Tulsa - Americans spend more than $2 billion a year on deodorant and antiperspirant so no one can see us sweat.
Now, there's a new treatment that can stop sweat forever. A Tulsa doctor is one of only two in the state of Oklahoma offering the procedure.
Britton Boethin says he feels nervous every time he starts to sweat.
"And you worry that it's going to snowball and just get worse and you become your own worst enemy," Boethin said.
For those who suffer from excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, Botox injections are one alternative. However, Boethin said that treatment wasn't for him.
"I didn't like the fact that you'd have to do it every three to six months depending on your chemistry," he said.
Surgery offers a permanent reduction in excessive perspiration but carries risks to the patient.
"Bleeding, infection, scars -- this procedure -- there's no cuts, no scars made," said Dr. Rola Eid, a plastic surgeon at Tulsa Plastic Surgery . She is the only doctor in Green Country currently offering the newest option, MiraDry.
According to Eid, MiraDry is FDA-approved to virtually eliminate underarm sweating. The system uses electromagnetic energy to target sweat glands which are the source of embarrassment, and at times, humiliation.
During the one-hour procedure, a numbing lotion is applied to the underarm area. The physician applies a temporary tattoo to help them discern the area to be treated. Then, a numbing agent is injected into the underarm. At that time, the MiraDry wand is carefully placed and applied. The machine emits a humming noise and, according to Boethin, he felt only the occasional twinge.
The procedure is designed for the person who suffers from wetness outbreaks more than five times a week, and for those who consider excessive sweat to be a nuisance. Many are tired of staining their clothes and ruining their clothing or looking less than confident in public. While the body needs to sweat to cool itself, Eid says the sweat glands under the arms are ones we can actually do without safely.
"Only 2 percent of our sweat glands are in our underarms," Eid added. "So, when you eliminate them, they don't affect the body's ability to cool itself."
Doctors recommend that patients undergo two MiraDry procedures three months apart to provide up to 80-percent reduction in sweat production. However, some patients discover they are satisfied after just one procedure.
As for side effects, Eid says nothing serious has been reported. In fact, two side effects tend to make patients happy. Since the sweat glands no longer function, patients won't have a problem with unpleasant smell.
"Some people don't know the sweat under the arms mixes with the bacteria on your skin and that's what causes the odor. But after you eliminate the sweat glands, you won't have any odor," Eid said.
Underarm hair is often eliminated, or reduced, a side effect that Eid says delights her female patients. As for men, she said they don't seem to mind if they don't have to use deodorant and sweat anymore.
As for Britton Boethin, he looks forward to a future without sweaty underarms. "Didn't hurt at all. I'm excited to see the results."
Patients may notice redness and swelling following the MiraDry procedure. However, doctors say they will only need ice and an over the counter pain medication.
The procedure costs $1,500 for one treatment, $2,500 for two.