What is Hyperhidrosis?
Primary hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes abnormal sweating not related to exercise or resulting from another underlying condition. While it can affect different areas of the body, severe palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis (involving the hands or feet) can often cause social distress or occupational difficulties.
Medical treatments of palmar hyperhidrosis include application of topical agents (chemical antiperspirants such as aluminum chloride), Iontophoresis (treatment with DC current), Botox™ injections, or surgery (endoscopic sympathectomy).
What is Iontophoresis?
In cases where antiperspirants are not effective, a physician may recommend “Tap Water Iontophoresis” for treatment of palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis. In medical terms, iontophoresis is defined as the topical introduction of ionized drugs into the skin using direct current (DC). However, use of iontophoresis with simple tap water has been documented as early as 1952, and later studies by Dr. Fred Levit and Dr. Lewis P. Stolman demonstrated its efficacy in the treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis.
Typical treatments consist of placing the hands (and/or feet) into two water baths, each with a connection to the Galvanic Unit. Current is applied typically for 20 minutes per session, initially with 3-4 sessions per week followed by a maintenance program of treatments dependent upon the patient’s response.
While the exact mechanism for the effects of tap water iontophoresis on hyperhidrosis remains uncertain, recent research suggests that a parakeratotic plug is formed, blocking the duct without damaging the sweat gland. Dr. Stolman found iontophoresis to be effective in about 83% of the subjects treated in his study.
What does the treatment feel like?
Some patients have reported feeling a tingling sensation during treatments. Occasionally, some users have described the feeling as having a “pins and needles” sensation.
Is this method painful?
When done properly this treatment should not be painful. If you are experiencing pain during treatment you may have the intensity level set too high or increased sensitivity to the treatment. Be sure to cover irritated or cracked skin with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Open cuts may be especially sensitive to the treatment so we recommend waiting until they heal before resuming treatments.
Which iontophoresis model should I order, the MD-1a or MD-2?
Both the MD-1a and MD-2 models are designed for medical treatment of hyperhidrosis, so you should base your choice upon the available features and pricing. Visit our Comparison page for a checklist of the features.
The MD-1a is our classic Galvanic Unit and has been in production for many years. Output is manually controlled using an adjustable knob and an analog (needle-type) meter. You can manually reverse polarity (usually in mid-treatment).
The MD-2 is a Digital Galvanic Unit with microprocessor control of all functions and includes automatic current regulation, auto sequenced polarity reversal, a treatment timer with alarm, and 32-character LCD display.
Both models have great success rates and deliver essentially the same treatment. However, we have noticed that the MD-2 is more popular with kids, teenagers, and young adults for its ease of use.
How do I order the galvanic iontophoresis unit and what is the cost?
You can place your order by telephone (800-525-3467), or online by visiting our Iontophoresis Product catalog, where current pricing is listed. The MD-1a or MD-2 is bundled with all necessary accessories to treat hands and feet; including a carrying case that converts into detachable water bath trays!
Pads for treating the underarm area are also available as an add-on accessory on our Iontophoresis Accessories page. The pads plug directly into the unit and can be ordered at any time, as they do not require a prescription.
We also offer a rent-to-own payment plan, which allows you to pay for your unit over time by making monthly rental payments until the unit is paid in full. Click here for full details about our rent-to-own program.
Your doctor will need to write a prescription for the Galvanic Unit, which you can email, mail, or fax to us for processing your order (visit our Contact Us page for address and phone/fax numbers). Due to compliance measures, we will not be able to process or ship your order until we receive your prescription. However, no charges will be processed until your order is complete.
Do you require a prescription?
Due to compliance measures a prescription is required for all US machine orders except if ordered by physician for clinical use. International orders may not require a prescription.
What is the Rent-to-Own policy?
The Rent-to-Own policy allows you to make monthly payments for your Iontophoresis machine. Your first payment is processed at time of order. Each consecutive payment is processed automatically on your rental date each month, for a total of 7 months. After your final payment is completed, the machine is yours to own. For more information, please read the complete plan policy here.
If you would like to return the device before all payments are complete, please note that you will not be reimbursed for the payments you have already made; however, you will not be responsible for the remaining balance on the unit.
Before you return your machine you must call to obtain a RMA number and return instructions. Once an RMA is issued, we must receive the unit within a certain time frame in order to cancel your future payments. If you do not call us before you return your machine; it may take longer to process your return and we may not be able stop your next payment.
Do you offer a warranty?
We offer a two year manufacturer warranty on all products. Warranty covers any manufacturer defects but does not cover general wear and tear that may occur over time.
Can I return the MD-1a or MD-2 if it doesn’t meet my expectations?
We offer a 60 day money-back guarantee (less shipping, customs fees if applicable, and consumable items that are non-returnable) for customers who purchase these units outright (not utilizing our rental plan).
Once your returned unit is received, it is subject to inspection. Please allow 10-15 business days for us to process your return and issue a refund.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You must call us at 800-525-3467 to obtain Return Authorization before shipping the unit back to us. If you do not call us before you ship your machine back to us; it may take longer to process your return and delay your refund.
