Effects of a long-pulsed 800-nm diode laser on axillary hyperhidrosis: a randomized controlled half-side comparison study

Dermatol Surg. 2012 May;38(5):736-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2012.02339.x. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Background: Generally, axillary hyperhidrosis (AH) is treated with antiperspirant agents, botulinum toxin, or local surgery. The effect of laser treatment on sweat secretion in patients with AH has not been investigated.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of diode laser epilation on the sweat rate of patients with AH.

Materials and methods: We performed a randomized half-side controlled trial. Twenty-one patients were treated with 5 cycles of an 800-nm diode laser. Sweat rates were documented using gravimetry and a visual analogue scale. Histologic examination was performed in all patients before and after treatment.

Results: A significant reduction in sweat rate was observed on the laser-treated (median 89 mg/min, range 42-208 mg/min vs 48 mg/min, range 17-119 mg/min; p < .001) and the untreated contralateral (median 78 mg/min, range 25-220 mg/min vs median 65 mg/min, range 24-399 mg/min; p = .04) sides, although no significant difference was found between the treated and untreated sides (p = .10).

Conclusion: Although we observed a significant decrease in sweat rate on laser-treated sites, laser epilation was not able to reduce the sweat rate significantly more than on the untreated contralateral side. These results probably indicate a placebo effect rather than a direct therapeutic effect of laser epilation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Axilla*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / radiotherapy*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome