The key difference between iontophoresis and phonophoresis is that iontophoresis is the process of delivering drugs into the body with the help of an electric current, while phonophoresis is the process of delivering drugs into the body using ultrasound.
In the modern era of medicine, different methodologies are available to deliver drugs into the body and maximize the effect of a particular drug. These methods utilize physical measures such as electricity and other waves for the delivery of drugs. Such techniques take place through both transcutaneous and transdermal delivery. Iontophoresis and phonophoresis are two such techniques utilized by physicians mainly to control and treat pain and inflammation. Both methods are useful in treating burns, open wounds, calcium deposits, anesthesia, and various skin conditions. Iontophoresis utilizes electric current to introduce drugs through the skin, while phonophoresis utilizes ultrasound to introduce drugs through the skin. Both are good alternatives to the injection of drugs into the system.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Iontophoresis
3. What is Phonophoresis
4. Similarities – Iontophoresis and Phonophoresis
5. Iontophoresis vs Phonophoresis in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Iontophoresis vs Phonophoresis
What is Iontophoresis?
Iontophoresis is the process of transcutaneous delivery of ions into the body during therapeutics. It is a procedure where an electric current passes through the skin. The skin is either soaked in tap water, normal saline, or in a solution that contains the anticholinergic medication. This allows the charged ionized particles to cross the skin barrier and enhance different therapeutic procedures. The main function of iontophoresis is to deliver drugs to reduce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) in palms and soles. Apart from treating hyperhidrosis, the main use of iontophoresis is the successful transcutaneous delivery of drugs. These include anesthetizing an area of skin with lignocaine, treatment of fungal infections in the nail plate, eradication of infection of resistant microorganisms using silver ions, and treatment of tendonitis and bursitis using anti-inflammatory drugs.
The side effects of iontophoresis include the occurrence of small blisters, skin redness in the treated area, and dermatitis. Iontophoresis is not suitable for patients with epilepsy, heart conditions, pregnant women, and patients with a metal implant and or a pacemaker.
What is Phonophoresis?
Phonophoresis is the transdermal delivery of drugs into the body during therapeutics. Transdermal delivery of drugs is performed with the use of ultrasound to maximize the effect of the drug, pushing the drug components deeper into the skin tissue. The drugs used in phonophoresis are either pain reliving drugs or anti-inflammatory drugs. Once the ultrasound pushes the drug particles up the subcutis later, the cells absorb the drug. In the context of inflammatory injuries, phonophoresis assists in healing strains, osteoarthritic conditions, tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis, and sprains.
Phonophoresis uses different drugs for therapeutics. These include hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, benzylamine, and other different anesthetics. The side effects of phonophoresis include skin scarring, skin discoloration, risk of skin burns, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Iontophoresis and Phonophoresis?
- Iontophoresis and phonophoresis are drug delivery procedures alternative to oral or parenteral methods.
- They take part in the delivery of different drug components to the skin, mainly for pain relief and inflammation.
- Both procedures use physical agents such as electric current and ultrasound.
- Moreover, they require professional medical personnel for implementation.
- Both therapeutics maximize the effects of topical drugs.
What is the Difference Between Iontophoresis and Phonophoresis?
Iontophoresis is the delivery of drugs through the skin into the body using an electric current, while phonophoresis is the delivery of drugs through the skin into the body using ultrasound. Thus, this is the key difference between iontophoresis and phonophoresis. Iontophoresis treats hyperhidrosis, but phonophoresis treats inflammatory injuries and conditions. Moreover, iontophoresis delivers ions, while phonophoresis delivers molecules.
The below infographic presents the differences between iontophoresis and phonophoresis in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Iontophoresis vs Phonophoresis
There are alternative procedures to deliver drugs into the body and to maximize the effect of those drugs. Iontophoresis and phonophoresis are two such techniques utilized by physicians. Both methods facilitate drug delivery to the skin. Iontophoresis delivers ions through the skin using an electric current. Phonophoresis delivers molecules through the skin using ultrasound. So, this is the key difference between iontophoresis and phonophoresis. Both methods are mainly used for the control of pain and inflammation.
1. “Iontophoresis.” DermNet.
2. “Phonophoresis: What Is It, What It Does, and More.” WebMD.
1. “Iontophoresis device” By Mindfulpersian – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Specialist making face skin procedure with modern equipment” Photo by Anna Shvets (CC0) via Pexels
Leave a Reply