April 20, 2011 -- It happens at the worst possible times -- during exams, at job interviews, on first dates -- and there's seemingly nothing that can be done about it. The problem: excessive underarm sweat.
For some people, it's a minor nuisance on hot summer days or in stressful situations. But, for others, it can be a lifelong problem they are unable to control.
Kris Marra has been struggling with hyperhidrosis since she was 12. She says that she sweats profusely from her underarms; all day long, every day.
"When I'm nervous, it's the worst," she said. "I'm pretty nervous socially, so a lot of times when I'm with a group of people, I'll be sweating. When I'm in class I sweat. The only time I'm not sweating is when I'm sleeping."
The condition is anything but rare. Millions of people suffer from hyperhidrosis.
Sweating is a perfectly natural way to help cool the body. But for people with hyperhidrosis, it happens all the time as their sweat glands consistently go into overdrive.
With remedies and prescriptions failing to solve Marra's problem, she's now ready to solve it for good with a new surgery called Axilase, a procedure that uses a laser to destroy the sweat glands.
Dr. Mitchell Chasin of Bridgewater, N.J., is the only doctor in the United States performing the minor surgery. So far, only 20 patients have tried it, which, Chasin says, is better than Botox injections.
"It's performed in an office setting, takes about an hour to an hour and a half to perform. Patients are treated with local aesthetic, leave the office feeling perfectly well," Chasin told "Good Morning America."
"With Botox, they're always wondering, you know, when is it going to wear off. Now we have an effective treatment that can be performed with minimal downtime," he added.
Surgery Not for Everyone
The procedure, which costs about $3,000, is not for everyone. People with diabetes, immune and clotting disorders are not good candidates for the surgery.
"This is for people who have failed conventional therapies," Chasin said.
Not to mention that there are risks that come with Axilase, but they are the risks that are typical of most surgeries, including infection and bruising.
For Marra, she is eager to leave behind a problem that has plagued her for years.
"I'm nervous -- any procedure is a little frightening. I'm more excited than nervous though," she said. "I just can't wait to wear a T-shirt, or just not have to feel like I have to cover up all the time."