Iontophoresis is a recognised safe and effective method of reducing excessive sweating, especially for the hands and feet.It was originally used in 1952 by physiotherapists.
Iontophoresis is defined as the topical introduction of ionized drugs into the skin using direct current. Iontophoresis using water alone is successful in approximately 85% of patients. For those who do not have a complete cessation of sweating with water treatment then an anticholinergic drug can be administered.
The hands and/or feet are placed in shallow plastic trays which are filled with water, and connected to an iontophoresis machine. A low intensity electrical current is passed through the hands and/or feet. For armpits, axillae electrodes and pads attached to the iontophoresis machine are placed under the arm.
For the first two weeks, treatments are given every few days and nearly all patients find that they have stopped sweating after 4-7 treatments. After this, a maintenance treatment is recommended as soon as the affected areas start to become clammy, and before sweating starts again.