Iontophoresis used succesfully for facial sweating

Hi Everyone,

 

I would like to share my experience of Iontophoresis with you, in the hope that it may be useful to somebody who was in a desperate situation like me. I realise this is quite a long story as I talk about my situation before treatment. If you just want to read about my method in using Iontophoresis to effectively treat facial sweating then feel free to skip to the last two paragraphs.

 

I have suffered with excessive sweating since puberty, not realising until somebody pointed it out to me and then becoming increasingly conscious about it. The area that affects and bothers me most is my face, with a little bit of heat/exercise/nervousness sweat starts building above my lips and on my forehead. Even walking a short distance or walking up the stairs! Something that has resulted in me avoiding any situation which I deem likely to make me sweat in front of people. The trouble is that the anxiety it caused and that I felt before any situation made me sweat which made me more anxious. So, I completely understand how restrictive this condition can be, and also misunderstood by people that don’t consider sweating a big issue.

 

I didn’t consider any treatments for this until I was about 25, I looked at internet forums and read about anti-perspirants and surgery. I was disappointed to find that these were either aimed more towards other areas of the body and not facial sweating, or very drastic operations. I went to my GP who prescribed me with ‘Driclor’ (Which I still have 2 years later and should probably throw out), I first used ‘Driclor’ when I started a new job, I remember on my first day going to wipe the sweat from my face but it not being there, I was sweating in other areas but it didn’t matter because my face was dry! It felt great, I was so happy that something had finally worked when I was convinced that my condition was so bad it couldn’t be treated. But this came at a cost, every night before bed rubbing this horrible liquid on my face and trying to get to sleep through the burning sensation. I hated it, although I stopped sweating whenever I was in a situation that I would normally sweat I got sudden pain in my face that felt like someone was sticking a pin in me. I have very sensitive skin anyway, some might find they can use this without a problem, Great! J

 

I stopped using ‘Driclor’ when I was working in a place that was constantly air conditioned and I was cycling to work – I know this might seem like more reason to try and prevent sweating, but I felt like cycling gave me a legitimate excuse for sweating so I wasn’t embarrassed about it. Then I saw a video about Iontophoresis on ‘Embarrassing bodies’ and how successful they were claiming it to be! I looked into it and found, once again, that the use for facial sweating had not progressed as much as other areas like hands and feet. Nevertheless, there was a mask available, which I bought, which allowed for facial treatment. The machine is very expensive, but I had read so many good things about this that I was not going to let any cost get in the way of my treatment. I took out my first credit card – at 26! – and purchased it in January 2016. By this time, I had left work and gone back into full time education and I was doing an access to higher education course.

 

After using the mask for a few weeks, I was disappointed to find that it didn’t really seem to be working. I spoke to the company that sold it to me who were helpful and positive and gave me some tips, but sadly I still didn’t find it very effective. I think it improved, but not enough! It also left me with red marks, sometimes broken skin, on my cheeks where the wires connect to the mask.

 

Over the summer of 2016, after noticing how effective it had been on my hands, which I treated as well, I started to think about the differences between the hand and face treatments. I’m not too good with electricity, currents etc. but I suspect that with the facial treatment, the difficulty is getting it to stay wet and getting the current to flow all around the affected areas. So I decided to experiment.

 

My plan was to get a face sized basin of water, a snorkel, a nose plug and some goggles – you can see where this is going. I set the machine up using the hand electrodes, one in the basin and one in the hand tray. I thought if I could get the flow to go through me, like with the hand treatment, it might work a lot better. I briefly considered the safety of it, it travels through me for the hand so should be ok there, the delicate parts of my face are protected so that should be fine, and I had nothing metal on me. Under supervision of my partner, I set the machine to a very low voltage, and a short time and dived in. I was so happy when I felt the pins and needles feeling on my face! I straight away knew that it was working, my partner told me that the light was on and the voltage was increasing.

 

My next step was to increase the time and voltage to a normal treatment. I felt it a lot more in my hand than I did my face, I wonder if that is because there is a smaller area in contact with the current on my hand than my face? So, it’s almost like the current is being funnelled?

 

After only a few days, I was going on dog walks on hot sunny days, and I was dry! I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy, dryness with no horrible side effects! It felt life changing! Then I started studying at university and there were so many situations where I would have started sweating, but I wasn’t! I could relax about heat and social situations.

