Does Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis Work? Results You Can Expect
If you suffer from the sweating condition hyperhidrosis, you might feel like no treatment exists that can prevent sweat marks from impacting your daily life.
Before you invest time and money into iontophoresis, you should know how the treatment works, how much it costs and what results you can expect.
Breaking Down Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis
Doctors have been using iontophoresis to treat excessive sweating on the hands and feet since the 1940s. Iontophoresis is recommended for people who have tried prescription or clinical strength antiperspirants but need a stronger treatment.
During iontophoresis, a medical device passes a mild electrical current through water (using shallow pans or special pads) to your skin’s surface. Each treatment lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Iontophoresis isn't painful, but you might feel a slight tingling sensation on your skin during treatment. The electrical current isn't strong enough to damage your skin.
Compared to other hyperhidrosis treatments, iontophoresis is on the safer side. The most common side effect is dry skin. Blistering, peeling and irritation may occur, but you can combat these side effects by applying moisturizer after each session.
Who Should Avoid Iontophoresis?
While iontophoresis is a generally safe procedure, certain conditions will prevent you from using the treatment:
- A history of seizures or epilepsy
- A heart condition or pacemaker
- Metal implants
You should also postpone iontophoresis if you have recent wounds, scars or skin grafts in the area requiring treatment. These situations might cause the procedure to be painful and less effective.
Is Iontophoresis for Hyperhidrosis Effective?
Iontophoresis treatments can decrease sweating for people with palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (hands and feet) — research shows that iontophoresis reduced sweating in 85 percent of palm0plantar hyperhidrosis patients who tried it.
It's slightly less effective in treating axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweat) – about 70 percent see improvement.
Iontophoresis requires upkeep. Most people with hyperhidrosis need to have regular treatments to notice an improvement in symptoms. Doctors usually recommend weekly treatments for hyperhidrosis patients.
Your doctor will begin your iontophoresis treatments in the doctor’s office. If the procedure starts reducing your symptoms, you can buy a portable machine to use at home.
It's important to note that iontophoresis is not a permanent solution for hyperhidrosis. You have to commit to lifelong weekly treatments if you want to keep your sweating symptoms at bay. If you travel frequently or have a demanding job, you'll need to decide if iontophoresis is a realistic solution.
One iontophoresis session in a doctor's office will run you approximately $150. Prescription iontophoresis devices cost around $500-950 to purchase. You can also rent an iontophoresis device for $100-150 per month. The cost varies depending on the power source, size and strength of the machine.
Most health insurance providers in the US consider iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis a medically necessary treatment, so check with your provider to see if they will cover the cost.
An Alternative Solution for Hyperhidrosis
Iontophoresis might improve your symptoms if you have certain types of hyperhidrosis. But committing to a weekly treatment schedule can become exhausting over time, and the cost of renting or purchasing equipment adds up fast.
If you suffer from excessive underarm sweating, you have a smaller chance of success with iontophoresis.
If you’re looking for a safe, practical solution to combat the effects of axillary hyperhidrosis that doesn’t break the bank, try a Thompson Tee.
The Thompson Tee was made for people with hyperhidrosis, by people with hyperhidrosis. It’s the only patented sweat proof undershirt guaranteed to prevent sweat marks from seeping through to your outer layer. The Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology completely absorbs and evaporates sweat to keep you cool and dry throughout the day.