 50% of the people who suffer from hyperhidrosis suffer from having the condition in their armpits. However, if you do suffer from hyperhidrosis in areas other than the underarms, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of Pine Belt Dermatology’s providers as there are options available to help with your condition!

Final Comments

   Many of the people who suffer from hyperhidrosis don’t seek help either because they are embarrassed or because they think that it is a natural bodily function. While it is a natural function of the body used in maintaining temperature control, our underarms are only home to less than 2% of our body’s sweat glands. The consensus among physicians in the field is that elimination of these sweat glands will not jeopardize your body’s ability to stay cool and maintain healthy temperatures. We are extremely excited to offer this service to the Pine Belt area and look forward to helping those that have hyperhidrosis. The miraDry service is not a covered benefit by insurance companies, in fact most therapies for hyperhidrosis are not. Do not let this discourage you if you are seeking help with either hyperhidrosis or you want the underarm hair removed. Pine Belt Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center offers CareCredit to help patients cover a variety of health expenditures such as co-pays, deductibles, and self-payments. You can apply for CareCredit through our website or fill out a paper application in one of our locations. This may seem daunting, but it is much more beneficial to have miraDry done versus the other procedures. The caveat with the other procedures is that most of them are not covered by insurances and they do not result in long lasting treatment. For example, one of the therapies that has been used in the past is Botox, but that only lasts a few months before you need another treatment. Over time the cost benefit of the Botox therapy of hyperhidrosis pales in comparison to the benefits of miraDry (because they are often permanent). So while this is not a covered benefit, you do still have a way of paying for the service without paying out of pocket. CareCredit is a benefit that we encourage our patients to use. For further information on this unique way of financing your healthcare, visit one of our previous blogs! (http://www.pinebeltderm.com/blog/carecredit-a-different-way-to-finance-your-health).



Author Kristen Richardson, PA-C Pine Belt Dermatology Physician Assistant

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