According to the FDA, the miraDry system2 is “a microwave device designed to heat tissue located at the dermal-hypodermal interface where the sweat glands reside using a surface contact applicator.” Of concern is the fact that the study conducted to test its efficacy and safety contained only 120 people.
According to The Wall Street Journal:3
“A company-funded study of 120 adults with hyperhidrosis published earlier this year in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, measured the effect of two treatment sessions, with a third allowed as needed if patients hadn’t seen improvement.
A month after the final treatment, 89 percent of those treated with miraDry had a treatment success, defined as sweat reduced to ‘never noticeable’ or ‘tolerable.’ By comparison, 54 percent of those who got a control treatment without the microwave energy saw a treatment success.”
While efficacy was shown, the approval of the system is primarily based on “substantial equivalence” with another device, called DTS G2,4 which is “indicated for use for coagulation of soft tissue,” basically an electrosurgical cutting and coagulation device.
According to some sources, such as a Cigna5, there’s very little evidence in the in the published, peer-reviewed scientific literature to support the use of microwave radiation for the treatment of hyperhidrosis.
Despite a myriad of unanswered questions, miraDry has received positive write-ups in The Wall Street Journal6 and the Huffington Post.7 But is it really wise to eliminate sweat glands? What are the side effects of a.) microwaving your armpits, and b.) eliminating sweat glands? No one really seems to know what the potential long-term side effects might be as of yet, but I’m willing to bet there are some….