In hyperhidrosis, sweating exceeds the level necessary for thermoregulation (Bechara 2010). A strong or even extreme physiological sweating during physical work or heat is not hyperhidrosis as long as the thermoregulation is regulated. The transitions from normal sweating to pathological sweating are fluid, however, since the amount of perspiration differs individually. Sweating is also perceived very differently by those affected. A distinction is made between pathological sweating in certain parts of the body (e.g. hands and feet) from full-body hyperhidrosis.

Forms of therapy

Different forms of therapy are available for hyperhidrosis. Iontophoresis is used when sweating occurs in certain parts of the body. It is even the gold standard for the treatment of hyperhidrosis on the hands and feet. In the course of the iontophoresis treatment, substances ionized by means of an electric current, essentially H + and OH ions, are introduced through the skin. The ion flow is greatest in the sweat gland ducts, because there is the lowest skin resistance. This process triggers biochemical and consequently secretion-controlling processes in the sweat glands, which lead to the inhibition of gland secretion. The treatment effect is due to an increase in the irritation threshold of the sweat glands. In research and science, a functional blockade of the secretory epithelium of the sweat gland is assumed (Bechara 2009).

With the help of dyes, the ion flow during sweat secretion could be clearly identified in clinical studies. This showed that the ions are transported right into the execution ducts of the sweat glands. The evaluation of these findings formed the basis for this well-known and effective physical therapy (Wörle 2007).

In iontophoresis, tap water is usually the carrier of the electrical current. Alternatively, there are physical processes with other lead substances. These lead substances can e.g. B. be formed with the help of astringent drugs, the active ingredients of which pass through the guiding process into the permeable skin. A big advantage of tap water ionotphoresis over other methods is that the potential side effects are reduced to a very manageable level.


Bechara FG: Diagnose und Therapie der Hyperhidrose. Arzneiverordnung in der Praxis 2010; 3: 52-54
Bechara FG, Schmidt J, Hoffmann K, Altmeyer P: Krankhaftes Schwitzen. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer Verlag,
2009 Worle B, Rapprich S, Heckmann M: Definition and treatment of primary hyperhidrosis.
J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2007; 5: 625-628 www.hyperhidrosisonline.com Internetseite mit weitreichenden und fundierten Informationen rund um das Gebiet der Hyperhidrosis.