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The New No-Sweat Solution for Sweaty Underarms

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When antiperspirant won't cut it, just turn to...your microwave?

MiraSmooth, created by Miramar Labs (a medical device company), is a newly FDA-approved treatment that, to put it simply, microwaves off both sweat and underarm hair and is being touted as the newest treatment for excessive sweating. (What about sweat in, ahem, other places? Banish Boob Sweat with These 3 Tricks.)

Okay, so it's not exactly like the microwave you use to heat up leftovers. But the little device does use microwave energy. "[The laser gun] works by heating up the water in the sweat and odor glands, causing damage to the glands," says Sheila Nazarian, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon. "The water heats up just like it does when you put [the energy] in your food in the microwave." Because sweat glands don't regenerate, once they're destroyed by the electromagnetic energy the excess sweat glands won't reignite. Layman's terms: Excessive sweating is permanently subdued.

Nazarian, who performs the treatment in her Beverly Hills office, says there's no danger involved. Because microwave energy only attacks water (in this case, in your sweat glands), there are no major side effects to the nerves or lymph nodes. And because only 2 percent of your total sweat glands are in your armpits, there are still plenty of glands in the rest of your body to cool you down. (And to produce your unique funk! Read 9 Reasons Your Sweat Smells.)

There are a few potential temporary side effect, like swelling, discomfort, bumps, and mild bruising, but these disappear within one to three weeks. The only other permanent side effect is one most patients don't complain about, Nazarian says: hair loss. And unlike lasers that only target very dark hair or those with light skin, MiraSmooth doesn't discriminate.

So how does MiraSmooth stack up other common methods in reducing excessive sweating? Nazarian broke it down for us:

Prescribed Antiperspirant
Even the strongest antiperspirant, like prescribed versions that don't clean off in the shower, still need to be reapplied. "Antiperspirant has aluminum salts which physically block the sweat ducts from bringing sweat to the surface of the skin. MiraSmooth eliminates the sweat and odor glands permanently, so you never need deodorant again." And although the American Cancer Society has found no clear link between aluminum and breast cancer, MiraSmooth eliminates that worry completely. (Check out these 8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Deodorant.)

Botox
"Botox prevents the nerves from telling the sweat and odor glands to work, but it requires around 20 injections and 50 units of Botox in each underarm." While both treatments are pricey ($1,000 for Botox and $2,000 for MiraSmooth), Botox isn't permanent. To maintain results, treatments are recommended every six to twelve months, while most MiraSmooth patients don't require any upkeep. If the first treatment doesn't prevent all sweating, one more treatment three months after will do the trick. (Would You Try Scalp Botox to Save Your Blowout?)

MiraDry
MiraSmooth is essentially MiraDry 2.0โ€”the very first FDA-cleared, non-invasive procedure used to eliminate sweat and odor glands. This new version is now officially approved to use in the underarms for hair removal as well as excessive sweating. The technology, results, and procedure are exactly the same.

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