miraDry is a non-invasive treatment for excessive sweating that uses precisely controlled energy to target and eliminate underarm sweat glands. The results are dramatic and long-lasting. The treatment also works fast, with near-immediate results, and receives very high satisfaction ratings from patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis.
In this article, Drs. Gary D. Breslow and Jordan P. Farkas from The Breslow Center for Plastic Surgery in Paramus, New Jersey cover some of the most frequently asked questions about the effects of miraDry and recommended post-procedural self-care.
Does miraDry Hurt?
miraDry is noninvasive — no surgical incisions are performed during this procedure. Instead, it uses microwave energy that passes through the outer layers of skin and heats the layer of skin where the base of the sweat glands reside.
This is done by passing the hand-held device over localized areas of the underarm, causing the sweat glands to die while inflicting minimal damage to the surrounding tissue.
Usually, local anesthesia is given to minimize discomfort during the procedure. The anesthesia’s effects wear off in a matter of hours. Most people resume normal activities immediately after, although they might require some self-care to reduce pain and swelling (more on that below).
How Long Will the Pain and Swelling Last?
The bulk of the pain and swelling should resolve within one week, and almost entirely after two weeks. However, you might notice some residual effects in the area for up to three months.
What Should I Expect After miraDry?
Most patients notice reduced underarm sweat immediately after the procedure, but this is usually because the tissue has a short-term response to trauma. This local inflammatory response causes an increase in blood flow to the area, which may produce some temporary swelling.
It’s also common for there to be some numbness in the underarm and surrounding area for a few hours. Less commonly, small blisters may also develop.
The swelling usually persists in the treated area, arms or torso for several weeks after the procedure. This can be reduced by icing frequently. Redness or bruising may also occur.
Some sweating will return as the swelling goes down. However, most patients report that sweating is dramatically reduced. This reduction is permanent, although in some cases a second session may be necessary for a touch-up.
If they occur, bumps under the skin or darkened pigmentation should gradually disappear over time. There may also be some long-term partial hair loss.
Altered sensation may persist in the area for up to 3 months.
Studies show that between 83-90% of patients experience a long-term reduction in hyperhidrosis after miraDry, and 90% of patients report that they are satisfied with the treatment.
Can I Use Deodorant After Miradry?
If you want to start applying deodorant, with or without antiperspirant, you can start doing so within 2-3 days after the procedure. However, avoid applying deodorant over any open skin (like a blister or a shaving nick).
Can I Shave After miraDry?
Most patients find that their underarms are tender for several weeks after the miraDry procedure. It’s suggested that you wait for tenderness to subside before resuming shaving.
What Can I Do to Improve Recovery After miraDry?
Swelling is a side effect of the body’s natural healing mechanism in response to stress or trauma. Your underarms will most likely feel tender and your usual clothing might feel a bit tight, so it’s best to arrange for loose clothing that doesn’t rub and further irritate the skin.
Blistering is rare, but if it does occur the blisters should be kept clean with a gentle liquid soap twice a day, and may be covered with petroleum jelly.
Swelling can be reduced by applying ice. It’s best to use ice-packs or small bags of frozen peas wrapped in a towel (if the skin is still numb you might not feel when it gets too cold):
- 6-8 hours after treatment apply ice for 15 minutes, every 30 minutes
- 2-3 days after treatment apply ice when swelling occurs for 15 minutes every 1-2 hours
You might also want to use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Naproxen to reduce local irritation and pain. If you are taking Ibuprofen, 800mg every 8 hours for 3 days should be sufficient, then reduce your dosage and discontinue as the discomfort subsides.
What If My Post-Procedural Recovery Is More Difficult?
If you have symptoms that concern you, you can always speak with your surgeon.
Some reasons to contact your surgeon’s office promptly about returning for a re-examination after miraDry include:
- Signs of infection (i.e. redness, heat or pain) that last more than a week, or that appear to be getting worse
- Significant pain that is not relieved by the recommendations above
- Severe swelling, redness, or bruising that does not get better after a week
- Weakness in your arm muscles or fingers
The Breslow Center is one of the busiest procedures to offer miraDry in the Northern New Jersey area — feel free to reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.
Additional Reading and References
- Miramar Labs: Histologic Assessment of Biopsy Samples Taken Before and After the miraDry Procedure Performed on a Patient with Axillary Hyperhidrosis
- Zwivel: Zwivel’s Complete Guide to miraDry for Excessive Sweating