Fashion Tribe

miraDry: Don't sweat the summer

June 3rd, 2016

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

The miraDry system uses thermal energy to destroy sweat glands in the armpits, reducing sweating from that area permanently. Prior to treatment, a tattoo pattern is applied to help the technician guide the device.

Warmer summer days ahead mean we're heading into the sweaty season and some people will try anything to get rid of the nasty spotting and odor associated with perspiration, including removing their underarm sweat glands completely.

That's the promise of the miraDry system being used at The Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii, where Dr. W.Y. Chung says the thermal treatment, FDA approved in 2011, will safely get rid of 82 percent of sweat glands as a permanent solution to excessive sweating.

The procedure eliminates eccrine glands responsible for body-cooling moisture, as well as apocrine glands responsible for odor. The apocrine glands secrete a protein- and lipid-rich secretion that, when broken down by normal skin bacteria, produce odor.

Because apocrine glands open into hair follicles, the follicles are also eliminated, reducing under arm hair by 70 percent.

Chung said it is safe to remove underarm sweat glands, no thicker than a single hair, because they represent only 2 percent of the body’s 2 to 4 million sweat glands.

Prior to miraDry, he said the most effective treatment for excessive armpit sweating was Botox injections, but those need to be repeated every six months, at a cost of about $3,000 each year. In comparison, the one-time miraDry treatment is $1,950.

For many who have tried the treatment, it has meant relief, and often, a new wardrobe for those who can now wear long sleeves comfortably and are no longer restricted to sweat-hiding black.

The full story is in the June 4 paper.
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More information: The Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii is in the Pan Am Building at 1600 Kapiolani Boulevard. Call (808) 949-8346.

The tattoo pattern corresponds to areas of treatment indicated on a screen.

Medical assistant/laser tech Jade Fernandez performs the treatment on a patient who uses her phone to watch what's happening.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage in print in Saturday's Today section. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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