A retrospective analysis of the use of tap water iontophoresis for focal hyperhidrosis at a district general hospital: the patients' perspective

J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 Nov;30(7):724-726. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1569751. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Objective: Tap water iontophoresis as a treatment for focal hyperhidrosis is given as an initial series of treatments in hospital, followed by home maintenance treatments. Our study assessed quality of life and perception of hyperhidrosis with the use of iontophoresis. Materials and methods: All patients treated with iontophoresis at our hospital from 2012 to 2017 were retrospectively assessed (n = 82, mean age 34 years; 60% female). Fifty of the 82 patients (mean age 34 years; 60% female) had a pre-treatment DLQI (mean 12.6). Twenty-three of these patients (mean age 33 years; 60% female) had a paired pre- and post-treatment DLQI recorded. The average DLQI pre-treatment was 14.1 and post-treatment was 2.2. Therefore, the average reduction (improvement) was 11.9 (p < .05). Results: Thirty-eight of the 82 patients (46%) completed a telephone interview (mean age 35 years; 65% female). Of this cohort, 24 had an improvement in HDSS following treatment, and the remaining 14 patients had no change. Nine patients (24%) bought their own iontophoresis machine. In these patients, there was a higher average improvement in HDSS (1.8), compared to the total interviewed cohort (1.0). Conclusion: In conclusion, tap water iontophoresis can result in a significant improvement in perceived severity of hyperhidrosis and quality of life.

Keywords: Iontophoresis; focal hyperhidrosis; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / psychology
  • Hyperhidrosis / therapy*
  • Iontophoresis / methods*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Water


  • Water