Treatment of focal axillary hyperhidrosis using a long-pulsed Nd:YAG 1064 nm laser at hair reduction settings

J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Jan;11(1):59-63.


Background and objective: Axillary hyperhidrosis is a rather common idiopathic disorder of the eccrine sweat glands, which can interfere with daily activities and cause significant social distress. The effects of 1064 nm laser hair reduction on sweat production in a pilot study in patients with focal axillary hyperhidrosis are described.

Study design/materials and methods: In a prospective, case-controlled, randomized pilot study, one axilla from six different subjects with axillary hyperhidrosis was treated with monthly laser hair reduction sessions using the 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser at typical settings. The contralateral axilla acted as a control. Subjects were asked to subjectively classify improvement of axillary sweating using a Global Assessment Questionnaire (GAQ) weekly after each treatment. Qualitative evaluation of sweating was also performed using a modified starch iodine test monthly after each treatment. In addition, prior to the first treatment and at one month following the final treatment, a punch biopsy was performed on the treatment axilla to assess for histologic changes to the eccrine gland and surrounding structures.

Results: Statistically significant improvements in subjective ratings of sweating using the GAQ compared to baseline were observed. Objective improvements in sweating with modified starch iodine testing comparing treated versus non-treated axillae were also seen for at least nine months in selected subjects. No significant differences in pre- and post-treatment biopsies were noted on routine histology.

Conclusions: Laser hair reduction using the 1064 nm Nd:YAG at laser hair removal settings provides subjective and objective improvements in patients with focal axillary hyperhidrosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Axilla / pathology
  • Axilla / surgery*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hair Removal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / physiopathology
  • Hyperhidrosis / surgery*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sweating / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome