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Iontophoresis - Pulsed Current better than Direct Current?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:18 am    Post subject: Iontophoresis - Pulsed Current better than Direct Current? Reply with quote

Iontophoresis machines - Pulsed Current better than Direct Current ?

Thanks for your interest.

The DC device only has a stronger effect when you can tolerate the max. value. Normally, no-one treats at the max. current of 25 mA with the DC Iontophoresis device. So if you are a normal case (and I think this will be true of almost all of you) the PC device is the better one for you.
If not, I will exchange the machine for free at no shipping costs for you for a DC device. So I will pay for the return shipping, and you will also get the difference in cost between the 2 devices returned back!.

Here you can read about the basics why the pc should be your choice:

So just try it and write back to me regarding how much current you can stand. If you get 100% success with the PC device - then you really have the better device.

Kind regards, Markus

Dear Markus
As regards the PC device you do offer, I wonder if it is as effective as the DC? If it's just a matter of handling the current, I'm normally not too sensitive to pain, so I'd rather tolerate a stronger current and have a better effect. But if you believe the effect is the same, then it is ok for me to have the PC. Let me know

What is the best iontophoresis device?

Tap water Iontophoresis

For your first question:

Maybe 10 mA is enough, but you have to figure this out by trial and error. Higher settings typically imply shorter treatments, but everybody has their own "turnover point", aka the cutoff point border you have to pass, in order for the therapy to work (f.e. someone may need only 1 mA for the treatment to work, while another person might need 25 ma). As long as you haven't passed this individual border, iontophoresis cannot give you a good result. This is the reason why we recommend purchase of a Pulsed Current device.

Important: Do not hurt yourself by using a current that is too high in the beginning. Also note that over time, you will be able to use higher settings than in the beginning as your body builds up tolerance.

Regarding the second question: Yes it will take longer (which relates to the answer to the first question), and yes, an increase of the sweating is a good sign that the therapy will work.

have a couple of questions about the treatment. First, will the treatment still be effective over time if I use it at a lower setting, like 10MA? Or do I need to keep increasing it in order for it to be effective?

Second, will it take longer for it to work if it is at a low setting? So far I have used it about 8 times, and have noticed an increase in sweating. But I hear that is normal.

Question: I treated the hands, everyday, I did treatment for around 30 days in a row and then after that off and on every other day or so. Treatment times were around 30 minutes during the 30 days and around 30-60 minutes the other days. I was getting the machine up to around 16-25 MA and usually not any lower than that. Some blisters in the beginning but they went away, I would get the majority of cracks near the part of the hand where the joint of the fingers meet the palm. I would use vasoline to cover. I only treated hands, sometimes I would do right hand and right foot but seldomly.

Is it true though that the DC unit might actually work better than the Pulsed current? The pulsed current has its advantages because it doesn't hurt as much but I have heard it might not work as well either.

Answer:The device only works better at similar treatment settings. While you can tolerate a setting of 20 mA with a PC device, you may not be able to tolerate anything over 10 mA with a DC device, because of the stronger sensitivity. It only makes sense to switch when you can stand say a "equivalent feeling" of 45 mA with the PC device, when you maybe can not stand 25 mA with the dc device.

Question: So what is the basic difference between the two? How come the DC has the ability to work better than the PC?

Answer: No-one knows. The iontophoresis driven at the same current/voltage levels has a slightly better effect when treating with direct current.

There are two types of treatment streams: pulsed current (PC) and direct current (DC). It is important to understand the difference between them.
For a given amperage, DC devices provide an increased treatment success over PC. One could easily conclude that DC is the better option. However where PC wins out over DC is that at a given amperage because of the differences in how the current flows, PC treatment is significantly easier for the user to tolerate. Therefore, the user can tolerate much higher amperage settings with PC than with DC. The higher the level of current, the greater the level of success that can be achieved with fewer sessions required per week.

Treatment success depends on the maximum adjustable current.
PC and DC devices have a maximum current of 25 mA. However the pain and sensation felt using a DC device at a setting of 5 mA roughly corresponds roughly to sensations that a PC user experiences at 25 mA (i.e. the maximum setting)! If for example when treating with a DC device a user can handle 3 mA before the treatment becomes unpleasant, but he needs at least 10 mA to achieve sweat free results, he will never achieve success with the DC Iontophoresis device. The sensation felt by a PC device at 15 mA is approximately equivalent to a DC device at 3 mA. Not being able to tolerate the necessary current levels is one of the main reasons for failure of Iontophoresis treatments.

Limits stated in the instruction manual should not be exceeded (max. 25 mA for the feet, max. 15 mA for the hands and max. 5 mA for the armpits). These max. values are usually not achieveable with DC Iontophoresis devices, but are commonly achieveable with PC devices. For the armpits, if you have a PC device, you can set the Iontophoresis device current setting to 5 mA and this will likely be enough for success as the skin in the armpits is very thin and a high current is not required to achieve sweat reduction. With DC devices users treating armpits can often tolerate only 1mA, and therefore don’t experience success. For hands and feet, PC is much more pleasant and skin irritations occur less frequently.

