There are many products and procedures available to treat excessive underarm sweating (axillary hyperhidrosis), providing various levels of relief.
There are several over-the-counter and prescription anti-perspirants that temporarily reduce the amount of underarm sweat. Because they only provide short-term relief, continuous treatment or application is required to maintain their effectiveness.
Prior to the release of miraDry®, WIFH recommended Botox® injections as a primary treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis due to its effectiveness for up to 6 months. It has been our experience that miraDry® and Botox are the two most effective treatment options for underarm sweating, however the differences between the two treatments are significant, which are outlined below.
Effectiveness for Hyperhidrosis: Botox® vs miraDry®
How does Botox® Work for Hyperhidrosis?
Botox® is best known for its cosmetic use to treat facial lines and wrinkles. However, Botox® can also be used therapeutically for various medical conditions. One of those conditions is excessive underarm sweating (axillary hyperhidrosis)1.
When treating axillary hyperhidrosis, Botox® works by temporarily blocking the signal sent to the brain that turns on the body’s sweat glands. By blocking, or interrupting, this chemical messenger, Botox® ‘turns off’ sweating at the area where it has been injected.”
How long is Botox® Effective for Hyperhydrosis?
While Botox® is effective, it is necessary to continue getting the injections at regular intervals to maintain its effectiveness. Results also vary according to the severity of the condition. In most cases Botox® does not completely stop sweating; rather it greatly reduces sweat production temporarily.
On average 100 units (50 in each underarm) of Botox® will provide up to 6 months of reduced sweat. Worth noting, Botox® only addresses sweat it has no effect on odor.
How does miraDry® Work for Hyperhidrosis?
The miraDry® procedure uses a hand piece that delivers microwave energy to the underarm treatment area. This microwave energy destroys sweat and odor glands in the underarms.
At WIFH, we utilize a tumescent technique for miraDry®. Our Ultra Comfort technology allows us to treat at the highest power the miraDry® device will allow. miraDry is clinically proven to reduce sweating by 82% and odor by 89%, on average2.
How long is miraDry® Effective for Hyperhydrosis?
In sharp contrast to Botox®, miraDry® is a long lasting solution for underarm sweating and odor. Once the microwave energy has destroyed the sweat and odor glands (apocrine and eccrine), they do not regenerate/grow back3.
Cost of Botox® vs miraDry® for Hyperhydrosis
One of the primary considerations when comparing Botox® and miraDry® in the fight against underarm sweating is cost. The truth is, while Botox is definitely less expensive upfront, however miraDry® is the more affordable choice over time.
Cost of Botox® for Hyperhidrosis
Primary factors for determining what the cost of Botox® for axillary hyperhidrosis is, includes the severity of the sweating, the dosage required to treat, and the frequency in which the patient receives the treatments.
This will vary from patient-to-patient but, typically, 100 units are needed per treatment (divided between the armpits). Depending on the treatment facility, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $1,200 for 100 units. If treated every 6 months, this equates to roughly $2,000 to $2,400 spent in a year’s time. But, because the results are not permanent, you begin gradually sweating more as the Botox® wears off and will need to be treated yet again.
Cost of miraDry® for Hyperhydrosis
While it is generally not covered by insurance, a one-time procedure of miraDry® costs $2,300 to $2,650. We have successfully worked with patient’s HSA plans to pay for treatment, and there are other financing options available.
At WIFH, roughly 10% of patients come back for a second treatment. For patients who opt to have a second treatment to achieve further reduction, WIFH discounts the cost to $995.
From a cost-benefit perspective, miraDry® is a preferred solution for most patients, as they will spend the same amount of money as they would on about a year’s worth of Botox®.
If you’re experiencing excessive underarm sweating and are considering miraDry® vs Botox®, we welcome you to schedule a free consultation for more information.