Excessive sweating, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis, can cause significant embarrassment and discomfort for sufferers. In the past, the only treatments for this condition were topical deodorants, which can cause skin irritation; medication, which could have side effects; and invasive surgical procedures. Today, other treatments for hyperhidrosis are available, including the revolutionary ThermiDry. This innovative procedure is now available at Dr. Andrews Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery, offering patients a non-surgical, effective option in hyperhidrosis treatment in Eastern Iowa.
What is hyperhidrosis?
Sweating is a natural process that helps to keep the body at a safe, comfortable temperature. It is generally triggered by hot temperatures, stress or fear and physical exercise. When hyperhidrosis occurs, sweat happens at other times and in excess. It appears that people with this condition have overactive sweat glands in the hands, feet or armpits.
When hyperhidrosis appears without any other medical condition, it is called primary hyperhidrosis. By some estimates, as many as 2.8 percent of the population in the U.S. or 7.8 million people have this condition. The cause of hyperhidrosis is largely unknown, although it does appear to run in families. The sweating can become so excessive; it interferes with normal daily activities. The constant wetness can also lead to skin irritation and can ruin clothing.
What is ThermiDry?
ThermiDry is the latest in hyperhidrosis treatment. This device uses radiofrequency to heat and permanently damage the sweat glands in the armpits. When just a select number of those glands are deactivated, the amount of sweat is significantly reduced and the underarms are drier. There are sufficient sweat glands remaining in the body to effectively maintain a safe body temperature, but the armpits, where much of the sweat is concentrated in people with hyperhidrosis, will become noticeably drier.
Best Candidates for ThermiDry
The best candidates for ThermiDry are patients with any and all of the following:
- Significant embarrassment from excessive sweating
- Need to change clothing multiple times throughout the day
- No underlying medical condition to account for the hyperhidrosis
- Inability to control the condition through other means, such as topical deodorants
- Hyperhidrosis sufferers looking for a long-term treatment for their condition
How it Works
Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery performs ThermiDry treatments right in the office on an outpatient basis. Patients are given local anesthesia prior to the procedure to ensure comfort throughout. The RF energy is delivered via a tiny probe, about the size of a needle, which is inserted under the skin. In addition to administering the RF energy, the probe monitors the temperature at the treatment site to prevent skin and tissue damage or burning. Another gauge tracks the temperature on the skin’s surface, allowing delivery of just the right amount of RF energy to the area to achieve the desired result.
ThermiDry treatments take about one hour from start to finish. Patients report no discomfort during the procedure, although they may feel a warming sensation as the RF energy goes into the treatment area. After the treatment, patients can immediately return to their daily activities. Some may experience mild swelling and discomfort around the treatment site, which should subside within a few days. Oral pain medication can help to manage any discomfort in those first few days after treatment.
Better than Botox
Before ThermiDry was introduced, Botox had become a popular option for treating hyperhidrosis. Injections of Botox were placed directly into the armpit, where the medication blocks function of the body’s sweat glands. In addition to the underarm area, Botox can also be used to treat excessive sweating of the hands, feet and head.
While Botox is very effective for this purpose, there are some distinct advantages ThermiDry has over Botox. First, Botox is a temporary solution that must be repeated two or three times a year to maintain results. This fact does raise the cost of the treatment over time, making it less cost-effective than a single treatment of ThermiDry. The injections can also be uncomfortable, particularly in light of the fact they are usually given in areas sensitive to pain.
On the other hand, ThermiDry offers long-term results for most patients with a single, painless procedure. Other benefits of ThermiDry include:
- No surgery means no general anesthesia, incisions or downtime
- Quick outpatient procedure, minimal discomfort
- Precision temperature controls ensure safe, effective procedures without burning
- Treatment is completed in a single session at your physician’s office
- Effective solution for those that do not qualify for Botox injections or surgery
- Offers long-term relief from excessive underarm sweating
- Some patients may no longer have the need to use deodorant
The Thermi Family
In addition to ThermiDry, Dr. Andrews Plastic Surgery now offers other Thermi treatments which provide numerous aesthetic options with a single device. Those treatment options include:
- ThermiTight – a painless procedure that promises effective skin rejuvenation and firming, comparable to a non-surgical facelift
- ThermiSmooth – smooths away fine lines and facial creases for a more youthful appearance
- ThermiRase – Botox alternative that uses RF energy to erase forehead creases and frown lines
- ThermiVa – non-surgical method of vaginal rejuvenation that provides cosmetic benefits and increased sexual satisfaction
All of the Thermi treatments are considered minimally-invasive without significant discomfort or downtime. All of the procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and patients are usually able to return to their daily activities as soon as their treatment is over.
If you are dreading the upcoming summer season due to embarrassment over excessive underarm sweating, help is available. With just an hour of your time, you can say goodbye to excessive sweating and wetness. To find out if ThermiDry is the right treatment for you, contact Dr. Andrews Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery today at 319-382-8230.