Understanding Laser Treatment for Sweating

For most people, sweating is something that happens when our bodies get hot. In order to cool down and stay healthy, your nervous system signals your sweat glands, which then release moisture. Air wicking over the sweat evaporates it, creating a cooling effect that reduces the temperature of the body. However, for some people, excessive sweating is a problem that can reduce their quality of life. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, can be treated in a number of ways, including laser treatment.

What Is Laser Treatment for Sweating?

Lasers have been valuable parts of the surgeon’s toolkit for a long time now. Laser treatments are available for skin problems, for fat burning, to prevent bleeding during other types of surgeries, and even for eyes (vision). How does laser treatment for sweating work?

The procedure targets the sweat glands that cause the excessive sweating in the first place. (Note: the actual cause of hyperhidrosis is overactive nerves that control the sweat glands.) Lasers are used to remove targeted glands, which reduces the amount of perspiration released in that area of the body.

The procedure itself is performed in an outpatient facility or within a doctor’s office. It requires very little time, usually an hour or two is all that is needed. However, most patients do require at least two treatments to see optimal results, and those treatments must be spread out over the course of several weeks.

Is Laster Treatment for Sweating Available for All Hyperhidrosis Sufferers?

The short answer here is “no”. However, it is available for those who suffer from the most common type of excessive sweating. To be clear, hyperhidrosis can strike anywhere on the body – from the face to the back to the chest and even the legs. However, the single most common location for patients to experience problems is the armpit. Laser treatment is only available for the armpit, and should not be used to target sweat glands in other areas of the body.

What Side Effects Occur with Laser Treatment for Sweating?

Like all medical treatments, there are some potential side effects associated with laser treatment for sweating. Some of the most common include underarm swelling and redness. Some patients have reported pain and discomfort in the underarm area for a short period after treatment. Other patients have experienced numbness and tingling in the treated area for several weeks after receiving treatment.

Is Laser Treatment Permanent?

No, laser treatment for sweating is not permanent in most instances, although it becomes so over time. The laser treatment damages the sweat and odor producing glands in the armpit. After a single treatment, most patients report that some sweating returns within two to three weeks. After a second treatment, patients report a reduction in sweating of 80% or more. A third treatment is possible, and patients in need of additional help could benefit from this. Note that some patients have sweat glands that resist laser treatment.

In the end, laser treatment for sweating can be a good solution for some patients, particularly those concerned with underarm sweating and odor.

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