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New Procedure Makes Hyperhidrosis No Sweat

Small Study Finds Ultrasound Therapy Destroys Underarm Sweat Glands, Reduces Sweat Production
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 19, 2012 (San Diego) -- Ultrasound treatment can reduce excessive sweating in the underarms by nearly 80%, according to a new study.

Researchers used a ''microfocused" ultrasound to target the sweat glands in 14 men and women, aged 18 to 75, says Mark Nestor, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and voluntary associate professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

All had hyperhidrosis, a condition where a person sweats much more than the body needs to cool itself.

"Microfocused ultrasound appears to be effective and safe in the treatment of hyperhidrosis," Nestor says. It works, he says, by heating and destroying the sweat glands under the arm.

The sweating can occur even when the temperature is cool and the person is at rest. The armpits, palms, and soles are often affected.

He presented the findings here at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Nestor received a research grant for the study from Ulthera, which makes the technology. The study was small and the findings are preliminary.

Excessive Sweating: The Problem

About 3% of people suffer from this excessive sweating.

Doctors diagnose it by tests such as the starch-iodine test. In this test, iodine solution is applied to the areas with sweat. When it dries, starch is sprinkled on the area. If there is excess sweat, the combination turns purplish.

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