Top 5 Iontophoresis Contraindications for Hyperhidrosis you should know about

Iontophoresis Contraindications You Should be Aware ofIontophoresis is a drug delivery system that is typically used to deliver water soluble drugs through your skin, to an injured or affected area of your body. There are a variety of different conditions a particular patient may have in order for them to be suitable for Iontophoresis treatment, such as bursitis (something I once had on my elbow), tendinitis, arthritis, and a few other conditions.

Some of the exact same Iontophoresis Contraindications, if not all, will most likely apply when you are being treated for the aforementioned conditions, but this particular post more specifically focuses on the contraindications associated with Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis, since this is what our website is all about, so feel free to read on even if you are considering iontophoresis as part of physical therapy.

Iontophoresis is a proven treatment, predominantly performed in the U.S., that is non-invasive, and delivered to the palms, feet, or underarms to combat excessive sweating, otherwise known as hyperhidrosis. If you would like to know more about Iontophoresis, please click here to read an article that specifically addresses it.

What Conditions Do You Have?

If you have any of the following conditions, or any type of metal implant in your body then you should not start Iontophoresis treatment at all until you have first consulted with a physician. The contraindications we are about to detail are the most common ones we are aware of and there may be others that are not listed here. Again, we do highly recommended (even if you have a condition not listed here) that you seek a medical practitioners’ advice before you decide to start iontophoresis treatment, whether you are using your own device at home or at a physicians’ clinic.

The following are Iontophoresis Contraindications:

  • Pacemakers
  • Pregnancy
  • Metal Orthopedic Implants
  • Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Skin Disease or Rash

The reason why pacemakers and metal orthopedic implants are considered a contraindication for iontophoresis is because the parts of the body that the current must go through should not contain metal, such as screws and plates etc. Quite a few manufacturers of iontophoresis machines advise against treatment if you have an IUD contraceptive coil fitted. Why? Because a lot of coils contain metal, and even the more modern ones that appear to be plastic, are just plastic coated but contain either silver or copper, or both.

The bottom line is that iontophoresis is a safe, reliable and effective treatment for Palmar and Plantar Hyperhidrosis (and even underarm sweating), but you must take a few precautions beforehand to make sure you do not fall in to any of the contraindication categories mentioned above. Some candidates for iontophoresis that have either one of the contraindications we have discussed have been given the go ahead from their respective doctor to proceed with treatment. Most of the time it does depend on what part of the body you are having treated in relation to the location of any potential metal implanted in your body, and/or skin disease or abrasions. Just seek professional advice if you are uncertain.

What made you want to look up Iontophoresis Contraindications today? Please let us know in the comments section below, and we’d love to hear of any related experiences you may have had.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

James Hertot January 25, 2013 at 6:06 am

Some of these are quite obvious, but I guess not everyone knows the contraindications associated with this treatment so it’s nice that you spell it out. Thanks for the heads up bud!


David February 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thanks James, I appreciate you stopping by, and glad you found the post useful!


David Ramhoud February 13, 2013 at 5:13 am

Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, is a common disorder which produces a lot of unhappiness. An estimated 2-3% of Americans suffer from excessive sweating of the underarms (auxiliary hyperhidrosis) or of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Underarm problems tend to start in late adolescence, while palm and sole sweating often begins earlier, around the age 13 (on average). If untreated, these problems may continue throughout life. Sweating is embarrassing, it stains clothes, ruins romance, and complicates business and social interactions. Severe cases can have serious practical consequences as well, making it hard for people who suffer from it to hold a pen, grip a car steering wheel, or shake hands. Sorry for going in to such detail, I just wanted to add my 2 cents to the conversation and let everyone know how difficult it is for those of us that suffer from some form of hyperhidrosis. Thanks 🙂


Joom May 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Hi, I want to do the treatment but I have a metal implant in my arm from my elbow to my upper arm area due to a previous accident. I don’t know what type of doctor to consult about this particular type of treatment for me. Would it be an orthopedic specialist? I don’t know if they would know for sure about this type of treatment. Any feedback is welcome and much appreciated, thanks. ps I want to treat my hands.


David June 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hi Joom,
Thanks for stopping by the website. It is good to hear you are interested in iontophoresis to treat your hands. We are not in the medical profession but it would probably be best to see your regular doctor first, explain the treatment you are thinking about having and then also mention the metal implant. They will most likely recommend the most suitable physician to see next and they can then let you know if it is OK to go ahead with treatment. All the very best of luck to you! David


Mary Anne June 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I discovered your “Iontophoresis Contraindications | Here are the top 5 things you should know about them” page and noticed you have a lot of useful information on this website. Thank you for letting us know more detail about the contraindications relating to iontophoresis. I am going to let some of my friends know who have this issue.


David July 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

Mary Anne,
Thanks for visiting the website and for spreading the word to your friends. Much appreciated 🙂


Craig June 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I’ve known about the use of iontophoresis to treat hyperhydrosis for some time, but I’ve heard conflicting accounts of effectiveness. I suffer from a rather severe case of plantar hyperhydrosis and I’m at my wits end in my search for relief. I also have a bit of titanium in an ankle thanks to a break, so now I have to wonder if I can even try this method at all.


David June 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hi Craig,
Thanks for stopping by the website and letting us know about your situation. Firstly I am sorry it has taken me a little while to get back to you, I was out of town. From the feedback we have received from readers of our website, as well as in other forums and related websites, iontophoresis can be quite effective for plantar hyperhidrosis and you should seek your physicians advice on this and also regarding the titanium in your ankle. You might find out it is a feasible option for you and worth getting some of these treatments, then to reduce the cost on an ongoing basis you could purchase your own machine and administer it in the comfort of your home. I also wanted to ask you if you have tried a product called Driclor? It is a product you can order online and is basically a roll-on treatment that most people use for underarm sweating, but it also works for hands and feet too. Let me know your thoughts and any other treatments/products you might have already tried, I’ll try and point you in the right direction the best I can. Thanks again! David


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