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.
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:
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)
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
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
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.
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!
Thanks for the comment. It will be difficult for me t diagnose what may be wrong in your setup, but a very mild electric shock when you dip your hands into the water is perfectly normal. The circuit gets completed once you dip both the hands, and the current starts to flow giving a mild shock. This is a configuration for a basic iontophoresis machine. The professional machines come with circuits that prevent this shock by slowly increasing the voltage after detecting that the circuit is complete. Hope that makes sense.