Understanding Underarm Sweat Glands

Man looking at his armpit

Sweating is an essential part of life for humans. Without the ability to sweat, our bodies would be without its most important cooling mechanism. Even though sweating is a normal bodily function, it can be uncomfortable and downright embarrassing for individuals with excessive underarm sweating. Rather than being let down by clinical strength deodorants and strategically choosing an all-black wardrobe to hide sweat stains, miraDry® may be the life-changing treatment for you. 

Identifying Different Types of Sweat Glands

Even though excessive underarm sweating is typically the most bothersome type of sweat, there are actually two to four million sweat glands located all over the body. Eccrine glands, located on the foot soles, palms, forehead, cheeks and armpits, secrete an odorless, clear fluid that helps promote heat loss through evaporation. Apocrine glands, found in the armpits and genital region, produce a thick fluid that produces body odor when mixed with bacteria on the skin’s surface. Both eccrine and apocrine glands are activated by nerve responses to stimuli such as heat, hormones, emotions or exercise. 

Do I Have Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the sweat glands (typically eccrine glands) overreact and produce more sweat than is necessary to cool the body. Here are some tell-tale signs of hyperhidrosis:

  • Sweating when you are not exposed to heat
  • Sweating when you are not exercising 
  • Sweating so much that it soaks through your clothes or drips off your hands

Hyperhidrosis usually affects the hands, feet, underarms or face and usually presents in episodes rather than all the time. Even though hyperhidrosis can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition, it is typically a hereditary component that has no medical cause. Secondary hyperhidrosis, that may also lead to heavy sweating, is however due to medical conditions such as diabetes, menopause, thyroid problems, low blood sugar, infections or other health issues. 

How to Treat Hyperhidrosis

We know how debilitating hyperhidrosis can be for many people. For some patients, clinical strength deodorant is helpful in treating hyperhidrosis. There are numerous clinical strength deodorants on the market today and it may be beneficial to try several different brands. Another treatment option is  BOTOX® injections in the armpit, which is FDA approved. BOTOX® works by blocking the nerves responsible for activating the armpit’s sweat glands, but its effects are temporary. For permanent results, miraDry® is the best solution, as it eliminates sweat glands under the arms forever.

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How Does miraDry® Work? 

Choosing miraDry® can be a life-changing decision for many women or men suffering from excessive underarm sweating. The procedure is non-invasive, painless and completely safe. As an added bonus, it effectively and permanently removes hair from the treatment area. It works by delivering controlled thermal energy to permanently eliminate sweat glands that will never grow back. It is a simple treatment that is completed in the comfort of our office by Dr. Christopher Schaffer, in as little as one hour. Downtime and risks are minimal, and most women find they do not need to wear deodorant anymore after treatment. 

Your Candidacy for miraDry® Treatments

Since humans are born with two to four million sweat glands and our underarms contain only approximately two percent of them, miraDry® does not prohibit the body from being able to safely cool itself. You will continue to sweat normally in other areas of the body. This means that ideal candidates for miraDry® are those who are specifically bothered by underarm sweat. If you are self-conscious about your underarm sweat, have been unsuccessful in finding a deodorant that works, change clothes multiple times per day due to excessive sweating or only wear clothes that hide sweat stains, you are an ideal candidate for miraDry® treatments. 

To learn more about underarm sweat glands and discover the best treatment for your excessive underarm sweating, schedule a consultation with Dr. Schaffer by calling 205.278.7969.