I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention, but the UK is currently in a heat wave…or it was when I started writing this! Lovely though it is, it does come with some side effects, mainly sweating. Sweat is of course totally natural as it’s our bodies response to being overheated. 1% of the population however suffers with Hyperhidrosis which is associated with an over production in the sweat glands.
As a sufferer myself, I have been fortunate enough to try aesthetic treatments for the treatment of underarm Hyperhidrosis and wanted to pass on my knowledge & experience!
This is a very commonly used method of sweat treatment as it can delivered at home by yourself. It’s most commonly used for the treatment of hands and feet, but can also be used on the underarms. I didn’t try the treatment myself, however I have met a few patients who did try Iontophoresis for underarms and generally found it ineffective, some were unfortunately even left with burns which resulted in scarring. Not to say that this is the case with everybody, this was only a handful of patients that I talked to.
The treatment involves placing the affected area e.g. hands into water in an iontophoresis machine and passing a low-level electrical current through the water. Weirdly enough, no one actually knows how Iontophoresis works, however 70%-80% of patients who try it find it very effective!
Treatments are initially 7 sessions done over 1 month, with the treatments taking 20-30 minutes. Following this most people will need a weekly or bi-weekly top up. This first group of treatment can be offered on the NHS through a doctor or dermatologist, however many people then go onto to buy their own devices to do these top up treatments as and when they are needed. It is very easy to preform on oneself and is not painful at all!
For more information click here to go to the Hyperhidrosis UK website where you can buy machines direct. This would always be my first advice to people for Hyperhidrosis treatment of the hands and feet.
This is probably the most common aesthetic treatment for Hyperhidrosis. It’s generally used for the underarms however very experienced practitioners may offer treatments on the hands and feet, although this tends to be too painful for most people so isn’t a common practice.
It works by interrupting the message from the nerves to the sweat glands. I tried Botox a few times and had great success with it. It kicks in within a couple of weeks and the treatment only takes around 30 minutes. I opted for no numbing cream (’cus I’m hardcore) however most clinics will numb you on request. The process starts with a starch iodine test; This is done by wiping over the area with iodine and then sprinkling over corn-starch. The result is the sweaty area turning purple so that the practitioner knows where to inject.
There are then a number of small injections in the area, a lot of product is needed and a medic is required to perform the treatment, this does lead to the price being quite expensive. Botox treatments can range from £450-£1000 a treatment, however the most important thing is to go to someone well experienced and make sure that they’re using genuine Botox.
Treatment results last for around 6 months so bi-yearly treatments are needed.
For more information on where to find clinics click here to go to the Consultingroom website which has an online directory of where you can find clinics near you. From a personal perspective I found the results from this effective and if your budget allows can be a really good sweat management choice.
Not many people have heard of Miradry and this is not surprising as there are only currently 10 clinics in the UK that offer the treatment. I was lucky enough to work at one (MediZen) when practicing as an Aesthetician and experienced the procedure but also delivered it to hundreds of patients during my practice time.
Miradry works by using microwave technology, which targets the water molecules within the sweat glands and heats them up so much that they essentially burn the glands from the inside out…stay with me…it is safe and only mildly uncomfortable. It not only treats the sweat glands, but also the odour producing glands making it effective for both sweat & odour management.
Miradry is the only procedure on the market that can claim permanent sweat reduction. Nothing can currently claim permanent removal. The treatment starts with the area being mapped out with a template dependent on the size of your underarm, a nurse or doctor then delivers the anaesthetic and saline solution to plump out the area so as to not effect the muscle. This takes around 30 minutes, at which point the Miradry treatment takes place (this would be where I stepped in). Once the anaesthetic has been administered the treatment is completely painless and takes around 30 minutes per underarm. This involves placing the treatment head on an area where it is sucked up and energy is delivered in small segments with a slight overlap to ensure optimum gland damage.
I found the worst part of the procedure was my achy arm as you have to keep it up for some time, however post treatment is where it got interesting! Due to the anaesthetic & swelling the area is completely numb, ice packs are placed under your arms and you are given another set to take home. These ice packs must be changed every hour for the next 48 hours to stop the area from over-heating. The following day from my treatment I was swollen, lumpy & feeling pretty achy however the area was numb to touch. I admit changing the pads regularly was pretty difficult at work so I would recommend getting it done before a weekend or taking some time off of work. Around 3 days following the treatment the ice packs were off an I no longer had any discomfort, just some lumpy swelling and a bit of bruising but nothing too bad at all.
So pretty simple procedure and after my 1st treatment I would say I had around a 50% reduction in my sweat, this is from someone who sweat all day everyday no matter the weather, following this I was fortunate enough to be able to have a 2nd treatment, which has subsequently led to around an 85% reduction. Now this has been a life changing reduction for me as I now feel like a sweat normally e.g. when I exercise or I’m very hot. I can wear dark colours and not have to worry and it’s made a big difference to my life, however everyone is different. There are no guarantees with any treatment and having a lot of practice experience, I would say it has little to no effect for around 10% of people. On the other hand I’ve also had clients who now have no sweat at all after just one treatment, the truth is you just can’t tell by looking at someone how they will respond. The best thing is to book in for a consultation where your practitioner can talk you through the associated risks.
Due to the cost of treatment tips, anaesthetic & practitioner time this is not a cheap treatment. The average cost is around £2000-£3000 per session (dependent on clinic) so be sure to get all the information you possibly can before making a decision.
Miradry currently only offers treatment for the underarms and as I mentioned, from a personal standpoint I would recommend it but do your research before deciding if it’s right for you. Click here for a link to real self where you can read reviews of other people’s experiences and click here for a link to clinic providers in the UK.
I know that some of these procedures are just completely out of budget for most people. I wanted to give advice on my own experience as a patient and a practitioner of what is out there and what are the safest and most effective treatments available. I would always recommend as a first stop to go to your GP and try some prescription antiperspirant to see if this works for you; my boyfriend for example uses Driclore once or twice a week and finds this works wonders! Try this as a first approach and then consider other options from there.
If you have any questions or would like any suggestions on clinics in your area feel free to contact me.
Thank you for reading