Entries in Sweat (3)


Excessive Sweating Targeted by New Procedure

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Everyone sweats but for some people the problem is so severe that they do not even want to leave their homes.

“It’s really emotional.  It’s stressful,” said Briana Bernyk, who suffers from sweating so severely that she even skipped her high school prom.

“I didn’t want to go through the whole hassle of picking out a dress, so I blew it off,” she told ABC's Good Morning America.

Bernyk, 20, of Massachusetts, sweats so profusely under her armpits that she often has to throw shirts away after one use and wears layers to better protect herself.  She also uses just one color in her wardrobe, black, in order to camouflage her ailment.

“From sweatshirts to fancy shirts, everything I have is black,” she said.

After trying topical solutions and even Botox to help lighten her sweating, Bernyk turned to what is being heralded as the latest fix for underarm sweating, a procedure known as miraDry.

“It’s not that they don’t sweat at all.  They just sweat like a normal person,” Dr. Michael Kaminer, a Boston-based cosmetic surgeon and the managing partner of SkinCare Physicians who performed the procedure on Bernyk, said of the results.

The nonsurgical procedure became available to patients in January after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year.  While the patient’s armpit is placed under local anesthesia, microwave energy is used to melt the as many as 33,000 sweat glands in the armpits to stop the patient’s hyperhidrosis, the medical term for excessive sweating.

The company behind the procedure, Miramar Labs Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., says, on average, the overall volume of sweat is reduced by an average of 82 percent and lasts for nearly one year, according to its website.

Some medical experts say they are waiting for longer-term, independent data on the procedure, which can cost between $2,500 and $3,000 for two sessions and is not covered by insurance.

For Bernyk and other patients, the results speak for themselves.

“Now it’s just exciting to go out.  I can wear what I want,” she said.  “Before I was nervous about going out…uncomfortable and always in a cover up….[Now] I can hold them [my arms] on my hips and I can fix my hair in public.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sweat-Sensing Bracelets Measure Shopper Stress

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- A Black Friday study in which 50 shoppers hit the sales wearing sweat-sensing bracelets has offered a glimpse into the thought processes that determine when we drop our dough.

The bracelets, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, measure movement, body temperature and electrodermal activity -- barely noticeable changes in skin sweat levels that signal stress and excitement. They’re the newest market research tool for stores battling over limited consumer bucks.

“Shoppers have more retail choices than ever before,” said John Ross, chief executive officer of Shopper Sciences. “It’s good for consumers, but it’s a tremendous challenge for marketers.”

Market research, a field once dominated by surveys, is increasingly turning to technology to get more reliable reactions from consumers. Because despite all the brainy logic that goes into planning purchases, shoppers often follow their instincts -- a response analysts are tracking in sweat, facial expressions and even brain activity.

“It’s a proxy for how our brains work,” Ross said of using biometrics in addition to pre- and post-shop surveys. “It’s a more holistic way of doing shopper-based research, because we’re measuring the full cognitive system that humans use when they make decisions.”

Ross said Black Friday -- a day famous for long lines, scary stampedes and now pepper spray -- can generate a range of emotions in shoppers.

“But the prevailing one in our study was excitement,” he said.

Most of the bracelet-clad shoppers had a positive experience, with 80 percent spending more than they had planned and more than half buying presents for themselves.

Shopper stress was linked more to line length than concerns about missing out on deals.

“The data shows the highest stress level occurred while shoppers were waiting for the store to open,” Ross said. “Once the store was open, shoppers were really happy -- until they had to wait in the checkout line.”

Surprisingly, shoppers showed similar stress patterns whether they were shopping in stores or online.

“You would think sitting in an armchair wearing a robe waiting for a site to go live would be far less stressful,” Ross said. “Even though you don’t have the pushing and shoving, shopping purely online tends to be pretty stressful, too.”

People who shopped in stores and online were the least stressed and ended up spending more -- a perk of being prepared, said Ross.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pill in the Works to Turn Sweat into Perfume

Paul Tearle/Thinkstock(AMSTERDAM, Netherlands) -- Those sweat stains could be the equivalent to a spritz of cologne if Lucy McRae's research pans out.

McRae, an artist based in the Netherlands, hopes to create Swallowable Parfum, a perfume that can be ingested through a capsule and emitted through perspiration.

The pill is still in the research phase with no scheduled release date as McRae works with a synthetic researcher, Sheref Mansy, to develop a prototype.

"My main aim is to provoke and make people think in a completely different way about how make-up can be [used] in the future," said McRae.

The 31-year-old was inspired to develop the line after watching a documentary on Ray Kurzweil, a computer engineer who won the National Medal of Technology and who has written numerous books about how machines will shape the future.

Rather than create a uniform scent, McRae envisions that each user's own scent would be amplified by the digestible perfume like a "base note."

George Preti, a scientist at the Monell Center which specializes in taste and smell, says pills that claim to change body odor similar to Swallowable Parfum are often not effective due to the body's digestion process.

"How much of what they do that will make it through the digestive process and [into] the blood remains to be seen," said Preti. "A lot of things will get taken apart in the acid in the stomach."

Since taking a daily dose of perfume isn't yet possible, McRae is staying with her scent of choice, Mona Di Orio, applied with a traditional spritz.

McRae's Swallowable Parfum is the latest in a trend of cosmetic companies attempting to reduce beauty regimens to pill form. In recent years companies such as Heliocare and Murad have released pills that claim to provide sun protection. However, these pills do not provide the same protection as traditional sunblock.

L'Oreal announced earlier this month that they're working on an "anti-grey" supplement that would keep hair from turning grey with age.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio