Has your Hyperhidrosis ever stopped you from making new friends at a social event? Or perhaps you’ve been at a work conference, and your excessive perspiration has prevented you from making a sale? The fact of the matter is that sweat has a disagreeable smell, which turns off everyone. What then can you, as someone with Hyperhidrosis, do? You play with electricity.
Ever since we’re little kids, we are told not to play with two things: fire and electricity. People see both as dangerous and harmful. And it’s true; they can be. However, at the same time, both have the potential to be used in life-changing medical procedures. In fact, medicine has begun dipping into them. Let’s talk about electricity and Iontophoresis.
Iontophoresis uses Grade 7 chemistry concepts about electricity and ions to reduce sweating, ultimately changing your life for the better. Because if you take a second to think about it, how many times have you kept yourself back because your sweaty palms have embarrassed you? How many times you had to buy giant bags just to fill them with antiperspirants or blotting paper?
Hyperhidrosis seeps into every aspect of your life, and now there is a cheap and readily available solution. You do not have to go to a doctor and pay bills upon bills. You can easily stay at home and do the treatment yourself.
However, before you rush to get the treatment, you should probably learn a bit more about it. Because after all, it is a medical procedure. If you choose to rush into it without knowing what to expect, you might panic during it. For example, the process has specific side effects. Sure, they are not permanent, but unless you know what’s coming, you can’t prepare yourself for it.
If you’re interested in learning about the intricacies of how Iontophoresis works and how you can use it; this is the article for you.
What is Iontophoresis?
However, why all the fuss surrounding the process? What is Iontophoresis? How does it work? It is a form of drug administration. It’s different from other forms because of how it does it.
To get any drug into your blood, you either ingest it or inject it. Oral administered drugs go through your digestive tract and then reach your blood. Injections are often seen as invasive because you have to poke your skin. Instead, Iontophoresis uses an electric current to deliver medicine through the skin directly into the blood without any incisions.
This has led to people referring to it as an ‘injection without the needle.’ Old medical journals may even refer to this technique as an EDA (Electromotive Drug Administration); however, modern medicine doesn’t use that term anymore.
The method uses an applied potential difference to move ions across a membrane. When the membrane in question is skin, the process is called transdermal Iontophoresis.
Before getting into how the process works, let’s take a walk down history and learn about where it came from.
History of Iontophoresis
The concept of Iontophoresis has been around for a long time. There are records of its usage from back to the late 1600s. It was seen as the unknown magical concept that no one quite understood. A few brave doctors used it here and there, but that’s it. It was in 1747 that a scientist named Pivati first described the process. Then some understanding of how it worked began.
In the 18th century, two well-known scientists of the time, Galvani and Vota, took the research a step further. They took the ideas of electricity and ionic transfer and produced a similar process to what doctors use today. Even though they did a lot of work for this, most therapists still didn’t use it.
Only a select few knew and understood the science behind Iontophoresis. The rest didn’t know enough about the process and so didn’t trust it. This meant it wasn’t a mainstream medical treatment.
It was in the early 1900s that the process became popular. This was in large part due to the work of a scientist named Le Duc. He introduced the term iontotherapy and formed specific laws for the process. He streamlined it, and it was only then that Iontophoresis started being used to administer pharmaceutical agents.
Benefits of Iontophoresis
If other drug delivery methods exist, why do you have to go through the trouble of getting Iontophoresis?
The idea is simple. With other forms of administration, you have multiple variables attached to them. These are the things that change every time you take a medicine, i.e., factors that keep evolving. We’re referring to circumstances like pH, the presence of food, or enzymes.
So, for example, if you ate an apple pie before taking a pill versus if you ate saltines, the environment of your mouth, and in turn, your entire digestive system would be different. You have minimum to no control over these things, and trying to regulate them is nearly impossible.
Each one of these factors affects the impact a drug can have. Iontophoresis goes over all of them and gives you a controlled release of drugs. Because it’s going directly into the blood, you don’t have to deal with any of the variables.
It also means that you can accurately predict the outcomes of using a drug and then reproduce them anytime you want. You will know for a fact what quantity of drug you’re using and the impact it has.
What is Iontophoresis used for?
Iontophoresis has multiple therapeutic and medicinal uses. Its primary use is to treat Hyperhidrosis, a condition where people sweat a lot, primarily through their hands and soles of their feet.
However, there are quite a few other uses for it too. Iontophoresis has been used to deliver drugs to the skin to:
- Treat fungal infection of the nail plate
- Reduce sweating using an anticholinergic agent like botulinum toxin A or glycopyrronium
- Anaesthetize a part of skin with lignocaine
- Remove infection caused by microorganisms using silver ions
- Treat tendonitis or bursitis with anti-inflammatory drugs
Who should use Iontophoresis
Even though this is a super beneficial treatment, some people shouldn’t access it. Doing so may harm them. If you experience any of the following categories, you should not go for Iontophoresis treatment:
- a patient with a history of seizures or are epileptic
- If you have a heart condition
- a pregnant woman
- If you have a metal implant
You should also delay your treatment if you have a recent wound, scar, or skin graft in the area that needs treatment. If you choose to have the therapy, Iontophoresis may be painful. The procedure will also be less effective.
What to expect from Iontophoresis treatments
If you’re thinking of using Iontophoresis, you should probably read over what a treatment looks like, so you know what to expect.
Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis usually uses regular tap water. Let’s go through the procedure for palmar and plantar Hyperhidrosis.
Procedure for Palmar & Plantar Hyperhidrosis
The process for treating Palmar Hyperhidrosis is reasonably straightforward. Place each hand in a tray of water that has active and indifferent electrodes. The device is turned on so that the current passes through the skin between the electrodes. At the start, the current should be set to low. It can later be moved up according to your tolerance.
The Iontophoresis procedure for Plantar Hyperhidrosis is the same as described above. The only difference is that instead of placing your hands in the trays, you’d put your feet in the water.
We recommend applying petroleum jelly to your skin at the waterline and any small cuts or wounds to avoid discomfort or inflammation.
When you start your treatment, you’ll have 20-30 minute sessions every 1-3 days until you get the results you want. After that, you cut down to one session a week to maintain the result. Broadly, it is up to the patient to decide what works best because individual cases do differ.
How does Iontophoresis work?
Iontophoresis is generally a simple concept; it makes sense. Once you start looking into each part’s details and the concepts behind them, that understanding often becomes a bit blurry. We’ve broken down the concepts into different headings to make it easy for you to follow along.
You need to go through a few key concepts before understanding how Iontophoresis works. The first idea is simple. To drive the ions into human tissue, you need to use direct current.
Some people will argue that the current needs to be continuous, while others will say that as long as the electric current is monophasic, you can use a pulsed application. Either way, continuous DC is the most commonly used in practice.
Second, the substance you are driving into the tissue needs to be ionic. This is the solution that you wet your towels in. This is important because ions transfer electricity, and you need the transfer of electricity to make this work.
Also, it would be best if you place the ionic solution under the electrode with the same charge. The same charges will always repel each other. This means that when you place positive ions under a positive electrode called the anode, it will push the positively charged ions away from it and into the skin. The vice versa happens for the negatively charged ions.
Thirdly, the ions go into the skin through various pores in the human skin, such as hair follicles and sweat gland ducts. It doesn’t go directly through the skin because the topmost layer, i.e., the stratum, is too rough and has high resistance.
Lastly, the ionic solution used in the process depends on what you’re using the procedure for. No solution works for all procedures.
Let’s go through some of the commonly used solutions and their uses.
- Tap Water: Hyperhidrosis
- Acetic Acid: Calcific tendinitis
- Calcium chloride: Muscle spasm
- Zinc Oxide: opens wounds – ulcers
- Hydrocortisone: inflammation
The scientific community has reached an agreement that the ions go about 1mm into the skin. Local capillary circulation effects cause any ions to go more in-depth than that. There isn’t any evidence that the current causes the penetrations below 1mm. However, some scientists have speculated that there could be a link.
Besides, different ions may go varying distances into the tissues. There is no agreed-upon universal penetration as of yet.
You will get acid accumulation under the positive electrode because the negatively charged ions will attract it. For example, if you are using hydrochloric acid, the negatively charged chloride ions will move towards it.
On the other hand, you will get alkaline accumulation under the negative electrode because the positively charged ions will move towards it. For example, the positively charged sodium ions in sodium hydroxide.
The magnitude of this local reaction will vary and depends on three factors
- current intensity
- tissue resistance
The higher the current, the greater the reaction will be. A similar hypothesis exists with the other two factors as well since these are all directly proportional relationships. The longer the time, the stronger the reaction, and the higher the resistance, the stronger the reaction will be.
Anodal and Cathodal Reactions
The two electrodes are vital parts of the Iontophoresis process, and understanding what happens to each is crucial.
The cathode, also known as the negative electrode, will attract positive ions. There will be an alkaline reaction by the formation of sodium Hydroxide. Inevitably, this leads to an increase in nerve excitability via a depolarization effect.
The anode is the positive electrode so that it will attract negative ions. You will see an acid reaction by the formation of hydrochloric acid. This reaction leads to a decreased density of proteins and eventually decreased nerve excitability. It happens through a hyperpolarization effect, sometimes called an anode blockage.
Polarity, Current Intensity, and Drug Concentrations
In broad terms, low current intensities appear to achieve the best results. The Iontophoresis treatment usually uses currents up to 5mA and low ionic concentrations (about 5%).
Some treatments and reports take the current intensity up to higher levels and use higher concentrations. Most treatment times are around 20-40 minutes.
Studies have shown that using substantial concentrations of ionic substances won’t really help you. It doesn’t increase the number of drugs reaching your tissues, and neither does it make them more potent.
On the other hand, there is research to show that low concentrations of the drugs are the most effective. They also cost less, so it’s a win-win for you.
The negative electrode is commonly made two times larger than the positive electrode. The reactions that take place then avoid skin irritation.
General Principles of Application
It is preferable to utilize a direct current stimulator over other devices. These are commonly dedicated iontophoresis devices. You can also use the DC/Iontophoresis output on a multi-modal machine.
The one fundamental principle is that constant current is preferable to a constant voltage. Doing this is vital so that if any changes occur in terms of skin resistance, the magnitude of the current you apply will not go above the preset level.
If the machines give you a choice, go for the constant current. It will provide you with a practical and safe application. This also means the smallest risk of skin burn. On the other hand, constant voltage stimulation can likely mean more burns more often.
Safe Current Density
Remember that the current density, i.e., how strong and concentrated the current is, is crucial in these treatments. If the current goes too high, you may have tissue damage and skin burn. Keep the current at a low amount to keep yourself safe.
The electrodes are a vital part of the equation. Moreover, you can choose which ones you want from these three options:
- Pre-gelled disposable
- Standard Metal
- Commercial electrodes
You can get any of these; they will all work well. For quite a few years now, therapists have been leaning towards various metal electrodes. They have applied the substance needed to treat the wet gauze between the metal electrode and the skin surface.
Preparation and Delivery
Now, we’ve said a lot in this article so far. However, this part is probably the most important, so pay attention. Before you go for this Iontophoresis, make sure your skin is cut free and carefully washed. You don’t need to have a special spa day, just soap and water is suitable, but you need to confirm that you wash thoroughly and have no abrasions.
Any application of heat will likely reduce the amount of drug passing into your skin, so avoid doing so.
Make sure that you soak your electrode thoroughly. You can use tap water or any other solution appropriate for your need. Dry electrodes are bad. We can’t stress this enough; avoid dry electrodes. They are inappropriate and unsuitable for the procedure.
If you are using pre-gelled electrodes, make sure that you have established good even contact.
Ensure there is proper fixation between the electrode and the skin. If there isn’t, there will be burns and irritation.
During the procedure, slowly turn up the current to the required amount and then turn it down slowly when the treatment ends.
How long does Iontophoresis take to work?
Studies have suggested that 80-85% of patients with Hyperhidrosis will notice a difference in 2-4 weeks. A survey of tap water Iontophoresis showed a 33% improvement on the soles of feet and 37.5% in the armpits after 14 days. This then went up to 78% for soles and 75% for armpits in the next 20 days.
Side Effects of Iontophoresis
Iontophoresis is generally a safe procedure. It doesn’t have many of the risks attached to other medical processes. However, we are still working with electricity, so be careful. It would be safe if you do not have any touch with the electrodes during treatment, or you may get a mild electric shock.
Most patients do feel some burning sensations or the pins and needles poking them. Some other side effects include:
- redness of skin
- small blisters
- dry or cracked skin
All of these side effects are quite common. They do pass within a few days, but you should always apply moisturizers to reduce symptoms. You can even use corticosteroids.
If your treatment used anticholinergic drugs, you might see side effects like dizziness, dry eyes, and dry mouth. It does, at times, get absorbed into the body to produce systemic side effects.
The Best Iontophoresis Machine
If you’ve decided to treat your excessive sweating using Iontophoresis, this is your lucky day. Instead of going through hundreds of doctors and thousands of machines, all you need to do is look at one: the Raynatics Machine.
Our machine isn’t like all the others on the market. It’s unique because it’s efficient and has a 98% success rate. If you’ve ever been in a case where your Hyperhidrosis has kept you back, Raynatics Machine for Iontophoresis is what you need.
This treatment uses mild electrical current and directly blocks sweat glands under the skin. This then effectively stops you from sweating. Pretty sweet, right? Well, it gets better.
Our Iontophoresis device has certain safety features that set it apart from competitors. Since the machine is a natural treating element, it uses minimum current. This is enough to assist in the treatment process. Also, since the device works on an external power source, it eliminated the risk of electrical power surging. This is an issue you may face with AC power plugs.
The Iontophoresis machine is safe for all customers since it uses low voltage. However, Raynatics went the extra mile. We have a unique ‘anti-shock’ feature. This cuts off current flow almost instantly to zero value as the treated region resurfaces from the electrode plate. It is only when the user re-submerges for treatment, which the voltage will go back up.
