Trying Iontophoresis Again

Hey everyone!

I posted here a few years back, but thought I would post again and see what feedback I can get.

I just started iontophoresis treatments again on my hands two days ago with my Fischer unit. I have what I would consider severe hyperhidrosis of the hands, feet, and underarms. It’s extremely debilitating and a source of great anxiety, but I won’t get into that here.

The purpose of this post is to get feedback from those of you who have achieved success with iontophoresis. I have tried it off and on for the past few years, but have never achieved dryness. I believe the maximum amount of time I have put in before is 20 hours or so total. If I remember correctly, I was doing 30-minute to one-hour treatments daily at a fairly high level of milliamps (15 to 20).

Anyway, I would like to ask how much total time I should put in this time around before giving up. I’m desperate to find a solution to this terrible disorder.



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Hey Chase,
I remember trying iontophoresis about a year and a half ago and had success. My palms and feet were completely dry. However, it only lasted for about a few days or maybe even a full week. I did 15 minutes per polarity at 18V (I used the iontoderma id-1000) with baking soda for every night until they got dry. I don't know why it stopped working; I did maintenance as soon as I felt the effects wearing off, but it never worked again, even after trying again a few months ago. I've experimented with so many different types of water ranging from plain tap to mineral water. Nothing seems to work unfortunately.

I've been on these forums probably since you have and still am dealing with this debilitating condition like you mentioned. The only input I could give is to just do ~15 min per polarity and possibly add some baking soda or salt if your area's tap water is on the softer side. Good luck!

Soy Sauce

Well-known member
Is you ionto device capable of pulsed current? Pulsed current will allow you to stand higher currents (I go up to 35) with virtually no pain. It supposedly takes longer to see results but maybe the higher current will allow you to achieve dryness.

I can't remember how long it took before I saw results the first time I did ionto treatment but it was a while. THe time it took to see results decreased after the first one or two treatment cycles. Just be consistent with your treatments and try not to miss more than a day and try to do a min of 40 mins. For me personally, I find that these days after I've done about 4-6 hrs total over 4 -6 days, I'll stop just due to being lazy or not having time and after 2-5 days after my last treatment all of a sudden my hands will be dry. It's weird.

How long it takes to work or if it works at all seems to be such an individual thing. All I can say is just keep doing treatments, make sure to use water that is on the harder side and who knows, maybe it'll take 50 hours before it works. I don't know what the maximum amount of hours anyone has tried ionto before giving up but who knows, maybe it's possible that someone might not see results the first time until doing 50,60 hours of treatment. Wish I could help more. Best of luck.

Soy Sauce

Well-known member
There is also the option of meds if you give up on ionto. Glycopyrrolate, Oxybutynin...but I would use those only after truly giving ionto the best shot you can, as those meds have side effects that could lead to permanent effects from use.


Well-known member
Follow Soy Sauce advice. Also, order some Antihydral online and rub that into our hands 5 minutes before treatment and see if that helps.

Ionto is tricky and obviously doesn't work for everyone. Try mixing in some rain water when you can. I used the Fisher unit for years and I find that pulsed current works better for me. Less pain and more control of the current.

Try doing treatment for at least 15 minutes per polarity, totalling 1/2 an hour for 14 days straight and then stop for a week and then do the same thing again for several cycles. Ionto is a funny science and I had change how I've done it over the past 12 1/2 years. There are just so many variables to consider.

Variables, can be stressful life events, moving, medications, water, altitude, job change, relationship change and the list goes own. I've documented so much of my experiences here. Sometimes there's just no logic as to why ionto works or doesn't work.
Thanks guys for these replies.

A brief update...

A spot below my thumb on both hands has gone totally dry. I’ve noticed a general reduction in sweating from both hands over the last few days. They both still sweat, but less often than usual. The spots below my thumbs cannot sweat even at those times, however.

Should I keep going? Good signs?

Please keep in mind that I’ve only put in a total time of 7 hours this time around. Strangely I’ve noticed results coming faster than my last try in which I put in more than 20 hours.

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I've used iontophoresis many times before, just like you. I remember when i first started doing iontophoresis my hands went super-dry. It was so dry that when i shook people's hands, they would tell me "your hands are so rough and dry". Unfortunately iontophoresis thickens your skin and subsequent sessions weren't as effective.