 

It’s now a year since I do it this way, I still do frequent treatments to keep it up. I got a bit lazy over the summer holidays and have gone long times without it. I think this is good because I start sweating again but not in embarrassing situations because I am at home. So, it is good at reminding me how effective it is and how lucky I am.

 

My reason for wanting to share this story with you is because I remember how hard it was to find a promising treatment for facial sweating, and it was only with a bit of experimenting that I managed to massively improve it for myself. After all the other options seeming to not work for me, or being too drastic that I didn’t want to take the risks, this is perfect. I know that it is unlikely the manufacturers will be able to recommend this method because there is a risk of drowning etc. but for me it is the only way that works.

 

If there is interest, I would be more than happy to provide a step by step document with photos on how I do this treatment but basically, I follow all the preparation instructions from the manufacturer e.g. washing face, using warm water etc. I then raise the basin in line with my bed and put the hand tray on the floor. The machine goes on the other side to the hand tray so I can alter the voltage or reduce it quickly in case of some sort of emergency. I have memorised the position of the buttons as well. I lie down ready, get my goggles, nose clip and snorkel on and go in. I usually put the radio on or something I can listen to and it’s almost like a power nap. I started by setting a timer or having my partner there to tell me when my time is up. I have found now, that if I lift one or two fingers out of the water in the hand tray when the machine is on, I notice a change in my vision between green and purple, which I am sure there is a very interesting explanation for relating to wave lengths or something, when the machine is of, there is no change in colour. So, when I think I am nearing the end of the time, I do that test, if there is no change then I use my free hand to pick up the machine and tilt my head so I can see out without removing myself from the water. If it has finished, then I pack up, moisturise and enjoy a dry day!

 

I would be interested to hear if anyone has any views on this method, maybe you think its dangerous? You might have tips to improve it or balance out the intensity on my hand to my face? Maybe an interesting explanation about the colour change? Please comment, and feel free to ask any questions at all!

 

Disclaimer: This story is to tell others how I have adapted the Iontophoresis machine to find a more effective treatment for myself. There is a risk of drowning if I were to lose consciousness for some reason during the treatment or even fall asleep so I always do it when my partner is with me. I am not suggesting others follow my method but if you do, then this is at your own risk, please do so under supervision!

 

 

Iontoderma Iontophoresis Machine: Review and Discount Coupon Code

Iontoderma Iotntophoresis Machine - View 2

UPDATE (Aug 2017) – Iontoderma is no longer available in US and Canada due to some legal issues. 

Iontoderma is one of the more cost effective iontophoresis machines available in market. At about $400 retail price, Iontoderma id-1000 is clearly attractive for patients who'd like to get iontophoresis treatments at home, but do not want to pay higher prices for other leading iontophoresis machine brands.

Iotoderma id-1000 basics

Iontoderma id-1000 is the flagship (and only) model offered by the company as of now. This model is relatively basic, but provides everything you really need from an iontophoresis device for hyperhidrosis.

  • id-1000 is mains powered – meaning it is sufficiently powerful and that you do not need to spend a fortune on batteries.
  • It does not have pulse current, which means that the treatment sessions may be a bit more uncomfortable than other machines offering pulse current (e.g. Hidrex PSP 100) – however, we are talking about relatively mild discomfort and for many people, the multi-hundred $ lower price tag may be attractive enough tread!
  • This iontophoresis device is not yet FDA approved, and infact has had troubles with FDA authorities in Canada. It probably means little since iontophoresis devices are relatively safe product to start with. But if it matters to you, you may want to look elsewhere.
  • Price – Iontoderma id-1000 retails for about $399. However, the manufacturers have offered an exclusive 15% (i.e. $59) discount for HyperhidrosisNetwork users. Just use the discount coupon code HyperhidrosisNetwork15

Iontoderma id-1000 Out of Box

Out of box, this iontophoresis machine comes with the following components. It has everything that you need to get iontophoresis treatment for excessive sweat on your hands or on your feet.

Power supply Universal wall power (100V-240V AC, 50-60Hz).
Variable tension, adjustable voltage: 12V, 15V, 18V, 21V, 23V, 25V, 27V.
Maximum output: 20mA.
The company provides Country specific plug to match with the country of order
Iontoderma Power supply
Electrodes id-1000 comes with 2 aluminium electrodes. Iontoderma Electrodes
PVC Mats Two soft PVC foam to avoid touching the plates directly
Iontoderma Protection Mats
Briefcase The machine is housed in a plastic briefcase and is reasonably sized to fit most hands and feet, and makes the machine portable
Iontoderma Plastic briefcase
Connectors Gold plated connectors with high corrosion resistance and great electrical conductivity. Connectors
Banana plugs Gold plated banana plugs to 2.1mm x 5.5mm female that connects directly to the electrodes connectors.  Iontoderma Banana plugs

Review

Coming soon. The good folks at Iontoderma have promised to provide me with a sample for review. As and when that happens, I will update my first hand experience with this iontophoresis device.

Bottomline – Iontoderma may be for you if you are looking for home iontophoresis sessions for hands and/or feet, but do not want to splurge on a more expensive machine. It does not get you everything that some of the more expensive options have, but its a good compromise. But it here and use discount coupon code  HyperhidrosisNetwork15 (note – this link is forwarded to Hidrex website for visitors in US and Canada as the Iontoderma device is not available for sale in these markets)

Have you tried iontoderma iontophoresis machine? If yes, please leave a review below to help the hyperhidrosis community!

Are your hands always sweaty?

Sweaty – not as in nervous sweat… but excessive, profuse sweating that makes simple social interactions like handshake or holding hands nerve wrecking?

Since you are searching about sweaty hands, you may already know that it’s a relatively common medical condition called Hyperhidrosis, and that more than 180MM people worldwide suffer from some degree of excessive sweat.

That’s right – you probably know 10 odd friends with hyperhidrosis in your Facebook list!

Is There a Solution?

Anyways, you are reading this not to draw comfort from other patients with similar problem, but to find a solution – correct?

Unfortunately no matter what you have read on unscrupulous websites, there is NO CURE for hyperhidrosis. There are a few treatments ranging from simple (Anti-perspirants) to really extreme (surgery).

Unfortunately most of these treatments are either ineffective, or have extreme side effects. One of the most promising treatment for sweaty hands that works in over 80% of cases is something called Iontophoresis.

What is Iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis is a technique of passing very low current through the hands so as to irritate the sweat glands in the area, and make them stop producing the sweat. The exact mechanism is really unknown – but it works for most cases. The good part is that there is virtually no side effect, the effect is long term, and (biggest) you don’t need to go under knife and cause irreversible damage to your body.

Iontophoresis has been mentioned by International Hyperhidrosis Society, Hyperhidrosis Network, and several other well-known authorities on the subject as one of the most promising treatment for Hyperhidrosis.

How to do Iontophoresis?

It’s actually super easy. You need to get your hands on an Iontophoresis device. Once you have it, you need to take treatment sessions (about 15 minutes per day) for first 2 weeks, and then reduce the frequency gradually till about once every 15 days to maintain the effects.

How Can I Start With Iontophoresis?

You can take iontophoresis sessions all by yourself, at your home. Its pretty simple!

There are several brands available. The two Iontophoresis device that have great reputation are Idromed and Hidrex. These are manufactured in Germany, but are shipped worldwide free of cost.

Know More About Hidrex PSP 1000

Know More About Idromed 5 PC

What If it does not work for me?

That’s unlikely (if you do the treatment sessions as suggested). However, if you’d like to not continue the treatment for any reason, you can return the machine back within 90 days – so its essentially riskfree 🙂

Go ahead – try it. Dry hands are great feeling – imaging being able to offer your hand for a handshake without hesitation, or (even better), being able to hold your partner’s hand without being conscious of the sweat!

If you have more questions about Iontophoresis, you can find answers to almost anything on this website. Drop in a comment below if there's something I can help you with.

Good luck!

Hidrex vs. Idromed vs. Fischer: Iontophoresis Machine Showdown!

Alright.. first things first. The title is a bit overly dramatic here, but the intent is to share my observations from a few months of having trial versions of Hidrex PSP 1000, Idromed 5 PS, Fischer MD-1a and Fischer MD-2. I have posted the picture reviews of individual machines (Idromed 5 PS in pictures, Fischer MD-2 in pictures) – check those out if you are interested in a particular machine. This post is about my observations on the relative differences between these iontophoresis devices.

