Drionic Modifications:
Frequently Asked Questions
March 31, 2003
by Carolyn Lamoureux

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Note that my comments pertain mostly to Drionic for hands/feet, and that my experience/results/observations are based only on the treatment of my hands for hyperhidrosis. As they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary), and these should only be taken as one person's experiences.

Q: Is Drionic covered by insurance?
A: This will depend mostly on your insurance company or health plan -- you will need to check with them. You may need your doctor or dermatologist to back you up with a note or letter. Also, check with General Medical, since they have some details under their "Order" page at http://www.drionic.com/order.html

Q: What kind of time commitment is required (initially)?
A: You definitely need to have patience and diligence to see results. Lifestyle factors will affect this. When I first started using Drionic, I gave myself 1-hour continuous treatments on a daily basis for about two weeks (14 days) on full current for both hands simultaneously. I was almost going to quit after seeing no results after 10 hours, but fortunately another Drionic user urged me to stick with it for a few more treatments. I consider myself to be an extreme case. Many others have reported positive results in 7-10 hours of treatment (typical), but I have received e-mails from users who experienced full cessation after only 5 hours. I recommend giving yourself treatments when you are sitting upright but your hands are idle. I don't watch much TV as it is, but I did watch TV and movies for about an hour a day to pass the time during my initial treatments. Some people are able to read a book using one hand to turn pages while treating the other, but this means having to switch hands half-way through, and it doubles the treatment time required.

Q: What is the time commitment to maintain dryness?
A: There are at least a couple ways to maintain a dry state, and the method you choose will largely depend on your lifestyle, your diligence, and so on. You can also adapt and customize a method to suit your lifestyle... much of it will require trial and error.

  • Method 1: Following successful treatment, go about your daily life as you normally would, enjoying dryness for about 4-7 weeks. Near the end of this period, you will notice a gradual return of sweating to the treated area, upon which time you can start daily treatments again (similar to what you did initially). I have tried this method, and for me, it took about 8-9 hours of treatments for me to re-achieve the dry state (compared to about 13-14 hours initially). Again, note that this is an extreme case; most people seem to require less treatment (3-5 hours is typical). The advantage of this is that you enjoy 4-7 weeks of your life feeling dry, without worrying about the treatments. The disadvantage is that with the returned onset of sweating, you will need to administer consecutive treatments for several days.
  • Method 2: After achieving the cessation of sweating, maintain the dry state by administering treatments about once a week, and avoid skipping treatments. I personally use this method. I only watch one TV show (1 hour long) per week, so this works well for me. I set up my Drionic devices just before the show starts, and I give myself an hour-long treatment during the show. It becomes a regular routine. The advantage to this is that you enjoy dryness continually, and the treatment is regular and spread out over time. The disadvantage is that you have to be diligent with this method on a regular basis, rather than just "forgetting" about it for a few weeks.

Q: What should be the duration of each session?
A: I find that there's a balance between the duration of each treatment and the number of days for treatment. Treatments that are too short (10-15 minutes) may not be effective, and you'd need a lot of these treatments. Extremely long treatments are time consuming and may increase the severity of side effects. I've found that 30-60 minute treatments are ideal, but it will depend on your specific case. Since I know my hands require about 1 hour of treatment per week, I prefer a single 1-hour session rather than two 30-minute sessions. Similarly, when I started my treatments, I required about 14 hours of total treatments, so it was better for me to get 2 weeks of 1 hour daily treatments, rather than a whole month of 30 minute sessions.

Q: Is there discomfort in the treatments? Is it painful?
A: In short, yes, there is mild discomfort of the treated area while using Drionic. It is more noticeable when you use Drionic for the first several times, but for me, I eventually found it tolerable and not an issue. During normal use, there is a tingling sensation which peaks and declines several times. If you have experienced an electric shock, it is similar to that. For people who often have open lesions in the skin (cuts, wounds, split nails, etc.), the pain is very severe (I compare it to getting lemon juice or vinegar into your open wound). However, this can be managed by covering up these lesions using a water-insoluble barrier, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or soft wax. I'm cautious about keeping my hands from harm's way, so that there is no pain from using Drionic, but occasionally, things just happen, and you have to adapt. Also, since I usually administer my treatments while watching TV, it serves as a good distraction since my mind doesn't focus on the discomfort.

Q: Are there side effects?
A: For me, I've experienced itching of the treated area for a couple days following treatment (although after several months of treatment this is no longer the case). Additionally, I've found my hands more sensitive to hot water. There was occasionally some localized edema: very small (< 1 mm) clear fluid-filled spaces under the skin -- which I would advise to just leave as it will go away by itself in days (i.e., it is not advisable to prick the skin to release the fluid, since this can introduce infections as well as create regions of pain during subsequent Drionic treatments. Finally, there was the side effect of dryness of the palms, to the point where dry skin make flake off, and use of a hand moisturizing lotion is required. But this last "side-effect" is nothing short of what I've wanted forever, so it is a very good thing!!!

Q: How do you recommend carrying out treatments?
A: First of all, I find that warm/hot water is more effective than cold water. Use the highest temperature of water that you're comfortable with (without scalding yourself of course). My theory on this is that warm/hot water promotes opening of pores in the skin so that parakeratotic plugs form in these spaces; after treatment, the skin "shrinks" back to tightly seal the pores with the plugs in place. Also, use the highest current you can tolerate -- the higher, the more effective. You're really using the electro-motive force of electricity to force ionized salts into the skin, and catalyzing the agglutination of skin proteins to plug the pores where sweat ducts lead. You definitely want to use tap water (not distilled or purified). A tiny dash of salt in the water might help, but this is subject to further experimentation. Finally, make sure you are comfortable and can apply the full treatment uninterrupted. For example, I believe that a full 30-minute treatment is better than six 5-minute treatments spread apart.

Q: What can influence the effectiveness of treatment?
A: I believe many factors come into play, including individual characteristics (tolerance to electrical current, gender, occupation [by this I'm referring to stress, intensity of manual tasks, work that may cause calluses or toughening of the skin, etc.], health, etc.) as well as external factors (diet, source/treatment of tap water). In theory, Drionic could work for everyone under the right conditions. In practice, however, people respond quite differently.

Q: Can the quality of my water affect the results of treatment?
A: This is a tough question to answer, and I haven't found any studies that would prove one way or another. However, in my personal experience, I found slightly better results using water with a water softener installed, compared to hard water from the municipal water supply.

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