MiraDry, Procedure For Excessive Sweating, Uses Microwave Energy To Eliminate Sweat Glands

If users Google "how to stop sweating" they get results for Botox injections, prescription antiperspirants and tips for applying baking soda to one's armpits. But those looking for a cure for over-active sweat glands may have newfound hope in the form of a procedure called miraDry, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The miraDry procedure, which became available in January, involves applying microwave energy to thousands of sweat glands so that they're essentially no longer functional. Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, a scientist with miraDry, told the Journal that the treatment has been shown to reduce sweating by 82 percent.

According to the company's website, two miraDry sessions are recommended three months apart for the best results. The area is numbed before the procedure begins, and patients can be expected to return to normal activities immediately following it. Two sessions typically run between $2,500 to $3,000, but prices can vary by physician, according to the company.

While most people sweat with temperature change or during exercise, others sweat excessively at random as the result of a condition known as hyperhidrosis.

Last month, Dr. Lyall Gorenstein, surgical director at the Columbia University Hyperhidrosis Center, told The Huffington Post that the condition can begin in infancy or early childhood, and that it's believed to be a neurological response. Studies have even tied hyperhidrosis to stress and anxiety.

Some have explained how sweating profusely can be both embarrassing and socially awkward.

In a piece featured on Oprah.com, Jessica Winter wrote she sweat so much during cocktail parties that she tried Chinese herbs and Botox, but found that the only effective solution was to pop a Xanax to calm herself down. She eventually spoke with a therapist after realizing that her own sweating was rooted in anxiety.

Briana Bernyk, 20, spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" about experiencing similar struggles with sweating. She skipped her senior prom as a result of the issue, and for a while, she was buying only black clothes in an effort to hide the evidence.

Bernyk decided to try miraDry on camera, and four months later, she told "Good Morning America" that she was still enjoying the results. (However, the miraDry website notes that results will vary by patient.)

In terms of potential negatives to the treatment, David Pariser, a professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School told the Journal that it remains to be seen whether the effects of miraDry will really prove to be longstanding. The body's other sweat glands could potentially just go into overtime to compensate for those that are lost, he said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that one miraDry session costs between $2,500 to $3,000.