Hidrex vs. Idromed vs. Fischer: Iontophoresis Machine Showdown!

Methodology

I had these machines for over 8 weeks period, and this is what I did. I realize its not entirely scientific test/control experiment, and I don’t intend to represent it that ways. My initial idea was to essentially test each of these machines in isolation over a period of time and thus comment on what machine worked best. However, I soon realized the logistic problems with that approach – I had the devices for test purpose for a limited time, and to do a real controlled experiment, I had to treat myself with a device for an extended period of time, then take a gap so that the effects of that iontophoresis treatment wears off and then repeat the same process with others. This was logistically challenging and needed me to have access to the machines for a long period. That was not practical for me at this point

So I decided to do the following. I treated myself with all these 4 machines concurrently (not in the same session, but rotating amongst the machines on a once-in-two days frequency). That allowed me to observe each of these machines up and close. Thus, as a result this review is not as much about the quality if treatment (more on that in next section), but more about the “experience”.

 

Treatment Quality

This is the foremost question I get asked all the time – which iontophoresis machine provides the best treatment. And the answer to that is a bit anti-climatic!

Iontophoresis, at the end of the day, is a relatively simple and standard. A mild current passes through the affected body parts – thus irritating the connection between he nerve system and the sweat glands temporarily. So, all the machines have a power source (mains, for these 4 machines), a control unit that manages the settings, the electrode plates the provide the current, and a sort of tray where the tap water is contained.

Iontophoresis machines are relatively matured at this point – that is to say that all the reputed brands do the minimum needed, and there is not much to choose between the machine strictly on the quality of iontophoresis treatment. I definitely prefer mains powered machine over batter powered (for the quality of treatment and lifetime costs perspective), and prefer pulse current device over non-pulsed ones (for the comfort factors).

What makes a machine better than others is not the iontophoresis treatment quality  (if done right), but the chances of you sticking to the iontophoresis treatment over time. It’s the “usability” that defines the ideal machine for you. To me, usability has four components:

  • Appearance: Yes, Iontophoresis treatment is not supposed to be sexy, but its nice to have a good looking machine that doesn’t invite the concerned “are you really sick” look from people around you.
  • Ease of Setup: After the initial novelty wears off, iontophoresis sessions may feel like a drag. A machine that takes 2 minutes to setup has a huge advantage over another that takes 5 minutes
  • Ease of usage: Ability to know what’s going on during your session is reassuring.
  • Portability: May not be a issue for some people. To me, ease of carrying the device with me on my long travels is an importance consideration
  • Comfort Factor: Self explanatory
  • Bells and Whistles: Any extras that make the machine

One consideration that is obviously missing here is the price. If your insurance is paying for the iontophoresis machine, you probably just want to go with a device that your insurance is OK with. In the US, Fischer is the approved manufacturer for iontophoresis machine for several insurance providers  – making the choice easier. If you are paying for yourself, the choice is trickier. Hope the “usability experience” review below helps you make the trade-off choice.

 

Getting to the Details

 

Hidrex PSP 1000

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This is the iontophoresis machine that introduced me to the world of iontophoresis treatment, so I have a soft corner for this one! The US verison of this machine Hidrex DVP 1000 and HIdrex GP 450 are approved by FDA, and thus eligible for insurance reimbursement oo.  Here is a quick summary of what I think about my Hidrex experience

Appearance: 4/5 (small footprint, non-intimidating to look at)

Ease of Setup: 4/5 (all you need to do is attach the current wires)

Ease of Use: 3/5 (confusing display, needs a few inputs before the treatment begins)

Portability: 4/5 (small size, not heavy, comes with a case)

Comfort Factor: 5/5 (pulse current, confortable treatment, auto circuit cut off to avoid shock)

Bells and Whistles: 4/5 (lots of options to adjust the polarity, time, voltage etc.)

Bottom-line: All in all, a solid performer you cannot go wrong with

Idromed 5 PS

Idromed is without doubt the best looking ionto machine on the market. Here is a quick summary of what I think about my Idromed experience

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Appearance: 5/5 (small footprint, sleet control unit)

Ease of Setup: 4/5 (all you need to do is attach the current wires)

Ease of Use: 5/5 (only a single dial to setup the duration – everything else is taken care of automatically)

Portability: 4/5 (small size, not heavy, comes with a case)

Comfort Factor: 5/5 (pulse current, confortable treatment, auto circuit cut off to avoid shock)

Bells and Whistles: 3/5 (nothing much really, but you really don’t need that anyways)

Bottom-line: They’ve got it right in the iPhone age! If looks matter to you, look no further.

