We get a lot of questions about what the key-phoresis function is is and how, why and when to use the setting with the Sanakey and Physiokey devices.

We thought it would be the perfect subject for a blog.

So first the ‘What’. The key-phoresis program is a modified iontophoretic mechanism to facilitate the absorption of external substances such as creams, lotions and gels into the skin.

Iontophoresis is the introduction of various ions (charged particles) into the skin by the means of electricity. It’s a means of delivery that ensures a local dose of the substance (cream) in the treatment area while minimising the exposure to the rest of the body.

It’s a convenient, safe, non-invasive route for delivery of creams, lotions, or gels for optimum local effects.

The method uses an electric current to deliver a medium through the skin. The ions are driven into the skin via the pores – hair follicles, sweat gland ducts – rather than through the skin structure per se (the skin structure has a high resistance, thus limited electrical current passes through it – the ducts are lower resistance and will allow greater passage of electrical current, thus the route of preference).

In terms of ‘How’ to use this setting, that’s a question that we find most people understand when answered visually, if you have a look at the video below  or our webinar on shoulder pain we give an example of using the treatment.  It is worth noting that in addition to putting cream on the skin you should put a little on the thumb and the finger next to it so that you can use these to moisten the two key-phoresis electrodes (the thin silver bars on the side of the device).

So ‘Why’ use the key-phoresis setting? When the key-phoresis mode is activated, on either your Sanakey or Physiokey the device creates a small electrical current that drives the charged particles of cream from the delivery electrode into the skin. This increase in absorbency will often lead to an increase in effect of the cream or gel.

‘When’ would you use the setting? If you normally use an analgesic cream to treat your pain, using the key-phoresis setting massaging it in will add to it’s effect. Our athletes who use their Sanakey post competition report great effect from using it to work magnesium into large muscle groups.

If you’re not getting change in other settings or want to give your current treatment a boost the key-phoresis adds to the range of treatment options you have available!


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