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
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.
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