We recommend that customers should always try a PC device first.

Question: Thanks for the information, it makes more sense now. But the thing that gets me confused about the logic between the two is that you said for instance if someone could only stand a 3 MA on the DC but needed 10 MA to stop the sweat, and a PC device at a setting of 15 MA is the equivalent to a 3 MA, therefore wouldn't the highest setting of the PC be somewhere around 5 MA?

Answer: in this case the equivalent would be 15 mA Pulsed Current (the feel of 15 mA Pulsed is in this example the same as 3 mA direct current - when you can stand 3 mA Direct current, you might stand 15 ma Pulsed - if you need at least 10 mA to achieve a success with iontophoresis, but cannot reach it because at 3mA it hurts too much - you will never get a success with a direct current device. With a pulsed current one you will have success because you can exceed 10 mA in our example.

Question: What exactly is the translation of MA's between the two devices? Like does 5 MA on the PC device equal to 2 MA's on the DC device in terms of efficiency stopping the sweat? I know that in terms of sensations 25 MA on the PC equals 5 MA on the DC, but what about the actual efficiency of the two devices and the MA's? I hope this made sense, if not I could try and explain in another way.

Answer: There is no exact translation because Iontophoresis treatment is highly individual. One could stand 25 mA direct current without feeling anything or one could only stand 1 mA. The same is true with a comparison of Pulsed to Direct currents. One person might say that the feeling from 5 mA direct current is as much as the feeling from 25 mA pulsed current, but another person might say that the sensation from 3 mA direct current is the same sensation as 25 mA pulsed current.

For the most efficient sweat reduction, you could say: 25ma pulsed is the same as 22 ma direct current. However, it is common that you can drive 25 mA pulsed current, but it is not common that you can drive 25 mA direct current!

Question: I also want to know whether or not the water hardness really matters. I tested the water hardness in my apartment and it was not hard at all and the machine still got up to 25 MA, while when I used the RA Fischer with the same level of hardness in the water it could only reach 5 MA until I put baking soda in it and it reached higher. Why is this? Does having harder water actually make the treatment more successful or if the machine says it is on 25 MA it is actually at that level.

Answer: The Idromed is a more powerful device, so it can go up to the max whether salt is in the water or not. Harder water doesn't effect the treatment. Inside the forum there is a section with further discussions on this subject.

Question: Also, why is adding baking soda or sea salt not effective? It seems to create more sensations and like I said before a higher level on the Fischer. Is it possible that the machine reads the MA levels by how high the setting is set on the actual machine and not really what it is outputting into the water? So it could read it is sending out 25 MA's but really only 5 MA's?

Answer: The Idromed and Hidrex devices tell the current or voltage flowing over the skin. The R.A. Fisher device cannot go over 5 mA without adding salt into the water… this is a problem that the Idromed or Hidrex do not have ! Wink

The sensation felt is different when adding a lot of salt in the water. But this is not necessary. MilliAmps are mA, no matter if there is salt or soda in the water - the therapy is called tap-water Iontophoresis, not salt water Iontophoresis, nor baking soda Iontophoresis - someone can try out beer or champagne too !! Question


i have already read through that and its confusing.

i want to get an idea of how to use the machine before i buy it and which one i should buy.

Look once more through this linked page:

- depends on where you sweat...

if i buy a pulsed current will i have to do it more often than a direct current one? basically i just need to know if the pulsed current if weaker. is the 25 ma for pulsed just as strong as 25 ma for direct.

No - if anything, you have to do fewer treatments with a pc device because you can tolerate higher settings.

with your machine is there 2 currents that you have to switch to or is it just one current that you do through the whole thing?

Hidrex PS is a switchable device, Idromed is PC or DC.

how often do you use the machine can you do it every day or is it every other day?

Normally, once or twice a week maintenance for 15 mins each session.

and also like do you do it for 15 minutes on your hand and then 15 minutes for you feet and then thats all?

Normally, yes

Hello, I am inquiring about your product for my 16 yr old daughter. She has hyperhidrosis on hands, feet and underarms. She is an athlete. We live in the US. I can't discern between the direct current and the pulsed current as to which would be better - from the forums it sounds like direct is stronger and something some people work up to. Also does it matter which product we get for US electric compatibility? How do I decide which product is best for her? We have tried the 12 volt home made battery techniques but they no longer work. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you

Homemade Iontophoresis units are mostly low power low voltage devices, and cannot be compared to powerful machines used in clinics. Idromed fits US-plug only with our step up transformer
Hidrex machines have a world voltage plug, but there is an adaptor needed from UK-or EU plug to US 3pin
We alsways recommend using a pulsed Iontophoresis machine even for the hands and feet. For armpit and sweating hands it is a must to have a good smooth pulsating current.
You are welcome...
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