Apr 16 2013

Don’t Break a Sweat

By Hannah Dockery

Apart from old plantation homes, a historic downtown, and beautiful beaches, the Charleston area is known for one thing – humidity. Temperatures are already reaching 80, and that infamous lowcountry clamminess has made its appearance, and won’t be going anywhere until September. Frizzed hair and wet shirts will soon become the norm.

Or will they? Well, the frizzed hair may not be going anywhere (sorry ladies) but a new technology is changing the way we think about sweat. If damp underarms have ever prevented you from feeling comfortable in a board meeting, raising your hand in class, or letting loose on the dance floor, you’re not alone. An estimated 3 percent of the population struggles from a disorder known as hyperhidrosis, or in layman’s terms, excessive sweating.

Hyperhidrosis is considered a disorder of the nervous system,” explains Marshall White, MD, and board certified neurologist. It’s a term used to describe people who suffer from excessive sweating, even while at rest or in cooler temperatures. Though the condition is not typically harmful or indicative of a greater problem, it can often lead to embarrassing sweat stains or uncomfortable moisture under the arms, on hands, or even feet. Usually even prescription strength antiperspirants aren’t enough to combat the sweat.

Seeing a need to assist those individuals with hyperhidrosis, White joined Don’t Sweat It! – the lowcountry’s answer to excessive sweating. While Botox has been considered the most popular solution to treating hyperhidrosis in prior years, the procedure only lasts six to nine months and is a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Dr. White and his team are excited about a new technology, known as miraDry, to pave the way for the future in treating hyperhidrosis. This groundbreaking, non-invasive procedure uses controlled energy to eliminate sweat glands in the underarm region. Though it seems a little too good to be true, miraDry certainly seems promising.

Dr. White explains that the procedure is safe, FDA approved, and has garnered extremely positive results. And because only 2 percent of the body’s sweat glands are located in the underarm, removing some of the glands will not debilitate the body from cooling itself naturally. The procedure requires two treatment, each of which last an hour, and after the second treatment, patients experience a whopping 90 percent reduction in underarm sweating.

Jennifer White, the office administrator and marketing coordinator at Don’t Sweat It! can attest first hand to the difference miraDry made in her own life, after experiencing the treatment. “I couldn’t be happier,” she explains. “I love that now I can wear pastel colors and cute tops without having to worry about sweat rings. It’s made a huge difference in my life already.” Perhaps what is most appealing about the procedure is that the effects are lasting – no repetitive procedures or routine checkups.

The recovery process is anything but sweat, blood, and tears. Most patients require little to no downtime after the procedure, and apart from a little swelling or soreness, the inconvenience is minimal. “I had one of my patients get the procedure done one afternoon and she was back at work the next day,” Dr. White explains.

So next time you find yourself unable to enjoy an evening out on the town midsummer because of those pesky dripping underarms, remember that advancements in medicine and technology might have the solution.

Don’t Sweat It! is located at 1275 Ben Sawyer Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 884-6800 or email info@dontsweatitsc.com.

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