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Family 411: Excessive Sweating
DAYTON -- About 30 million Americans suffer from an embarrassing problem: excessive sweating. Now the same technology we use to heat food is giving patients back their confidence.
Melissa Botkin suffers from Hyper Hydrosis, also known as excessive sweating.
I've actually had issues with sweating since I was in middle school," Botkins said. "It's been very embarrassing for me actually. If I'm working out people make a comment that I sweat a lot. Children can be so mean sometimes.
People with Hyper Hydrosis may produce five times more sweat than necessary. Dr. Matthew Bakos of Dermatologists of Southwest Ohio says a lot of patients don't know it's a medical condition, and they don't know there's help for them. Melissa tried prescription strength deodorant but it didn't work very well for her.
Medical experts say the sweat glands under your armpits make up about 2 percent of what's in your body so you don't really need them, and now they can be eliminated with Miradry. Thats an FDA-approved medical energy device. Once several injections numb the underarm area, the device uses a microwave to stop the sweat.
It goes down and heats at the junction between the skin and the fat and permanently destroys the sweat gland, Dr. Bakos says.
It's not cheap at $2,400 to $3,000 and it will cause some soreness and even temporary numbness under the arms, but the sweat glands can never grow back. Miradry requires two treatments about three months apart, but patients will notice an 80 percent different after the first one.
Nurse practitioner Jennifer Phillips says getting her self-confidence back was worth the steep price, and she says she noticed the effects immediately once the swelling wore off.
I'm meeting patients, talking with patients, operating on patients," Phillips says. "I was always worried about odor. I was worried about stains on my clothes.
Dr. Bakos says some patients also have problems with sweating of palms, feet, face and scalp. Miradry is not approved for any other areas on the body, but clinical trials are underway.
Botkins has spent most of her life wearing lots of layers and constantly buying new clothes, so she's ready for the permanent sweat solution.
As nervous as I am about the needles, I'm excited to have this done and get it taken care of, Botkins said.
Miradry is not covered by insurance, so it may be cost prohibitive for some, but it's the only permanent solution besides surgery to cut nerves. People who sweat excessively have also seen some success with Botox, but it only lasts four to six months, and some patients' insurance won't pay for it.
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