About sweat and excessive underarm sweating

What is sweat?

Sweat is the skin’s way of cooling down the body. The skin contains between 2 and 4 million sweat glands, of which about 2% – more than 50,000 sweat glands – are located in the armpits. Removing these 2% with the MiraDry® treatment does not affects the body’s ability to cool itself down.


Everyone sweats, but about 4% of the population sweat excessively and suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is defined as perspiration greater than what is necessary for the body to maintain normal body temperature.

Hyperhidrosis usually begins in puberty. In about 25% it is a hereditary condition, which means that there are several in the immediate family that have the condition. Hyperhidrosis occurs equally in men and women, and the problem rarely appears spontaneously. Hyperhidrosis is most frequently seen in the armpits, hands or feet, and sometimes in the groin. For now, the MiraDry® treatment is used exclusively for of sweating in the armpits – also known as axillary hyperhidrosis.

Excessive sweating is socially debilitating and can affect many aspects of life, both personally and at work. It is often seen as an expression of insecurity or poor hygiene if someone has, “pit stains,” on their clothes, or exhibits body odor.

Numerous studies show that excessive sweating affects the quality of life just as much as very serious diseases such as heart disease. This can lead to social isolation, avoidance of participating in sports, and can affect peoples choice of job. At work, dealing with or worrying about pit stains is tough, no matter whether you are for example an authority figure (e.g. a police man), a sales person, a public speaker or an actor.

The source of the issue – there are two types of sweat glands:

  • The apocrine sweat glands are primarily found in the armpits and in the groin, and produces the type of sweat that occasionally have a distinct odor if bacteria are present.
  • The eccrine sweat glands are found in the skin all over the body and they produces the significant majority of the body’s sweat. The amount of sweat produced varies from person to person and with the level of activity, but in extreme conditions the body can produce up to 10 liters a day.


Besides hyperhidrosis, there is also another sweat disease called bromhidrosis. In these patients, it is the apocrine sweat glands (those that produce the odorous sweat) that are too active, and therefore they are bothered by the unpleasant body odor, even if they have good hygiene. This may be exacerbated by the intake of e.g. garlic, curry and certain medications. These patients can also be helped by MiraDry® treatment, as this will both destroy the apocrine as well as the eccrine sweat glands.


…. more than 4% off the population suffer from hyperhidrosis?

This post is also available in: Danish