Specialists understand how excessive underarm sweating affects you- from the clothes you choose to wear, the situations you avoid, and the confidence sapping situations you are faced with on a daily basis. We understand that you can be cold and still sweat. We understand that you can be calm and sweat drips from your underarms. We understand your favourite colour is black, and you avoid at all costs lifting your arms up in public. We know you think about not sweating, but still it happen. We know there is a cure.
Facts on sweaty armpits
- Axillary hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive armpit sweating
- This is a very common condition, and can affect up to 1 in 20 Australians
- There is a family history in some cases of underarm sweating
- Underarm sweating maybe associated with sweaty hands and feet
- Very mild underarm sweating can respond nicely to treatments such as antiperspirants
- If you have moderate to severe axillary hyperhidrosis, only two things will make a difference - sweat stopping treatments injections or miraDry treatment
- Medicare and the PBS subsidises treatments if sweat stopping treatments is conducted by an accredited Specialist
- miraDry is more expensive than sweat stopping treatments, however the effects are permanent
- 2 miraDry treatments, spaced 2-3 months apart will result in up to 90% reduction in sweating- forever
How do I know if my underarm sweating is a real problem for me?
Axillary hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive underarm sweating.Most doctors don't know it exists, and no one talks about it, however if you do suffer from this condition, it affects every aspect of your life- including work, play and relationships.
If sweating affects your choice of colours your wear, or affects your confidence- it is a medical condition and DOES have an impact on your behaviour. The good news is that we can help you and treatments will be life changing.
What causes excessive underarm sweating?
No one really knows what causes primary axillary hyperhidrosis. What we do know is that there are larger number of eccrine or sweat glands in the armpit areas, and that there is a genetic tendency to sweat.
Stress, and foods such as caffeine can make sweating worse.
Very rarely excessive sweating, including underarm or armpit sweating can be secondary to diseases, drugs and other medical conditions.
What management options do I have for treating underarm sweating?
More than ever, there are a number of treatment options for patients who suffer from underarm sweating.
MILD cases of underarm sweating can respond to antiperspirants such as Dove Clinical, NO more sweat, and Driclor. Driclor can be very irritating on your skin and should be used as directed. Severe cases of underarm sweating do not respond to antiperspirants, instead you will develop a rash in most cases.
MODERATE cases of underarm sweating can respond to stronger antiperspirants such as Driclor, however you must be very careful in using this. Sweat stopping treatments injections provide a better and more reliable solution, however they need to be repeated every 4-8 months. Sweat stopping treatments works out to cost less than a cup of coffee per day - a very affordable solution for most people. Tablets can work – however they have side effects and should be limited to 4 weeks.
SEVERE cases of axillary sweating will NOT respond to any lotions, creams, roll ons or antiperspirants. In fact in severe cases, sweat just drips and poors from your armpit. There are only two real options - sweat stopping treatments or miraDry. Sweat stopping injections are temporary. It is very effective and decreases sweating by 80-90%. miraDry does the same, however miraDry treatment is PERMANENT. Two electromagnetic treatments to your underarms and your sweat glands do not grow back
What about sweat stopping treatments for underarm sweating?
Sweat stopping treatments is not the only answer, nor is it THE answer for patients.
Here are some facts on sweat stopping treatments for underarms sweating -
- most patients who suffer from mild sweating will not need sweat stopping treatments to control their condition
- Sweat stopping treatments is reserved for patients with moderate to severe axillary hyperhidrosis not responsive to Driclor
- Sweat stopping treatments last between 4-8 months, so it is a temporary treatment for sweating
- Sweat stopping treatments is subsidised by Medicare and PBS.
- Sweat stopping treatments (under subsidy) can only be performed by a Specialist who is trained in this procedure
- Sweat stopping treatments is super safe, and has been performed to reduce sweating for nearly 15 years
- This treatment takes 90 seconds or less to perform and is very well tolerated
- Using local anaesthetic cream can reduce discomfort to almost zero
- Sweating starts to decrease within a week or two of treatment
What about miraDry for underarm sweating?
miraDry heralds an absolute revolution in the treatment of moderate to severe axillary –underarm sweating. This is a safe and permanent solution that once complete, does not need to ever be repeated.
Here are some facts on miraDry treatment -
- This uses microwave or electromagnetic energy to reduce the amount of sweat glands
- Two treatments are needed, spaced 3 months apart
- Once treated, your sweat problem is solved- forever
- Treatment takes less than 55 minutes to complete, and is comfortable
- Sweat reduction is noticeable within a day or two in most patients
- Once miraDry is complete, there will be at least an 80% reduction in sweating
- miraDry can only be used in the underarm area and not for the hands or feet
- 2% of patients may require a third treatment
- miraDry cost $3,695 (treatment course, ie. Total for 2 treatments. If you require a 3rd treatment it is charged at a reduced rate)
Which treatment should I have - sweat stopping treatments or miraDry?
That’s a tough choice, and goes beyond the ‘temporary or permanent treatment’ question. Remember both treatments are extremely effective and most importantly safe. There are so many factors involved in choosing which treatment to go for, the most important for patients is financial - sweat stopping treatments is subsidised by the Government, whilst miraDry is NOT subsidised by the Medicare nor by the PBS.
Here are some helpful facts on the sweat stopping treatments or miraDry solution -
- Sweat stopping treatments for underarm last between 4-8 months. In some patients, its only lasts 2-3 months.
- If it last 6 months, it costs less than a cup of coffee per day
- Some lucky patients have sweat stopping treatments last 8-12 months- this is rare, rather than the rule
- If you require 3 sweat stopping treatments top ups a year, you will spend about $2000 and need to see your Specialist 3 times a year for the rest of your life
- After 2 years, you could have ‘saved up’ for the miraDry treatment
- miraDry has an initial outlay of less than 4 thousand dollars.
- miraDry, once complete, is permanent
- Permanent means that you do not to see anyone about your underarm sweating again. Forever.
More information on the debate on sweat stopping treatments vs miraDry
Does Medicare cover anti-sweat treatments?
Yes! Sweat stopping treatments, and not miraDry. The reason why sweat stopping treatments is so affordable under the new scheme is that if performed by a trained and accredited Specialist, it is subsidised.
There are however rules Specialists need to follow before we can administer you sweat stopping treatments -
- Firstly you must attempt Driclor before sweat stopping treatments.
- Failing DRICLOR, or if skin irritation occurs you will qualify for sweat stopping treatments providing the procedure is conducted by a qualified Specialist.
- Sweat stopping treatments can only be used for underarm excessive sweat treatments. Sweating in the wrinkles on your forehead is not allowed under Medicare ruling!
- 3 procedures are allowed per year, and have to be spaced out a minimum of 4 months
- A valid referral must be seen by the Specialist under Medicare rules
Will Medicare or Private Health Insurance ever cover miraDry?
Highly unlikely either organisations will ever cover miraDry. Medicare took 5 years longer than the US to cover sweat stopping treatments, and over 11 years longer than the UK to cover sweat stopping treatments for excessive underarm sweating.
miraDry is covered under some US Medical Policies, but not in Australia.
If I have been having sweat stopping treatments injections for underarm sweating, how different is miraDry?
OK, here’s the interesting bit. sweat stopping treatments is like a tap for some people- either on or off. When it’s off, its great, you may not sweat one bit. That’s not normal, because heavy sweaters don't understand or feel what it is like to sweat ‘normally’.
Other sweat stopping treatments users still sweat, but sweat less- anywhere between 50-90%. In the ideal world we would like you to sweat say 80-90% less, now this is how miraDry works. miraDry, unlike some sweat stopping treatments users, markedly reduces underarm sweating by destroying the majority of sweat glands. You may still sweat- but this places you in the normal bit of the bell curve.
Sweat stopping treatments functions by blocking the receptors, and in some cases, it works so well that 99.9% of the receptors in your armpit are blocked- this means you don't sweat at all. Now do you see what the difference is between sweat stopping treatments and miraDry? In some cases sweat stopping treatments works too well - and that’s not a ‘normal’ experience.
What if I want absolutely no sweating from my underarms?
This can be achieved. 2 miraDry treatments will reduce sweating by at least 80-90%. We don't encourage patients to aim for a sweatless underarm, but if it is your desire, it can be achieved via several methods.
- Add an antiperspirant such as No More Sweat or Driclor
- Have sweat stopping treatments to help block any more sweat gland receptors in your armpit area. (This will need to be repeated every 4-8 months)
- Have a third miraDry treatment – this may, or may not work.
- Use compounded glycopyrrolate creams, lotions, roll ons or sprays.
- Undertake CBT if you still sweat when you are anxious.
As you can see, there are may ways to deal with residual sweating if you want even more improvement.
How do I commence underarm sweat treatments?
miraDry or sweat stopping treatments injections work hand in hand with Sweat Free Clinics, and treatments can be carried out on the same day. All patients, are seen by Specialist Nurses AND by Specialist Doctors.
Sweat stopping treatments patients need a valid referral (we can organise one for you) prior to seeing a Specialist. miraDry patients do not need a referral, however will also be assessed by a Specialist prior to treatment.
Call the clinic on 07 3871 34 37 for more details.
Specialist viewpoint of treating axillary hyperhidrosis
Dr Davin S. Lim
Consultant Laser Dermatologist
Sweat Free Clinics
Axillary hyperhidrosis is also known as excessive underarm sweating, and it is a very common condition affecting 3-4% of Australians. Not many people talk about it, most doctors don't know how to treat it, and most people don't realise that effective treatments exist. What I know is that the impact it has on patients is significant, it affects what they wear, and has a bearing on their confidence. It limits their work, and relationships, and patients suffer in silence. Effective treatments can be life changing for suffers.
In reality, if you are reading this, nothing so far has worked. Antiperspirants are either useless, or gives you a rash. You may have tried natural therapies, diets, and chances are you wear black all the time to hide your sweat patches. The good news is that we have a solution for you, and it is up to you to decide which path you take - sweat stopping treatments works well, and lasts between 4-8 months, and is subsided by Medicare. This means it costs less than a cup of coffee per day to be sweat free- less than a cup of coffee (which may make you sweat more).
miraDry is a permanent solution to your problem, but costs between $3,695. The treatment is not subsidised, and costs are high due to the cost of the machine and technology behind it. If you hate needles every few months- miraDry is the answer. If you have had sweat stopping treatments and it only last 2-4 months, miraDry is the answer- what you pay in 2 years, you would have a lifetime of being sweat free (or at least normal).
I see miraDry as an effective tool in the treatment of excessive sweating. It does not replace sweat stopping treatments, but can give patients a normal sweat pattern for the rest of their lives. The choice is yours, as we are here to guide you.