If you suffer from hyperhidrosis disorder or an excessive sweating problem, your doctor may have suggested iontophoresis treatment. Below you will find everything you need to know about the treatment and how it can help you control your sweat production.
- What is iontophoresis?
It is a safe medical procedure used to treat excessive sweating and sports injuries. A medical device delivers mild electrical currents to parts of your body submerged in water to temporarily block the sweat glands. Affected parts of your body most likely include hands, feet, or armpits.
- What should I expect during a treatment?
Iontophoresis is most often performed at a doctor’s office; however, you can purchase an iontophoresis machine and complete the treatments at home. Most sessions last between 10 and 20 minutes. You will place the affected part of you body in a basin of water, turn on the machine, and increase the current until you feel a light tingling sensation. You should not feel any pain.
- How effective is iontophoresis therapy?
For treating hyperhidrosis, patients will need to undergo two to three treatment sessions per week until sweating decreases to a manageable level. Six to ten treatments are necessary to shut down the sweat glands. Once you’re sweating at a more desirable level, treatments need to be done only once per week, but they must be done consistently to maintain results.
- What are the side effects of the treatment?
Treatment should be completely painless; however, some patients do experience mild side effects. The most common side effect is dry skin that may blister or peel. Luckily, applying moisturizer after each session can help manage these side effects.
- Are there any circumstances in which I should not use an iontophoresis machine?
Do not undergo iontophoresis if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, a cardiac condition, epilepsy, or a metal implant such as a joint replacement.
- What if it isn’t working?
If the treatment doesn’t seem to be working, talk to your doctor. You may also add baking soda to the water, which may increase results.
Iontophoresis was introduced over 50 years ago to treat excessive sweating, and the technology is continually improving. Many patients who suffer from hyperhidrosis report that the condition negatively affects their emotional well-being. If you feel that you are being held back by your condition, talk to your doctor about treatment.