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 10-20 minutes per session, initially with 2-3 sessions per week followed by a maintenance program of treatments at 1 to 3 week intervals, depending 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.
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 available with waterbath trays (for treating hands or feet), with wet pads (for treating the axillae), or with both waterbath trays and wet pads.
We also offer a rent-to-buy program whereby you can rent a Galvanic Unit for a month to see if you wish to purchase it, and then you can either return it, purchase it outright, or continue making monthly rental payments until the unit is paid in full. Click here for full details about our rental 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).
Can I return the MD-1a or MD-2 if it doesn’t meet my expectations?
We offer a 45 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). IMPORTANT NOTE: You must call us at 800-525-3467 to obtain Return Authorization before shipping the unit back to us.
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.
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:
- CPT Code: 97033 (refers to treatments done in office)
- 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
- L74.8 – Other Eccrine Sweat Disorders
- L74.9 – Eccrine Sweat Disorder Unspecified
- HCPCS or HIC/PIC Code: E1399 “Tapwater Iontophoresis”
- FDA Classification Code: EGJ Iontophoresis device, other uses
- FDA 510k Number: K964208 (MD-1a) / K895365 (MD-2)
- FEIN Number (A.R. Hinkel Co. dba R.A. Fischer Co.): 95-4063106
- NPI Number (National Provider ID for Insurance): 1174815484