Background Primary (idiopathic) hyperhidrosis is a benign disease of unknown etiology, leading to the disruption of professional and social life and emotional problems. A variety of treatment methods have been used to control or reduce the profuse sweating. In this study, we report the efficacy of direct current (d.c.) administration in the treatment of idiopathic hyperhidrosis.
Methods One hundred and twelve patients with idiopathic hyperhidrosis were enrolled in the study. Initial sweat intensities of the palms were measured by means of the pad glove method. The patients were treated in eight sessions with d.c. administration using a complete regulated d.c. unit based on tap water iontophoresis. The final sweat intensities of responders were determined 20 days after the last treatment. Nonresponders returned earlier than 20 days, with final sweat intensities measured at least 5 days after the last treatment. In 26 responders, plantar hyperhidrosis was also treated. After the first remission period, the second of eight treatments was applied to the palms of 37 responders.
Results This therapy controlled palmar hyperhidrosis in 81.2% of cases. The final sweat intensities of the palms of responders were significantly reduced after eight treatments (P < 0.001). The first average remission period was 35 days. Minimal undesirable effects were noted.
Conclusions This technique appears to control hyperhidrosis on the palms and soles only if regular treatment is applied. Plantar hyperhidrosis appeared to resolve simultaneously when palmar hyperhidrosis was successfully treated.