While hyperhidrosis is not cancer, for those who suffering from hyperhidrosis it can be mentally tear, avoiding handshakes, writing on paper and the ink smudging or the paper getting damp, and even having smelly feet on occasion. And for me as a dad watching my teen daughter deal with it, it has had a lifelong lasting impact so my goal is to help as many people suffering from hyperhidrosis as I can.
As a treatment option for hyperhidrosis, iontophoresis was a widely recommended way in online hyperhidrosis communities. I recently read more about iontophoresis after stumbling across these communities. I was skeptical but tried this just over 2 weeks ago and it has been amazing! Images of my set up, description of equipment I use and where you can buy those items can be found below. FAQ at the bottom.
Metal plates or trays x2 (I choose Aluminum Foil Pans)
Alligator clips with wires for connect trays to batteries x2 (Easy to buy from amazon)
9-volt 6F22 batteries x2 (Two batteries can be connected without wire)
Sponges x2 (Insulates hands from direct contact with metal plates)
- Connect battery
Connect two 6F22 batteries to gain a 18V battery. 18v maybe a bit high for beginner. From what I know, the more you can take the quicker result you will get.
- Connect the batteries and the aluminum foil pans with alligator clips.
- Place in sponges: Place one sponge in each pan.
- Add water. Add tap water in each tray. Your waterline should be high enough such that fingers are half-submerged in the water, or at least the sweaty parts of your palm and fingers are underwater.
- Check setup: Make sure that the aluminum foil pans are not touching each other – this would short-circuit the battery! Also ensure the surface the aluminum foil pans are sitting is not conductive. Putting the pans on a wooden table or carpet, and separating them decently works well.
- Start the treatment: Place one hand or foot slowly in one pan and submerge it in the water. Then slowly place another hand or foot in the other pan and submerge it in the water. Do not touch the pan or metal plates directly.
- Reverse polarity: Since the output of the battery is a direct current, we need reverse output polarity to get a better treatment result. After 10 mins, slowly take your hands or feet out one at a time. Then reverse polarity of the alligator clips. It is better had someone do it for you.
How often should we do iontophoresis for it be effective? There’s varying routines and it differs from person to person. Generally, the advice seems to be to start with a few consecutive days, normally one to two weeks in a row, then slowly reduce the frequency as the sweating improves. Please note that iontophoresis is NOT a permanent fix to hyperhidrosis. You WILL have to do maintenance for best results.
Does it hurt?
- There’s a feeling of pins and needles, vibrating and very light shocks initially and you will get use to it.
There are some videos show that it doesn’t matter to reverse the polarity or not. Is this true? Can I just do 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes but without reversing the polarity?
- No, you can’t. It’s not true. I seek advice from IontoDri company, A professional manufacturer of iontophoresis machine. They told us reverse polarity are needed for homemade iontophoresis machine.
Does this treatment work for armpits / body parts apart from hands and feet?
- I have no idea unfortunately; my daughter is hands and feet hyperhidrosis. but there are purpose-built devices for armpits so I’m sure a homemade one may work.
If you can’t afford an iontophoresis machine sells on the market, homemade one is a good choice and I hope above information helps you. If you need a professional iontophoresis machine, IontoDri is a good option as their machine allow you to control and measure how much voltage/amps are going through your hands or feet. And they device support hands and feet treatment the same time. That will save much time.
Here is IontoDri website