Women who are fed up with deodorant and shaving their armpits are going to the extreme measure of microwaving their armpits to get rid of the stink and hair.

No, women aren’t literally sticking their arms in the microwave. Here’s how it actually works: the microwave energy is embedded into the underarms via a new treatment known as miraSmooth. The process supposedly eliminates sweating and armpit hair by targeting the interface between fat and skin where the sweat gland and hair follicles are located under the arm. The intense heat basically fries the glands and follicles entirely, so they never come back.

Lasers require hair to be dark in order to work.

Though while patients will never smell or have to shave again, that doesn’t mean life will be completely hassle-free after the painless treatment.

Following the treatment, there may be significant pain and swelling that could last from one week to a few weeks – anywhere from minor swelling to a grapefruit-size mass under the arm. The body could also try to compensate in other areas for the loss of sweating as it tries to regulate body temperature.

Dr. Jessica Weiser of the New York Dermatology Group said:

“Temporary altered sensation is well described but in most cases appears to be transient with complete resolution. The degree of nerve injury is dependent on the energy level of treatment (there are 5 treatment levels) and also on the thickness of the skin – thinner patients tend to have higher risk of nerve injury due to less barrier between the treatment depth and the nerve depth within or below the fat.” (The New York Dermatology Group does not offer miraSmooth.)

Weiser added:

“Microwave technology has been used in medicine for decades, long before the advent of miraDry for sweating and hair reduction,”

She wrote:

“Microwave applications in medicine include coagulation and cautery to stop bleeding, destruction of tumors and cancer cells, cardiac ablation, and more. If microwaves have been safely applied for internal organ use and for cancer destruction then it would seem reasonable that application to the skin should not be more dangerous than these other indications.”

Of course, Weiser went on to say that since the technology is so new, it is “likely too soon to comment on the long-term safety of microwave technology as it pertains to the skin.”

If the dangers of being exposed to microwaves doesn’t deter you, perhaps the cost will. The treatment costs a couple of thousands of dollars.

This post originally appeared at Natural Society


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