Iontophoresis is an effective and painless method of delivering medication to a localized tissue area by applying electrical current to a solution of the medication. The delivered dose depends on the current flowing and its duration.
Iontophoresis is a recognized therapeutic method for delivering ionic compounds, i.e. drugs, into and through the skin by applying electrical current. It has proven to be a beneficial treatment for many localized skin disorders such as; nail diseases, Herpies lesions, psoriasis, eczematous, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The method has also been reported useful for topical anesthesia to the skin prior to cut-down for artificial kidney dialysis, insertion of tracheotomy tubes and infiltration of lidocaine into the skin prior to venipuncture.
Treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders with anti-inflammatory agents has been reported in the literature. Iontophoresis enhances the transdermal delivery of ionized drugs through the skin's outermost layer (stratum corneum) which is the main barrier to drug transport. The absorption rate of the drug is increased, however, once the drug passes through the skin barrier natural diffusion and circulation are required to shuttle the drug to its proper location. The mechanism by which iontophoresis works is based upon the knowledge that like electrical charges repel. Application of a positive current from an electrode to a solution applied to a skin surface will drive the positively charged drug ions away from the electrode and into the skin. Obviously, negatively charged ions will behave in the same manner.