As many as 8 million Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, which causes them to sweat four to five times as much as the average person. Fortunately, iontophoresis therapy was introduced over 50 years ago as a treatment for excessive sweating.
If you are just beginning iontophoresis treatment, you may have a number of questions and even a few concerns. Here are some frequently asked questions about the therapy and how it fights against excessive sweating.
Frequently Asked Questions About Iontophoresis
- How does it work?
Iontophoresis machines work by delivering mild electrical currents to the affected body part as it is submerged in water. The electrical currents shut down the sweat glands. It generally takes about six to 10 treatments for the therapy to have an effect.
- Can the iontophoresis machine give me an electric shock?
The machine is perfectly safe and designed to prevent large amounts of electrical currents from passing through your body, so it is very unlikely that you will get a shock. Still, it is wise to read the user’s guide and follow all safety precautions listed.
- Does it hurt?
The process should not be painful, though some patients describe it as mildly uncomfortable. They say it is a similar sensation to what you would get if you touch your tongue to the tip of an AA battery. Always begin by setting your iontophoresis device to a low voltage setting. Also, check your skin for breakages and lacerations, as these can make the sensation more pronounced. If you do have a cut, cover it with a product like petroleum jelly.
- What kind of water should I use?
You do not need to use any special sort of water. Tap water works best when practicing iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis. Some patients claim that adding salt to the water makes the therapy more effective.
No evidence suggests that patients can build up a tolerance to iontophoresis. If the treatment stops working over time, it is likely that you need to replace or fix your iontophoresis machine.
No, there are variations between makes and models. Do some research and talk to your doctor before purchasing a specific device.
If you suffer from excessive sweating, discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options with your doctor. Please feel free to leave additional questions regarding iontophoresis treatment in the comments section below.