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A New Solution to Excessive Sweating

A New Solution to Excessive Sweating

By Christopher Coyne

We all need to sweat. It's our body's way of regulating our temperature. However, there are some of us who sweat more than we need--a lot more. That's called hyperhidrosis, and it's a condition that affects men and women of all ages. Over activity of the sympathetic nervous system results in excessive sweating in particular parts of the body such as hands, feet and underarms. It can be a distressing, embarrassing and even socially debilitating condition for those who suffer with it and until recently there were only a few options for treatment: topical applications that need to be repeated during the day, botox injections that last only up to six months, or complete surgical removal of the sweat glands or ablation of the nerves.

But now there's a new option. Healthy Life talked to area plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Walker about a new procedure that addresses a particular type of hyperhidrosis, excessive underarm sweating, in an ingenious and effective manner. It's a laser-procedure using a special tool called the Sidelaze 800. The Sidelaze is ideal for this procedure, as the wavelength targets the water produced by the sweat glands, and the unique side-shooting fiber allows the laser to be directed toward the underside of the skin, placing the energy directly at the sweat glands and ablating them. "No other laser system provides this accuracy or directionality of the heat energy." Says Dr. Walker.

The science is impressive, but what's even more advantageous is the ease of the procedure and the minimal discomfort for the patient. The Sidelaze procedure is minimally invasive and from start to finish only takes about an hour and a half, depending on the size of the area being treated. It's an out-patient procedure using a local anesthetic. There may be some temporary numbness and bruising, but depending on the patient's occupation, they may go back to work in as soon as 24 hours. There will be a little soreness and pain medicine will be provided although many patients say they don't need it for more than a day. Dr Walker says that patients of the procedure "relate a very high satisfaction level, with patients responding with 80 to 90% improvement in their decrease in sweating. Results are assessed at 3 to 12 months for permanence."

Thanks to this technological innovation, those who suffer from hyperhidrosis now have a quick, safe and highly effective option for treating their inconvenient and sometimes embarrassing condition.

Mark Walker, M.D., F.A.C.S.
161 Riverside Dr
Binghamton, NY