 

Fischer MD-1a

Fischer is the grand daddy of iontophoresis machines in USA. Its one of the very few brands approved by the insurance companies. So if you are in US, and your insurance provider will be paying for the iontophoresis machine, your choice is relatively simple.

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Appearance: 3/5 (boxy, looks like a serious medical device)

Ease of Setup: 4/5 (all you need to do is attach the current wires)

Ease of Use: 3/5 (limited display, need to monitor the session time separately s the machine)

Portability: 3/5 (heavy, may not be the best option if portability is a key requirement for you)

Comfort Factor: 3/5 (direct current only, not as comfortable as the pulse current machines)

Bells and Whistles: 3/5 (nothing much really, but you really don’t need that anyways)

Bottom-line: A bit old-school. But we are talking ionto device here, so if your insurance covers it, it’s a good option.

 

Fischer MD-2

Fischer MD-2 is the more expensive machine from R.A. Fischer with pulsed current option.

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Appearance: 3/5 (boxy, looks like a serious medical device)

Ease of Setup: 4/5 (all you need to do is attach the current wires)

Ease of Use: 4/5 (clear display, easy to understand what’s going on)

Portability: 3/5 (heavy, may not be the best option if portability is a key requirement for you)

Comfort Factor: 5/5 (pulse current, anti-surge, super comfortable treatments!)

Bells and Whistles: 5/5 (lots of options available to customize the treatment – you probably won’t use them, but good to have)

Bottom-line: Definitely better than MD-1a, at par with Hidrex and Idromed. Go for this if your insurance is paying for this.

 

So, there it is. Please drop in a comment if you have any other comments/observations

Fischer MD-2 Iontophoresis Machine in Pictures

Recently, I got to lay my hands on a Fischer MD-2 for this review (courtesy: SweatLessHands). This post provides a series of pictures I took that should give you a pretty good idea of how the machine looks like. I will cover my experience of taking treatment with Hidrex PSP 1000, Idromed PS, Fischer MD-1a and Fischer MD2 in a separate post.

Top

Fischer MD-2 is the higher end machine available from the leading iontophoresis machine manufacturers in US (R.A. Fischer).  The machine appears/feels very rugged and high quality in terms of build. The MD-2 is box shaped, with most of the controls on the front panel. The MD-2 has lots of options available to customize your treatment – including polarity, current, time etc.  The front panel also has the on/off switch (top left), and the connectors to connect with the electrodes in the water tray. essentially, everything except the power inlet is on the front panel.

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One thing that will stand out, especially in comparison with other machines in the market is how sturdy this is built. While it’s a bit bulkier, practically that should not be an issue (unless you travel a lot and want to carry the iontophoresis machine around). What matters is how well this machine works for your condition, and in that department, MD-2 is as good as any other!

Back

There is not much going on the backside of MD-2, except the power inlet (bottom right).

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Plugged In

Once plugged in with the main power, the electronic display provides all the information user needs to see (time left, current etc.) The display is user friendly (as compared to a Hidrex), and its easy to understand what’s going on. It should be easy to get used to this machine after first sitting.

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Configuration

The overall configuration looks like this:

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The main control unit is plugged in to a power source (on the back side). The main control unit is also connected to booth the electrodes that are placed inside the provided trays. The trays are covered with provided fabric material to prevent direct contact with the electrodes. You will need to fill the trays with tap water (and any additives, if required), select the settings and dip the body part in the trays. The treatment will then begin and you can monitor the remaining time on the control unit. You can take out your hand/feet at any time without experiencing any electric shock as the control unit monitors that for you.

The entire setup is quite intuitive and I did not need to refer to the instruction manual!

Comparison with Idromed, Fischer MD-1a, and Fischer MD-2

The Fischer MD-2 machine is bigger and heavier than the Hidrex and Idromed iontophoresis machines. The big size, by itself is not a big issue in my opinion, unless you’d like to travel a lot with your machine. The machine does feel much more sturdy than the European manufacturers and given you’ll probably not buy many of these over a lifetime, it may make sense to go with one that is robust.