How to use our machine?
What will you receive?
- Electrode plates
- Two Microfiber towels
It may look daunting at first sight! But hey, it only requires four simple steps:
Step 1: Lay the towels over the electrode plates.
Step 2:Fill the plate with tap water.
Step 3: Connect the device.
Step 4: Preset the voltage on the controller.
Next, you simply place your hands over the towels for 15 minutes. After this, switch the polarity. This means you have to take the red electrode clip and attach it in place of the black clip. Treat for another 15 minutes, and you’re done!
You can follow the same treatment for your feet as well.
Once you’re done with your treatment, you’re probably wondering what’s next. Well, you just do it again, not the same day, of course. However, you do need to do it repeatedly to get results.
Things like how many days a week, you should do the treatment depend on you and how severe your Hyperhidrosis is. This plan will tell you where you stand and how many treatments you will need.
This is where you stand right now. At this point, you must do 7-10 days of consecutive treatment, and this is mandatory. You can’t back out of it.
You can only get to the maintenance phase once you’re through with the initial phase. Now you can take your treatments down from 7 days a week to 1-3 times per week. This will help you maintain your results. If you don’t do this, your sweating routines may come back.
Iontophoresis is a medical revolution for Hyperhidrosis patients. Doctors have been prescribing it since the 1940s! It’s a very effective treatment with too high success rates, little to no side effects, and the best part, it’s non-invasive!
How does it work?
Iontophoresis works by using electrical currents through shallow water levels, using pans or specially designed pads, and into the surface of your skin. The current effectively blocks the “sympathetic nerve transmission,” which means it neutralizes the connection between the sweat glands and nerves—this way, sweat production can be reduced significantly in targeted zones.
Is it safe?
Before you get “shocked” at the sound of electric currents, know that these currents are nowhere near high enough voltage to do any damage. The small voltage ensures your safety. It has been a standard prescription for the last 75 years, and being needle and drug-free makes it safer than the other medical options.
A thing to note about Iontophoresis is that it requires you to set up and adhere to a strict maintenance schedule for treatment sessions, which can last a couple of weeks (each session lasting around 20-30 minutes). However, since it is a home-based treatment, you do not need to worry about regular checkups or tiresome visits to the doctor.
As mentioned above, Iontophoresis has few side effects and no serious ones at that. It is a treatment most people can take. Do not get worried if the treated zone gets itchy or red for a while. It is entirely reasonable to observe increased sweating for a short period. All of these side effects are temporary and short-lived, so you have nothing to be concerned about.
Raynatics’ Iontophoresis device is an easy-to-use device designed for convenience and comfort. It can easily be used for Iontophoresis procedures and can be operated without the help of a specialist. Given below is a list of the benefits of this device.
- ECONOMICAL: this device is a very economical way to solve your sweating problem. It is a one-time purchase, and you can use it at home conveniently.
- DRUG-FREE: this device provides treatment without any drugs; hence, the side effects are minimal.
- NEEDLE-FREE: unlike other treatments, this device does not use any needles, making this process painless, which is a great advantage.
- EFFECTIVENESS: this device is very effective in solving sweating issues. There are significantly fewer cases in which this device was not helpful (less than 5%).
- SAFE: as mentioned earlier in the article, this device is secure to use as its voltage is tiny.
- QUICK RESULTS: this device has proved to provide results within 2 to 3 weeks of use, making it extremely efficient!
The Raynatics’ Iontophoresis machine has been positively reviewed by countless people from all over the world. Some of the reviews are listed below:
- “I feel my hand and feet totally dry after three weeks….” (Mr. Diem)
- “Used it consistently for two weeks and it really works!” (Anonymous user)
- “I am fully satisfied with this product.” (Mr. Subhankar)
- “I can definitely say that my sweating has reduced since using this….” (Anonymous user)
- “…..I decided to try Raynatics. Glad that I did as it took me five to six days to achieve 95% of sweat-free….” (Mr. Greg)
Click here to read hundreds and more reviews!
Raynatics’s devices have significantly higher success rates than other devices out there. User results show a staggering 98% – 100% success rate for a majority of their patients. These are observable results that patients experience within a few weeks of treatment.
At such affordable prices and success rates, you are in safe hands with the Raynatics Iontophoresis device!
Iontophoresis is effective in treating the conditions of Hyperhidrosis. However, the effects vary from person to person. It bears results instantly for some people, while others require more prolonged or frequent sessions. Before you choose Iontophoresis to treat over-sweating, it is advised that you consult your doctor. And if you need a device to do the procedures on your own, Raynatics’s Iontophoresis should be your choice!