Razor blades are the crudest of all tools to remove armpit hair with today's technology. When it comes to underarm grooming, women have plenty of options - waxing, sugaring, bleaching and laser hair removal.
Now, there's an emerging trend to armpit hair removal that is reportedly more effective. It's called microwaving and it's pioneered by Miramar Labs, an aesthetic company.
In July, the company received its FDA clearance for miraDRY, a tool used to do the microwaving treatment. "Using this technology we've seen stable axillary hair reduction of approximately 70 percent regardless of color, and these results were based on a non-optimized treatment protocol. It will be exciting to see the increase in results given the protocol improvements we've made since then," the company said in its press release.
Not only is this tool able to remove hair, it also helps reduce arm sweating, according to its manufacturer.
So, how does this work?
A technician trained to use the device applies black lines and marks on the armpit as a guide. Then local anesthetics is applied to dull some pain as the heat from the microwave touches the skin. The procedure takes an hour to complete and minor side effects, like swelling and redness, may appear. Some follow-up procedures might be necessary for some women.
A photo posted by mollyluise?? (@mollyluise) on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:05pm PDT
"All patients will experience soreness under their arms for a few days after the procedure," according to miraDry. Some people may also experience "temporary, short-term altered sensation" in their armpits and arms, which should disappear gradually,.
The device can be used for all types of hair color, according to Women's Health. This makes it better than laser hair removal treatments as the latter only works best for light-skinned women with very dark hair.
The cost for a miraDry treatment falls under the "thousand dollar range," according to Today.
But how safe is it?
"Microwave technology has been used in medicine for decades, long before the advent of miraDry for sweating and hair reduction," said dermatologist Dr. Jessica Weiser via the news outlet. "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," she added.
"Because the device is still relatively new in the spectrum of laser and energy devices, it is likely too soon to comment on the long term safe of microwave technology as it pertains to the skin."