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Below: MD-2 vs. Md-1a, MD-2 v. Idromed, MD-2 vs. Hidrex

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Recommended reading:

Idromed 5 PS Iontophoresis Machine in Pictures

Recently, I got to lay my hands on a Idromed 5 PC for this review (courtesy: sweating).  This post provides a series of pictures I took that should give you a pretty good idea of how the machine looks like. I will cover my experience of taking treatment with Hidrex PSP 1000, Idromed PS, Fischer MD-1a and Fischer MD2 in a separate post.

 

Top

The Idromed 5 PS is the most sleek commercially available iontophoresis machine for sure! The display and the controls are on the top once the machine is placed on a flat surface, and it very easy to control the machine.  This is by far the easiest machine to operate, and my favorite just for that reason! Practically, there is only one control on the machine – the dial which controls the current passing through the body parts. Everything else is taken care of by the unit itself and the user does not need to worry about selecting any other options.

The machine, roughly speaking, is size of and adult’s palm and is pretty light-weight. The device looks as good  as an iontophoresis machine can (especially compared to Fischer machines which are way bulkier and look like serious medical devices!). The build quality feels sturdy and you’ll feel that the unit will last for a long time and will withstand some wear and tear nicely.

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Sides

The left side of the machine has the power inlet, as well as the outlets to connect to the electrodes.

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Plugged In

Once plugged in with the main power, the electronic display provides all the information user needs to see (time left, current etc.)  The display is cery user friendly, and its easy to understand what’s going on. You really don’t need much training to use this machine!

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The provided wires go on the left side of the machine – one for inlet from the main power, and two out to the electrodes (see below)

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Configuration

The overall configuration looks like this:

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The main control unit is plugged in to a power source. The main control unit is also connected to booth the electrodes that are placed inside the provided trays. The trays are covered with provided plastic mesh to prevent direct contact with the electrodes. You will need to fill the trays with tap water (and any additives, if required), select the current level and dip the body part in the trays. The treatment will then begin and you can monitor the remaining time on the control unit. You can take out your hand/feet at any time without experiencing any electric shock as the control unit monitors that for you.

All in all, it’s a pretty compact iontophoresis machine which is easy to setup. It is the most user friendly machine out of Hidrex, Idromed and Fischer machines I was able to test.

Comparison with Idromed, Fischer MD-1a, and Fischer MD-2

The Idromed machine is significantly smaller than the Fischer machines (Fischer MD-1a and Fischer MD-2), and roughly equivalent to the Hidrex PSP 1000 machine.

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Below:  Idromed vs. Hidrex (top), Idromed vs. Hidrex (side by side), Hidrex vs. Fisher MD-1a (Front), Hidrex vs Fischer MD-2 (top)

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Hyperhidrosis Treatment (Infographic)

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Comparison

Since I was feeling especially creative today, I made up the following neat info-graphic to list and compare (at a very high level) the various popular treatment options for Hyperhidrosis!

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Options

Hyperhidrosis Treatment Comparison

Insurance Coverage for Iontophoresis Machines

Health Insurance Coverage for Iontophoresis

Wondering whether your insurance would cover the cost of iontophoresis machine?

Answer is complicated, but there is some good news to be sure. Iontophoresis has gained acceptance as a medical treatment of Hyperhidrosis and if you chose your health insurance wisely, there is a good chance that your insurance may cover the cost of iontophoresis treatments and machine!

Insurance Coverage for Iontophoresis: Summary

Iontophoresis is sadly still a debated treatment option for Hyperhidrosis. There are some insurance providers who consider this to be an unproven/investigational treatment and do not cover the costs. Other insurers who cover the cost of iontophoresis machine normally require to show proofs of having tried other treatment options (medication, antiperspirants) with no success.

Sweathelp.Org has excellent resources to go through the process of claiming the iontophoresis treatment from your insurer (if they cover this treatment) – so be sure to check those.

Below is the summary of the iontophoresis coverage by some of the top insurers in US (as in March 2014). Hopefully things will change in future so that more and more insurance companies will cover the iontophoresis treatment for hyperhidrosis.

