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Excessive Sweat Treatment Palo Alto

Dr. Commons uses an ultrasonic technology, called the VASER® System, to help patients who have problems with excessive underarm sweating. This disorder is called Axillary Hyperhidrosis. Contact our practice to learn more about this new treatment option.


What is hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis is a disorder characterized by excessive uncontrollable sweating in excess of the amount required to regulate body temperature. It is estimated that 8.5 million people in the United States suffer from some form of hyperhidrosis. Primary hyperhidrosis has no discernible cause and may involve the axillae (armpits), palms (hands), soles (feet), face, and groin. Secondary hyperhidrosis has an underlying cause such as an endocrine disorder, secretory tumors, sympathetic nervous system disorder, or neurological/psychiatric disorders. You should talk to your doctor to determine if there is an underlying cause for your condition.

What is AXILLARY hyperhidrosis?

Axilla is an anatomy term that refers to the underarm or armpit area. Axillary hyperhidrosis refers to excessive underarm sweating. The exact cause of the condition is disputed. Some experts feel it has to do with the size of the sweat glands, some feel it is related to over-activity of the sweat glands and others feel it is stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

What is Axillary Bromhidrosis?

Axillary bromidrosis (also called bromhidrosis) is the secretion of foul-smelling sweat and is defined as the combination of hyperhidrosis and osmidrosis. Axillary osmidrosis is a disorder characterized by chronic offensive armpit odor. Like hyperhidrosis, the exact pathophysiology of axillary osmidrosis is also disputed.

What is the VASER System?

The VASER System is an advanced ultrasonic technology that is commonly used in body contouring procedures to selectively remove unwanted body fat. When a special technique is applied in the underarm area, the VASER System can be used to treat the superficial layer of skin where the sweat glands are located.

How does the VASER treatment work?

First, the underarm area is filled with a special saline solution that helps numb the site and shrink the blood vessels (to minimize blood loss and reduce bruising). This solution wets and fills the area to be treated, making it easier to break up tissue with the VASER System’s ultrasonic energy. Then a small probe transmits sound energy (similar to that used for cataract removal from the eye) to break up fatty tissue on contact. With the application of a specialized technique, the ultrasonic energy is concentrated on the sweat glands in the armpit while preserving other important tissues. Finally, the liquefied fat and sweat glands are removed through a gentle suction process designed to minimize damage to surrounding tissues.

Does the VASER treatment help with underarm odor too?

Yes, patients who have had the procedure have reported improvement with their underarm odor problem. Some patients have only an odor problem, some patients have only a sweating problem and some patients have a problem with both odor and sweating. All types of patients have reported an improvement after the VASER treatment.

Will it make me too dry?

It is nearly impossible to eliminate all of the sweat glands under the arms (there are thousands), but the VASER treatment will eliminate the majority resulting in a more “normal” pattern of sweat rather than an excessive pattern of sweat.

Will the VASER treatment hurt?

During the procedure you can choose to have local anesthesia (a shot to numb the area) or you can choose to have general anesthesia (you are asleep for the entire procedure). If you choose to have the numbing shot, you will feel a small pinch from the needle and some pressure from the treatment. If you feel any discomfort, let your doctor know so adjustments can be made.

Will I be in a lot of pain after the procedure?

Some people are sore for about three days and require Tylenol or prescription pain medication, while others do not require any pain medication at all. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any discomfort.