I had an electronics class last year and tried to hook an Arduino micro-controller to experiment with various voltage, polarity, pulses and ac/dc configurations with my iontophoresis sessions. I came to the conclusion that the most important factor is the composition of the water, not the current. The current is just "transporting/pushing" whatever is in the water into the top layers of the skin. Hard water works best, but adding in your own stuff, like mentioned in the posts above would help.

Is heat one of the triggers for your sweating? Are your hands/body always warm?
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Try my above advice.
Hey Sprawling,
I have a quick question for you. Did you notice any differences between doing ionto while your hands were sweating concurrently vs when you did ionto while your hands were not sweating? I don't know why, but I just noticed that when I do ionto when my hands are sweating, I feel the current and shock more, and the opposite for when I do it when my hands are not sweating. This made me question which "way" was more or less effective, if it had any effect at all.


Well-known member
Hey Sprawling,
I have a quick question for you. Did you notice any differences between doing ionto while your hands were sweating concurrently vs when you did ionto while your hands were not sweating? I don't know why, but I just noticed that when I do ionto when my hands are sweating, I feel the current and shock more, and the opposite for when I do it when my hands are not sweating. This made me question which "way" was more or less effective, if it had any effect at all.
Two things could be contributing to the difference in electrical sensations:
  1. Dry skin has higher resistance and you won't feel the current as much. (as long as your skin is not dry and cracked).
  2. Sweat contains salt. Salt conducts electricity. If you have been sweating you'll have more salt and your hands will be hydrated. Hydrated skin has less resistance to electricity. You'll feel more of the electrical sensation.

If you were to add some baking soda (or salt) to your water, you will feel more of a sting since the water is now more electrically conductive. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what options achieve the best results. Since I have severe HH, I try to use a high voltage. By putting baking soda in my water, I feel the sensation more.


Well-known member
I've mentioned this weird situation that I discovered about ionto. In my case why would ionto not be as effective in one location 400 miles from the other using the same exact water in both places. I used to spend most of my time in Salt Lake City, Utah and spend several months in Las Vegas, Nevada. In each place I used SLC water. Salt Lake water works well in Salt lake , yet not as well in Las Vegas. There is also an altitude difference of 2000 feet, and also a difference in humidity level. Las Vegas water by itself barely works. Las Vegas water mixed with rain water has worked on and off throughout the years.

Now I live in Las Vegas 10 months of the year and my hand treatment suffers. My hands can be dry or dripping wet. Stress and life changes have definitely taken its toll on my body. It just goes to show that there is no simple answer as to what makes for a good ionto treatment. June will be my 13th year of doing consistent treatment without stopping. I've learned to adapt, change, alter my treatments sometimes with success, other times failure. I go through part of my days with dripping hands, other times bone dry and this can be all in the same day.

The one thing I have learned to do is talk about it to others when needed. If I can't shake someone's hand I'll tell them why. I just can't make myself crazy about sweaty hands and feet. It sucks as do all the other anomalies in my body. All I know and have observed is that it goes beyond water quality to achieve success in one's treatment. What works today may not work tomorrow. We must adapt when adapting is required.


Well-known member
That scenario could only be made more baffling if you were also using all of the same equipment too. By that I mean, you took all of your equipment with you, including the towels and the current was the same at both locations. If everything is the same, then I'm grabbing at straws to figure out what the outlier is in your situation. As for altitude, the only thing that would make sense is the increase in hemoglobin (red blood cells) at higher altitudes would make your blood more electrically conductive. Iron in your RBC binds oxygen and the extra iron would cause your blood to be more electrically conductive.

Make sense?

Honestly, get blood work done and see if you have any iron deficiency as that may have a role in the reduction in the effectiveness of ionto. The key for iontophoresis is having electricity flow through your body.


Well-known member
Honestly said:
I'm not low in iron and my blood work always comes back normal despite battling fibro/cfs type of invisible illness. The Pulsed current device I'm using hasn't changed. Southern Nevada and I just don't seem to get along and ionto therapy just doesn't work the same here. There is no logical explanation.