Iontophoresis machine

When a person close to me was diagnosed with Hyperhidrosis, I had no idea what they were talking about. Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by increased sweating, most commonly from the hands and feet. It affects around 3% of the population, meaning around 300.000 people in Sweden suffer from the condition.

Surprisingly, the most common treatment for Hyperhidrosis is to inject botox shots into the affected area. This is not only very painful, but is also weakening to the surrounding muscles, meaning that those who suffer from the condition in their hands will lose their grip strength. This treatment has to be repeated every 4-6 months.

Another treatment is called Iontophoresis, which involves using a machine to send a gentle electrical current through your hands submerged in water to shut down your sweat glands temporarily. These machines can be used at home and are quite effective, the are however very bulky and not least, expensive.

Google shopping results for Iontophoresis machine

There were however some encouraging posts in facebooks groups of people successfully building their own machines using two nine volt batteries and some aluminum foil cooking pans. These contraptions worked, but they were very crude. In an effort to make this solution more easily manageable, I designed a compact case two hold the batteries, as well as a switch that reverses the polarity of the electrical current, something that is also essential for the treatment to work.

Insides of the Iontophoresis machine

To use the machine, the two crocodile clips are attached to two aluminum foil pans. The pans are filled with a few centimeters of water each, and padded with a kitchen rag. The hand or feet are then lowered into the water for a duration of about 10 minutes, after which the switch is used to reverse the polarity before completing the treatment with another 10 minutes.

After finishing the design, I made the files and schematics openly available in hyperhidrosis facebook groups make it widely available to anyone looking to make their own.

The design is available to download here.

Iontophoresis machine in use