First of all, as I am sure you’ll agree, Iontophoresis is a difficult name to pronounce! Second off, it’s equally as hard to remember how to spell it, as I discovered while writing this article!
According to medical dictionaries there are quite a few ways to medically explain what iontophoresis is, so we just decided to pick two of them:
iontophoresis /ion·to·pho·re·sis/ (i-on″to-fah-re´sis) the introduction of ions of soluble salts into the body by means of electric current. iontophoret´ic
the introduction of ions of soluble salts into the body by an electric current.
OK, now we have the spelling, pronunciation, and medical definition out of the way, let’s jump right in and start explaining what iontophoresis actually is, and how it can help you stop sweating.
What Is Iontophoresis
Iontophoresis is a medical treatment used to drive positive or negative ions into a tissue, in which two electrodes are placed in contact with tissue, one of the electrodes being a pad of absorbent material soaked with a solution of the material to be administered, and a voltage is applied between the electrodes. Wow, that sounds a bit scary, but it really isn’t! In fact, iontophoresis as a method of introducing substances through the skin has been performed safely and successfully since the 1940’s, and specifically for hyperhidrosis since the 1950’s.
I am hoping you have arrived on this page because you are interested in finding out more on Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis, that being the case, I will only mention how this works in relation to excessive sweating problems. You may be interested to know that Iontophoresis is also used in other applications such as physical therapy and for the application of anti-inflammatory medications. If you want to check out the other ways that iontophoresis is utilized, may I suggest you check out Wikipedia for more information.
The practice of iontophoresis by medical professionals is most predominant and mainstream in the United States, and there are much fewer practitioners using this practice in the UK, and only in certain areas of Europe. Regardless of it being far less popular in the UK and Europe as opposed to America, those that do administer iontophoresis are very keen advocates of it.
I don’t want this article to bore you by detailing a bunch of technical and medical speak, so I’ll give you a quick overview now on what is iontophoresis, and then let you know how successful this treatment can be for people like you that suffer from hyperhidrosis.
Iontophoresis is one alternative for those of you that are suffering from any, or all of the following:
- Sweaty Palms
- Sweaty Feet
- Sweaty Underarms
The procedure basically utilizes an electrical stimulation to the feet, hands, or underarms. Excessive sweating sufferers like you and I put our hands or feet in a tray of water (usually tap water) at which time an electrical current is passed through the water allowing the ions to penetrate the skin by approximately 1mm or less. The intended effect of this is to stun the eccrine sweat glands of the hands, feet, or underarms, which basically decreases the sweat reflex that occurs in our body.
Most of us that suffer from hyperhidrosis will experience complete cessation of sweating after the initial phase of treatment for either hours, days, weeks, or a month at a time. Each person is different, and after your initial round of 6-8 treatments you will be able to monitor how long you can go before having and/or administering additional treatments. Once you have established this, you can then set yourself up on a regular schedule of either twice weekly, once a week, once every two weeks, or once per month.
This form of hyperhidrosis treatment is more commonly used for those of you that primarily suffer from sweaty hands and/or feet, and it is considered very effective at suppressing sweating in palms and the soles of your feet, but not as effective at stopping sweating in your underarms.
If you would like to read more details on Iontophoresis treatment for your hands and feet, or discover some of the potential side effects, which are minimal, take a look at our Iontophoresis page for more details.
In summary, don’t be put off by the fact that an electrical current is used in the process of administering iontophoresis; this current can be controlled and set to low when you first start having treatments, or administering them yourself, and once you are comfortable you can gradually increase the current. The success rate (83%) is high for patients who undergo iontophoresis treatments, so if your sweaty feet or sweaty palms are getting you down you should consider this as an effective treatment.
If you are interested in finding out more about these devices, check out the Drionic Hand/Foot Iontophoresis Device.
What made you want to look up: what is iontophoresis? Please let us know in the comments section below.