How often should I use the machine?
The recommended treatment regimen is every other day for 20 minutes per body area, at 12-15mA for hands and 15-18mA for feet. If you are not able to tolerate the recommended intensity levels, please use at the highest level of comfort. You may be able to build up over time or you can use at a lower intensity for a longer duration (30 minutes). Please keep in mind results may vary and will take time.
Initial results should be seen within the first 2-4 weeks of treatment. At that time, you can gradually reduce the frequency of treatments until you find what works best for you. Some users are able to do biweekly treatments, whereas others still require treatments several times per week. This will vary from person to person and depends on the user’s response to treatment.
What levels should i set the unit to for treatments?
The recommended treatment is every other day for 20 minutes per area at 12-15mA for hands and 15-18mA for feet. If the user cannot withstand this treatment use at highest comfort level.
How much water should I put into the trays?
Fill trays to the fill line on the metal plates.
When can I reduce the frequency of treatment sessions?
Users should see a reduction in sweating after the first 2-4 week of consistent treatment. You can gradually reduce the frequency of treatments once the desired outcome is achieved. Maintenance treatments will be required, the frequency of which depend on the users response to the treatment. This will vary from person to person.
What if I can’t withstand the treatment for required time? Will I achieve positive results?
If you are not able to tolerate the recommended intensity levels, please use at the highest level of comfort. Many patients still achieve positive results even when treating at lower levels. Over time, you may be able to build up to a higher intensity level as you become accustomed to the treatment. If you are doing treatments under 10mA, we recommend extending the treatment time to 30 minutes per area. Please keep in mind results may vary and will take time.
I haven’t see results after a week of treatments, is the machine working?
Treatments are cumulative and it will take time before results are seen. The normal time frame is 2-4 weeks of treatment before the user will start to see a reduction in sweating. Please continue treatments as recommended. If, after 6 weeks, there is no noticeable improvement, there is a chance the treatment is not working for you. In this case, please call us for further information.
Can I do more than one treatment per day?
There is no restriction on daily treatments, however, it is not recommended. There is an increased risk of sensitivity, skin redness and irritation, and chronic dry skin from overuse. You may not be able to continue treatments until skin heals or can be covered by layer of petroleum jelly.
Will my health plan cover the purchase of a galvanic iontophoresis unit?
Tapwater Iontophoresis is a recognized medical therapy for treatment and control of primary hyperhidrosis and Fischer Galvanic Units are registered with FDA as prescription medical devices. Many healthcare plans consider this treatment as a medical necessity but some do not, so you may wish to contact your provider for pre-authorization if in doubt.
R.A. Fischer Company will bill your insurance company if you have prior authorization and approval. Otherwise, patients typically purchase the device and then obtain reimbursement from their health plan.
Your insurance company may require one or more of the following codes to process a claim:
- ICD-10 Codes:
- L74.5 – Focal Hyperhidrosis
- L74.51 – Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
- L74.510 – Axilla
- L74.511 – Face
- L74.512 – Palms
- L74.513 – Soles
- L74.519 – Unspecified
- L74.52 – Secondary Focal Hyperhidrosis
- HCPCS or HIC/PIC Code: E1399 “Tapwater Iontophoresis”
- CPT Code: 97033 (only for use when billing treatments done in office)
FEIN Number (A.R. Hinkel Co. dba R.A. Fischer Co.): 95-4063106
NPI Number (National Provider ID for Insurance): 1174815484
Can Fischer help me find out if my insurance will cover the cost of a unit?
Yes, we are happy to help you find out about insurance coverage through your carrier. Please visit our Insurance page for more information.
What information is needed to complete my insurance inquiry?
Once we have received your inquiry, we will need the following information:
- full name and date of birth of patient
- full name and date of birth of beneficiary, if different from patient
- copy of the front and back of your insurance card
- doctor’s name and contact information
- copy of doctor’s prescription
This information can be submitted via email to email@example.com after submitting your insurance inquiry.
What is Prior Authorization and why is it needed?
Prior authorization may be required by your insurance company before obtaining a Fischer unit. Prior authorization confirms that the device is considered medically necessary and will be covered by your specific insurance policy.
Who can start a prior authorization request and what information is needed?
A prior authorization request can be started by you, your doctor, or a member of the Fischer insurance team. However, some insurance plans will only allow a prior authorization to be initiated by the member or their doctor.
Most prior authorization requests will require additional information from your doctor to show medical necessity. A sample letter of medical necessity can be found here.
What are my shipping options?
We currently ship via UPS or USPS. Expedited shipping options are available from both carriers.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we can ship to any country outside the US via USPS Global services. Expedited shipping options may be available depending on country of delivery.
Please note that international shipping costs do NOT include any customs fees or taxes that may be charged when your package arrives at its destination.
How long does shipping take?
On average, shipping takes between 3-4 business days depending on where you live. Shipping time for international orders may vary.
Are Customs fees and taxes included in shipping for international orders?
No, Customs fees and taxes are not included in shipping costs. Taxes and fees are dependent on the country of delivery and are the responsibility of the customer.