Picture this: you're on a date, or a job interview, and just as you're trying to be your most engaging droplets of sweat make their way from your forehead down your check. At that moment, you lift your arm to seamlessly wipe it away, exposing your sodden underarm. This comes shortly after you arrived late, and extended a sweaty palm to your partner, just to witness them grimace upon clasping it. It's summer of the hottest year on the planet, and this isn't a nightmare...it's reality.
Even if you aren't one of the 365 million worldwide who suffer from hyperhidrosis (including stars like Halle Berry and Robert Pattinson), or excessive sweating, if you live in a major city you're likely having to navigate public transport, crowded streets and at times, air conditioning-less apartments in extreme temperatures. Unless you have a mini fan and primer sent from the gods, you can wave your makeup goodbye and god forbid you attempt to straighten your hair, and want it to stay that way. While the beauty industry has offered various solutions (prescription deodorant, blotting pads) to keep you cool, none have been as effective as the industry's jack-of-all-trades, Botox, and a new procedure titled "Miradry."
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These treatments, like many in the cosmetics industry, inspire some pearl-clutching. Sweat is our body's response to overheating, yes, so ceasing it entirely naturally feels wrong. However, that's impossible to do so. Armpit sweat is the most odor-producing, yes, but it only contributes two percent of sweat to our bodies. We sweat all over, and the opportunity to lessen that is a true testament to the wonders of technology. "Blocking sweat production in the armpits or hands or feet or scalp will have a negligible effect on the overall temperature homeostasis of the body," says Plastic Surgeon and RealSelf Contributor Dr. David Shafer, "every patient responds differently but [Botox] is a lifesaver for many patients that have hyperhidrosis."
Botox, in particular, can be injected to minimize sweating in the groin, forehead, inguinal crease (the 'V' bookending your abdomen), hands, feet or armpits, and works to inhibit neurotransmitters in the nerve synapse. In case you were hoping it would tighten your skin in these areas (for whatever reason), the depth of the injection and differences in target tissue means it doesn't relax your muscles, the same way as it would when applied to prevent wrinkles in your face. While, as Dr. Shafer says Botox is "the most effective, most well-studied and most consistent treatment there is" — it's very temporary. To limit sweat long-term, depending on how quickly your nerve synapse regenerates, you will have to repeat the treatment every four to seven months.
MiraDry, however, offers a much more long-term solution. Dr. Melissa Chiang admits that Botox is certainly effective, but in "microwaving" your sweat glands with MiraDry technology, you destroy them altogether. It's also the same technique used for liposuction, so surgeons are very familar with it. "This is a lifechanging procedure for people that suffer from hyperhidrosis," Dr. Chiang explains. "People who have more potent underarm odor also benefit, as well as people that just want to save on their dry cleaning bills."
With Botox, you're looking at repeated injections that will likely result in light bruising, but otherwise recovery is near immediate. MiraDry patients, alternatively, are bound to experience swelling and tender skin, bouncing back in several days to a week. Also, neither come cheap. It will set you back roughly $1000 a round for Botox and $2,500 for MiraDry — the difference being, of course, whether you're attempting to ease yourself in by winning the battle or go full-steam ahead and win the war.
Regardless, you don't have to suffer through sweat if you don't want to. There are options, and options beyond keeping a roll-on on-site, avoiding light colors and pretending you don't notice when you date wants to hold your hand. Technology is here for you, and there's nothing to be ashamed of.
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