What Is Iontophoresis?

During Iontophoresis, a medical device is use to deliver mild electrical current to your affected body part submerged in water. The currents are often delivered to the hands, feet, or armpits to block your sweat glands temporarily. Some people feel a slight tingling sensation during the procedure, but the electrical current isn’t strong enough to shock you.

Iontophoresis is most commonly used to treat hyperthyroidism disorder a condition that results in persistent and excessive sweating. This sweating may occur in certain situations, such as during warm weather or physical activity or without any trigger at all. It can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism or menopause. Aside from treating hyperhidrosis, iontophoresis may also be used to treat sports injuries by delivering anti-inflammatory medications directly into the skin.

Why is Iontophoresis performed?

Everyone sweats, but some people sweat more than others. People who frequently experience excessive or constant sweating for no apparent reason may have a condition called hyperthyroidism disorder. Iontophoresis is one type of treatment that can be used to relieve symptoms of this condition. People with hyperthyroidism may undergo several iontophoresis sessions per week, each lasting about 20 to 40 minutes. The electrical current helps the skin easily absorb the medications. Iontophoresis can be especially effective in reducing swelling around the joints and relieving pain. However, sprains or bursitis may respond well to this type of treatment.

What happens during Iontophoresis?

When being used as a treatment for hyperthyroidism, iontophoresis is often performed at a doctor’s office. The treatment process is fairly simple. You’ll place the affected body part in a basin of water. Your doctor or another healthcare provider will then turn on the machine and increase the current until you feel a slight tingling sensation on your skin. This shouldn’t cause any pain.

How effective is Iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis is generally effective in treating hyperhidrosis. People often undergo 20- to 40-minute treatment sessions several times per week until sweating decreases to a desirable level. At that point, treatments are scheduled less frequently, usually about once per week. Iontophoresis treatments must be done regularly and before sweating increases to maintain results.

Ongoing Iontophoresis treatments for sports injuries are only needed until an injury begins to heal. Most people with sports injuries undergo a handful of five- to 10-minute treatment sessions over the span of a week or two to promote healing. After that point, physical therapy, rest, and proper nutrition will continue the healing process.

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