Iontophoresis 2-cell bath of the hands

Iontophoresis to treat hyperhidrosis palmaris

The medical term hyperhidrosis palmaris (also called hyperhidrosis manuum) describes the excessive, abnormal sweating of the hands, particularly the palms.

Some patients suffering from this condition secrete such large amounts of perspiration that the sweat partially drips off. Moreover, permanent sweating leaves fingers, balls of the thumb and palms totally soaked and clammy. They often display a dark blue-red discoloration (circulation) and virtually feel like a sponge. It is understandable that this form of hyperhidrosis causes afflicted persons tremendous psychological suffering, not last because the „embarrassing sweaty hands“ cannot be hidden by clothing from others.

Social isolation starts with the desire not to have to shake hands with other individuals, if at all possible. Often this permanent psychological stress leads to mental complexes, inhibitions and depressions later on. Especially in adolescents going through puberty (formative stage of social development) rapid action is required so that the condition does not lead to behavioral disorders. Since sweaty hands are mainly controlled by the vegetative (nervous) system, for example in situations where excitement, shame, or fear prevails, treatment of the mental condition is recommend along with the conservative methods. Experience shows that the „fear of sweating“ massively increases the actual sweat problem. A vicious cycle the afflicted persons should break as soon as possible by alleviating their symptoms.

Bottom line: iontophoresis is an excellent tool to manage hyperhidrosis palmaris (hyperhidrosis manuum)!

Iontophoresis to treat excessive sweaty hands
Iontophoresis to treat sweaty hands: the picture clearly demonstrates that only the palm should be covered by water.

Flat electrodes: recommendation for iontophoresis therapy to treat sweaty hands

The flat electrodes for treating hands/feet are mainly made of metal. The newer silicone-/graphite-electrodes for hand treatment are light, pliable and, if necessary, can be cut to size to fit the preferred treatment tray or shape (e.g. choose a tray with smaller surface area for a higher water line). Silicone-/graphite electrodes are suitable for users with metal allergies. They are not subject to corrosion and are also not affected by chemical reactions which lead to the separation of nano particles.

You can find more details on the basic differences between metal electrodes and silicone electrodes on our page providing iontophoresis shopping advice…

Application recommendation: iontophoresis treatment of the hands

To treat sweaty hands, we basically recommend a therapy device that can deliver pulsed as well as direct current. Please use initially only direct current. In the beginning, increase the current level over the entire treatment period of 15 minutes up to a value which you perceive as a „slightly painful but manageable“ sensation. Please bear in mind that the skin quickly adapts. A current level initially perceived as unpleasant is often judged as tolerable only about half a minute later.

Tip for power maximization: If needed (no progress in achieving dryness for an extended period) you should try out incrementally higher current ratings but only if you can permanently tolerate your personal maximum current very well.

  • carefully read the information contained in the attached iontophoresis user manual, particularly the provisions for safety and start-up of the device!
  • do not wear any metal items like rings or wrist watches and do not use any electronic devices in the direct environment of your treatment (cellphones, microwaves).
  • clean skin areas prior to the treatment. Remove ointments, creams and cosmetics.
  • place the treatment trays on a stable and flat surface.
  • place 1 electrode in each of the two treatment trays and connect them both with the control device.
  • cover the electrodes with the according protective element (cloths, grates, sponges, fleece).
  • use only tap water free of additives for the treatment!
  • make sure that the protective element has been completely and thoroughly soaked in water.
  • Fill the treatments trays with as little water as possible, so that the palms are barely covered with water.
  • make sure that you do not bathe the entire hands in the water but rather actual only your palms!
  • To maintain an even level of water, it is recommended to use a marked one liter PET-bottle for refilling. Marking the bottle at around 95 % of its regular filling capacity is often suitable.
  • Treatment time: 15 minutes turns out to be the optimum time span for a treatment session.
  • For your first treatments, select direct current and a low start setting.
  • Increase this value over the time of the session until a somewhat unpleasant tingling sensation appears. You should, however, never feel any real pain permanently!
  • If you want to change the current settings in modern iontophoresis devices with automatic start/stop function, simply take one hand out of the tray. The treatment should continue once it is re-immersed.
  • A good iontophoresis device should be safe and easy to operate – even with clammy fingers.
  • Caution – direction of current: do not change the direction of current within a treatment session!
  • If at all possible, avoid strong movements during the session which could result in power fluctuations.

Therapy monitoring & maintenance therapy

If after several weeks or applications you feel significant improvement (> 50 % sweat reduction), you can decide for yourself if you want to continue to reduce the sweating any further or if you rather want to switch to maintenance therapy. For an ideal maintenance therapy you best select pulsed current and change the direction of current with every application. As a rule, you can use the same current strength you could previously tolerate well with your direct current treatment.

Simultaneous iontophoresis application on hands and feet with the Saalio® DE iontophoresis machine set
Simultaneous iontophoresis application on hands and feet with the Saalio® DE iontophoresis set

Recommendation: If you would like to order an iontophoresis device, we recommend the iontophoresis shop as specialist supplier to manage excessive sweating1.

1 Product advertising – clicking on the link will take you to an online store/website which is also operated by us. This is not an editorial recommendation.