Perspiration Problems? Don't Sweat It - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Perspiration Problems? Don't Sweat It

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METAIRIE, La. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - We all have about two million sweat glands in our body. A little sweating here and there is normal—even healthy. But for some people excessive sweating can be embarrassing. Now a new procedure is stopping the sweat.

Salesman Stephen Hickman is on the road every day of the week.

"Wearing a suit every day-- a couple of weeks ago, with the heat index, it was 110 degrees. As soon as the car gets cooled down, I have to get out of the car," Stephen Hickman, a hyperhidrosis patient, told Ivanhoe

So you can imagine how excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, affected his work. He went through a pack of under shirts every week.

 "People don't talk about it but it's a frustrating thing," William Patrick Coleman, M.D., at the Coleman Center for Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery in Metairie, Louisiana told Ivanhoe.

Until recently, people had two long lasting options—Botox injections every six months to paralyze the sweat glands. With liposuction doctors could surgically remove the sweat glands. Now, there's another option: microwaving them, with a minimally invasive procedure called Miradry. It uses heat energy to kill the sweat glands from the inside out.

"Think about how you microwave something in your oven.  You can definitely treat the inside without burning the outside. It doesn't irritate the skin on top while treating the sweat glands," Dr. Coleman said.

Dr. Coleman's clinic is one of four places in the U.S currently doing the procedure.  A temporary tattoo is used to pinpoint the glands. Local anesthesia is injected. A computer guides the doctor on where to pinpoint the energy.

"It suctions the skin up, and treats it with short wave microwave," Dr. Coleman explained.

This is Greta Roos second and final treatment. She's suffered with excessive sweating since she was a teen.

"I would say 80 percent of it is gone," Roos said.

Swelling, sensitivity and irritation for a week are what most patients say happen.  But after that?

"It was immediate like, no sweating whatsoever, Roos added.

"It's changed my life," Hickman concluded.

We sweat to cool ourselves off—in fact we have two million sweat glands in our body. So by losing the glands in their armpits patients are not at risk, as their body will still sweat—just not over sweat.  Most patients need two treatments, about three months apart. The cost is $3000 and takes about an hour each visit. The results should last for life.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

BACKGROUND: The body contains over 4 million sweat glands with only about two percent located in the underarms. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition in which a patient sweats excessively and unpredictably. It commonly affects the hands, feet and armpits, which is known as primary or focal hyperhidrosis. Only about 2-3 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis and less than 40 percent of patients with this condition seek medical advice.  Ideally, underarm sweat is produced by two glands underneath the skin that secretes the fluid in order to keep the body cool.  One of the glands, eccrine, secretes the clear, odorless fluid that helps the body control its temperature.  The second gland, apocrine, produces a thicker fluid that gives underarm sweat its distinctive odor.  People with hyperhidrosis, their sweat glands are overactive, producing sweat even when at rest. (www.miradry.com; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

CAUSES: Primary hyperhidrosis is caused by overactive sweat glands.  Usually, the condition runs through the family.  However, there is a condition called second hyperhidrosis which is more serious because it is caused by something else, such as: menopause, diabetes, pregnancy, alcoholism, thyroid problems, Parkinson's disease, stroke, heart failure, rheumatoid arthritis and cancers like leukemia or lymphoma. Certain medications can also cause excessive sweating such as blood pressure medications or certain antibiotics. (www.webmd.com)

TREATMENT: There are different treatments for hypderhidrosis such as medications, Botox and even a surgical procedure in which the approach is to cut the nerve in the chest that triggers excessive sweating.  Now there is a new treatment called miraDry that use technology based on microwave energy for the treatment of axillary hyperhidrosis.
The miraDry system reaches tissue depths of 2 to 5 mm and relies on non-invasive energy transmission, an energy source that does not need to be in direct contact with the skin.  It is optimized to automatically target the dermal-fat interface region and can even accommodate a range of skin thickness.  Essentially, heat is used to get rid of the sweat glands and since sweat glands do not regenerate, the procedure lasts a life time.  Furthermore, the heat does not damage deeper tissue. (www.miradry.com)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

William P. Coleman III, MD
Tulane University Health Sciences Center
(504)455-3180
wcoleman@pol.net

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