Perspiration Problems? Don't Sweat It

FRESNO, Calif.

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. We'll show you how.

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 Action News.

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 Action News.

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% 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.


William P. Coleman III, MD
Tulane University Health Sciences Center

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