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Microwave thermolysis for axillary hyperhidrosis

Adolescents with axillary hyperhidrosis who are treated using microwave thermolysis experience significant improvements in their psychosocial functioning, according to a recent study. Published online ahead of print in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (Mar. 16, 2020), the study set out to evaluate the impact of microwave thermolysis, a relatively new treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis, on patient quality of life (QoL) and emotional symptoms. “Axillary hyperhidrosis is a chronic condition that is commonly associated with psychosocial impairments, including impaired quality of life, social functioning, and anxiety symptoms. There has been a lack of effective and durable medical treatments to treat axillary hyperhidrosis. It is exciting to identify an effective medical treatment with microwave thermolysis that also has a measurable impact of psychosocial functioning as well,” said lead author Carisa Parrish, PhD, in a press release. Dr. Parrish is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in pediatric health conditions. She is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Some 24 young adults (mean age=23.57 years, 54% female) with elevated scores on the Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity Scale were enrolled. All participants received one session of microwave thermolysis, and 83% received two sessions. The investigators observed significant improvements in sweat severity, skin-specific QoL, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, anxious/depressive symptoms, and social avoidance after one treatment. Further reduction in sweat and improved QoL were seen after two treatments. Researchers note that their results suggest that hyperhidrosis results in psychosocial difficulties that can be addressed directly through effective medical treatment. They say that psychological treatments should be made available for all young adults experiencing hyperhidrosis as an adjunct to effective medical treatment, as nearly one-third of patients in their study endorsed persistently elevated social difficulties despite effective medical treatment.

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