The large number of remedies in use for the treatment of fungous infections of the feet and hands is evidence that not one is entirely successful. It is probable that all these remedies will kill fungi in vitro, but most fail to do so when applied to the skin. The fungi are in the deep layers of the epidermis, and the fungicide does not reach them. The efficacy of compound ointment of benzoic acid, the remedy most extensively employed, is due to the presence of salicylic acid, which causes desquamation with consequent partial exposure of the fungi.
The ideal method of treating fungous infections would be the introduction of a fungicide into the skin without injury to the skin. This we have attempted to do by passing copper, which is highly fungicidal, through the skin by iontophoresis. The results obtained with this therapy, reported here, are distinctly favorable. The great
HAGGARD HW, STRAUSS MJ, GREENBERG LA. FUNGOUS INFECTIONS OF THE HANDS AND FEET TREATED BY IONTOPHORESIS OF COPPER: PRELIMINARY REPORT. JAMA. 1939;112(13):1229–1232. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800130013005
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