Insurance Company Policy Details
Aetna Recognizes iontophoresis as medical necessity if certain medications and anti-antiperspirants have been tried and found ineffective Document
United  Excludes Medical and surgical treatment of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) – thus iontophoresis is most likely not covered  Document
Cigna Covered when medically necessary for primary palmar, axillary and plantar hyperhidrosis Document
Blue Cross Blue Shield Considers iontophoresis as investigational and is presumably not covered. Document
Anthem Iontophoresis is considered medically necessary in the treatment of primary or secondary hyperhidrosis only for individuals who have tried prescription strength antiperspirants without success. Document

If you have experience with any other insurer and had success/failure in getting them cover iontophoresis for hyperhidrosis, help others by posting a quick comment below.

 

Tips for Getting Your Insurance Pay for Iontophoresis Treatment for Hyperhidrosis

Apart from choosing the Health Insurance wisely,  it would be best to follow certain guidelines to ensure that you get the treatment you need without falling into the procedural traps. Some tips to ensure that your health insurance would cover the cost of your iontophoresis treatment for Hyperhidrosis:

  • Maintain records of your hyperhidrosis condition – it helps to establish that your hyperhidrosis is a long standing condition that is affecting your ability to be socially active or perform your work. The earlier you can date your condition to, the easier it is to establish that. For example – keep the record of your first visit to the doctor to consult regarding your sweat (even before you knew the term Hyperhidrosis)
  • Maintain records of the treatments tried and the results – Most insurance policies require that the patient has tried other options before going for iontophoresis (surely has to do with the cost!). Your doctor will probably advise you for antiperspirants before he prescribes iontophoresis. Maintain that record, as well as the results thereof (followup visits).
  • Get a Prescription – While you can buy some iontophoresis machines without prescriptions (e.g. if you get them shipped from Europe), insurance would not cover that cost.
  • Confirm the Model with your insurance before you buy – You need to get the prescription first and then confirm with your insurance what specific models of iontophoresis would they cover (many insurance companies in US approve of R.A Fischer machines and in some cases Drionic).
  • Ensure you can return the iontophoresis device – Ensure that your seller accepts returns in case your insurance company (for whatever reasons) denies your claim. Most of the vendors offers some sort of return policy – but read the fine print carefully.
  • Read the super- helpful article at Sweathelp.org – they have tons of information, forms and materials for getting your hyperhidrosis treatments (including iontophoresis) covered by your insurance.

Rent Iontophoresis Machine!

Rent Iontophoresis Machine

Note: This post has been updated on 2/14/2015 as RA Fischer changed the terms of their Rental Program. Its now a Rent-to-Buy program instead of pure rental.

 

I recently came to know of the rental program offered by R.A. Fischer for their iontophoresis machines.

I personally think that's a great option and wonder why the other manufacturers are not offering such option (yet). Given the relatively high cost of the iontophoresis machines, it makes perfect sense for the patients to try the machine out at their homes first before committing the full money.

Fischer Iontophoresis Device Rental Program (Rent to Buy Program)

Fischer's rent-to-own program is simple – you pay a fixed monthly rental fee, and use the machine as long as you want.

Fischer's rent-to-own program is simple – you pay a fixed monthly rental fee for 6 months, and own the machine after that in case you continue till the 6th month (see below for details)

At any point during the first 6 months, if you feel like you are not getting results, or if you are not able to take the treatments for any reason, you can simply choose to return the machine and no further payments need to be made from that month onwards.

You can learn more about the program at this website

Fischer Iontophoresis Device Rental: Price

The website offers both the main devices marketed by R.A. Fischer – MD-1a and MD-2.. You can read the reviews of these devices elsewhere on this website. Below are the rental prices for these iontophoresis devices:

MD-1a: 6 monthly payments of $100 plus one final additional payment of $125 and you will own the MD-1a.

MD-2:  7 monthly payments of $150 and you will own the MD-2.

My advise: get the MD-2. The polarity switching feature is great – more effective, and more comfortable. In any case, you cannot go wrong with either MD-1a or MD-2.

Fischer Iontophoresis Device Rental: Discount Code!

In case you think this is the option for you, you may want to use a special coupon code provided by sweatlesshands.com to the readers of this blog. Just type in the code HHN25 at the checkout (you need to rent from their this website for this to work), and you will get a cool $25 discount. That pays for about 50% of the cost of first month rental!  Hey, every bit helps – right?

