Iontophoresis  Treatment

WHAT IS IONTOPHORESIS?

Iontophoresis is a procedure commonly used to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). It uses a medical device that delivers mild electrical currents to administer medication into your body through your skin.
Iontophoresis Treatment

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HOW DOES IONTOPHORESIS WORK?

Iontophoresis works by using the basic concept of electrical polarity. Which is, ionic charges that are alike will repel one another, while ions that are oppositely charged will be attracted to each other.

The medication used in iontophoresis will be in a solution that can either be negatively or positively charged. So if a medication is introduced into your body via iontophoresis, and that medication is negatively charged, your therapist will use a negative current to drive that medication into your body.
Although Iontophoresis is known for treating hyperhidrosis, it can also be used to administer medication into the body to:
  • Decrease pain and muscle spasm
  • Anaesthetise an area of skin with lidocaine.
  • Treat fungal infection
  • Eradicate infection using silver ions
  • Reduce calcium deposits in the body
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Manage scar tissue

WHAT TO EXPECT?

Before administering iontophoresis, your physical therapist must first determine which type of medication to use. The medication used will depend on the purpose of the treatment.

Don’t be surprised if your therapist will ask you to contact your physician before administering medication through iontophoresis. This is because most US states would require that they obtain a prescription from your doctor before conducting iontophoresis.
During the procedure, a direct current electrical stimulation unit will be used. It will have two electrodes; one for negative current, and the other for the positive current. Your physical therapist will use either one depending on the type of medication being used.

You'll then place the afflicted body part in the medicated solution. Your therapist will turn the machine on and increase the intensity until you feel a slight tingling sensation on your skin. The electricity will then "push" the medication into your body. You'll undergo the treatment for 20-30 minutes every 1-3 days until the desired effect is achieved. At this point, treatments will be scheduled for at least once a week to maintain results.

Before the procedure, you'll be asked to apply petroleum jelly on the skin to prevent discomfort or inflammation. Nevertheless, the initial current will be very low and then adjusted according to your tolerance.

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