Impact of microwave thermolysis energy levels on patient-reported outcomes for axillary hyperhidrosis and osmidrosis

G. L. Grove*, K. Togsverd-Bo, J. F.B. Schwensen, N. W. Andersson, C. V. Nissen, C. Zachariae, M. Haedersdal

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Microwave thermolysis (MWT) is an emerging treatment for axillary hyperhidrosis reducing both sweat and odor. No prior studies have investigated and compared the different available energy settings of the MWT device. This study evaluated patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for axillary hyperhidrosis and osmidrosis following MWT treatment with two different energy levels. Methods: Twenty adults with axillary hyperhidrosis and osmidrosis reported sweat on Hyperhidrosis Disease Severity scale (HDSS: 1–4) and odor on Odor scale (OS: 1–10), respectively, supplemented by overall Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI: 0–30). This was a prospective, randomized, patient-blinded and intraindividually controlled study with 3 months follow-up (FU). Randomization comprised MWT treatment of one axilla with a standard medium energy setting (energy level 3) and the contralateral axilla with a standard high energy setting (energy level 5). Results: At baseline, patients reported substantial sweat and odor, negatively affecting their quality of life. At 3 months FU, PROMs showed improved quality of life with significantly reduced odor and sweat. Overall DLQI was reduced from a median of 10 to 4, with a median 6.5-point reduction (p = 0.0002). HDSS was reduced from a median of 4 to 2 on both sides, with a median reduction of 1 for medium energy level and 2 points for high energy level (p = 0.014). OS was reduced from a median of 8 to 3 for both energy levels, with a median reduction of 3.5 and 4.5 points for the medium and high energy level, respectively (p = 0.017). Local skin reactions were mild and transient, but slightly more pronounced following treatment with the high energy level. Conclusion: MWT effectively improved patients’ quality of life, axillary sweat, and odor 3 months after on baseline treatment. Treatment with the high energy level presented a subtle but significant increase of efficacy based on PROMs for both sweat and odor. Patients were willing to accept a higher amount of temporary local skin reactions from a higher energy setting when experiencing greater odor and sweat reduction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Adult
  • Axilla
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis/therapy
  • Microwaves/therapeutic use
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


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