Note: the code HHN25 is valid at the Fischer Iontophoresis Machine Website (sweatlesshands.com) both for the rental program as well as for the purchase program. So if you decide to buy the machine once you have tried it through a rental, you can get another $25 off on the purchase. Sweet?

Important Note: Rafischer.com vs. Sweatlesshands.com

Note: The below mentioned comparison is not valid anymore as both the websites now offer the same terms. You do, however, save $25 if you buy from Sweatlesshands.com and use the coupon code HHN25.

The prices and program mentioned in this post is provided by their website http://www.sweatlesshands.com . The rental program offered by their main website http://www.rafischer.com is a bit different.

I guess I made it more complicated than it is, but the bottom-line is  – if you are renting an iontophoresis machine, do it here, and apply the coupon code HHN25. You will be better off!

That's it for now! If you rent any of their iontophoresis machines, please do leave a comment on how did it go. Also, if you are aware of similar programs offered by other manufacturers (e.g. Hidrex, Drionic, Idromed etc), please let us know through comments.

My experience with homemade iontophoresis machine

Homemade iontophoresis machine

At a basic level, an Iontophoresis device is essentially an appliance that sends a small current through the hyperhidrosis affected body part and for some reasons not yet understood, helps a large proportion of patients get relief from the condition. One can get the treatment sessions at a clinic, or more conveniently  at home using any of the commercially available iontophoresis machines. I this article, I would like to share with you my experience with homemade iontophoresis machine.

Homemade iontophoresis machine Yes, it is possible to make an iontophoresis machine at home (see how in this post). The advantage is of-course that its way cheaper to make one at home than to buy one (its to the order of $40 vs. $400.. so definitely worth a look). However, there are varying opinions on whether a homemade iontophoresis machine really works. The iontophoresis machine manufacturers (ofcourse) would want you to believe that they don't, while a plethora of internet blogs maintain that homemade iontophoresis machines are as good as (if not better) than the ready-made ones. Here is what i found out. I have tried to be absolutely objective here… your experience may vary, but here's my story:

  1. I made an iontophoresis machine at home a few months back. I have posted instructions in this this post, but take it from me – if I could do it, anybody can. It takes less than 2 minute once you have all the material available (easy order from amazon, or from a store close-by)
  2. I gave myself the treatments (on hands) with the homemade iontophoresis machine as follows:
    • 10 minutes daily for 1st week
    • 10 minutes every alternate day for week 2
    • 10 minutes twice a week for week 3 & 4
    • 10 minutes once every week for week 5 – 8
    • 10 minutes every two weeks for month 3 onwards
  3. So, how did the homemade iontophoresis machine work for me?
    • i started noticing difference after week 1 – it wasn't complete relief, but I noticed that the sweat took longer to break, and once it broke, it wasn't as bad a before
    • By end of week 3, it was much better – my condition improved almost 80%
    • By end of week 6, i was more or less in maintenance mode. the sweat was still there once in a while, but the change was more than noticeable
    • I did not get any compensatory sweating (none that I noticed at least)
    • So, in summary – homemade iontophoresis machine DID work for me
  4. However – I did not continue the treatment with homemade iontophoresis machine for long. It basically became too much of hassle for me, even at once in two weeks frequency. here's what I think went wrong
    • The problem with homemade machine is well, its homemade, and thus not very friendly to use – you need to connect the wires yourself, place the plates, etc etc.. no big deal if done once, but over time, it became a deterrent for me after a few weeks
    • The machine is not readily portable and since I travel a lot, I started missing the sessions once the initial novelty wore off. it is difficult to carry the various pieces through airports
    • it also looked a bit outlandish, and i was not comfortable using the machine in front of other people. I think that if it was a better packaged machine, I might have considered that.
  5. So, in a nutshell
    • Homemade iontophoresis machine worked for me
    • However, it takes a lot of motivation to continue using the homemade iontophoresis machine  – the key issues being “user friendliness”, “portability” and “looks”

Thus, if you are on budget, a homemade iontophoresis machine is definitely is worth a shot IMHO. You can check out the instructions on how to make one here,. Else, if money is not a consideration really, you may just want to buy one of the popular iontophoresis machines. Good luck!