The FDA has just given clearance to the Cynosure Company for the use of its PrecisionTX laser as the first 100% toxin-free, one time sweat gland ablation treatment for people with excessive underarm sweating.
We’ve been using this laser system for some time now for various contouring and skin tightening procedures in our office here in New Jersey. Now, we can make use of the PrecisionTX laser sweat ablation to treat patients suffering from the condition of underarm (axillary) hyperhidrosis.
While hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is not physically harmful it is a medical condition that causes discomfort and feelings of embarrassment to the degree that it interferes with normal activities in life. Many people suffering from underarm hyperhidrosis feel so self-conscious about their sweating that they avoid strenuous physical activity and close personal contact such as giving a hug to a family member or friend. Excessive underarm sweating can also make a person appear to be overheated or nervous, when in fact they’re not.
More About Hyperhidrosis
When an individual suffers from hyperhidrosis, their sweat glands produce an inordinately large amount of perspiration. The word comes from the Greek “hyper” meaning extreme or beyond normal and the Greek “hidro” meaning sweat. The form of hyperhidrosis that causes the underarms, hands, forehead or feet to produce way too much sweat is called “primary focal hyperhidrosis.” The sweat production is always symmetrical. For instance, if your left armpit over-produces sweat, so will your right. This localized over-active armpit sweat glands sweat production is not the result of disease.
Animals use various means to cool themselves when they get overheated. Elephants flap their ears, cats lick their fur, dogs pant, and pigs cover themselves in the mud. Humans sweat. The sweat evaporates, dissipating the heat and cooling the body.
Different factors can activate sweat glands, including a rise in body temperature, nervousness, fear, or embarrassment, and increased physical movement as in exercise. When someone has hyperhidrosis the amount of sweat their glands produce is far above normal. These individuals will also frequently sweat when the surrounding temperature is cool, and they’re not worried, nervous or afraid.
Treatments for Underarm Hyperhidrosis
In the past, Botox injections, aluminum chloride prescription antiperspirants, oral medications, and invasive surgery have all been used to help reduce underarm hyperhidrosis. Many of these treatments are not long lasting, while others have unwanted side effects.
How the PrecisionTX Works to Stop Underarm Sweating
PrecisionTX is a minimally invasive way to reduce armpit sweating. With this system, we can deliver focused laser energy to underarm sweat glands causing permanent disabling (ablation) of the targeted areas. The unique design of the laser allows the doctor to direct the heat upward to the undersurface of the skin and precisely at the sweat glands.
The advantages of PrecisionTX for underarm sweat glands treatment is minimally invasive, long lasting, and does not have the potential side effects of drug treatment, and can be done relatively quickly (less than an hour) in an outpatient setting.
Doesn’t the Body Need These Sweat Glands?
The human body has about 4 million sweat glands. Hyperhidrosis is the result of over-active sweat glands. In the case of axillary hyperhidrosis, this produces overactive sweat glands in armpits. With only 2% of the millions of sweat glands located in the underarms, deactivating them will have little effect on the body’s ability to maintain an optimum temperature.
PrecisionTX Underarm Sweat Ablation Treatment: Procedure, Recovery and Results
The PrecisionTX procedure is done in the office, under local anesthesia or light twilight anesthesia. Once the area under the patient’s arm is fully numb, a tiny incision is made, and an extremely thin, laser fiber is inserted under the skin. The doctor passes this laser fiber back and forth beneath the surface, targeting the sweat glands. This energy ablates the over-active glands. The underarm incision is so small you will not even need a stitch.
The procedure takes less than an hour to complete and is virtually painless, although you may feel a light pressure sensation.
PrecisionTX affords minimal discomfort during recovery and none of the side effects of previous treatments. Patients have even reported going out with friends the evening after their procedure.
If you are concerned about overactive underarm sweating and want a safe and effective treatment option, this new PrecisionTX laser may be right for you. Contact us to schedule and an appointment.