Title:
Apparatus for treating skin diseases
United States Patent 2493155


Abstract:
This invention relates to the treatment of diseased skin and tissue and, in particular, to apparatus. for- electrically supplying a therapeutic agent to thearea to beitreated. It has been found highly beneficial to treat various forms of, skin or tissue, diseases, such as epidermophytoses...



Inventors:
Mcmillan, William R.
Application Number:
US72095447A
Publication Date:
01/03/1950
Filing Date:
01/09/1947
Assignee:
MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES CO
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
607/149, 607/153
International Classes:
A61F13/00; A61N1/30; A61F13/15
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2263205Apparatus for the treatment of skin diseases1941-11-18
2126070Electrotherapy1938-08-09
1573116Thermatologic electrode1926-02-16
0309897N/A1884-12-30
0116004N/A1871-06-20



Foreign References:
GB498527A1939-01-10
Description:

This invention relates to the treatment of diseased skin and tissue and, in particular, to apparatus. for- electrically supplying a therapeutic agent to thearea to beitreated.

It has been found highly beneficial to treat various forms of, skin or tissue, diseases, such as epidermophytoses (athlete's foot) or other, moldy infections,: by iontophoresis of copper or other like therapeutic agents. This may be accomplished by the electrolytic.process, in which copper ions from the electrolyte migrate to and.into the diseased tissues when the circuit is closed.

Less common processes include electro-osmosis or. electro-phoresis, and are within the contemplation of the present invention.

One of the.handicaps of these treatments is the danger of electrically shocking the patient.

To prevent this,- a circuit hasbeen devised which can be controlled either manually: or automatically so as to provide a very small flow, of current when. initially closed and ..to- gradually increase the current to. provide eventually a -relatively large flow without causing discomfortto. the patient. Such a circuit is-disclosed in Conrad Patent No. 2,263,205, and it is my intention to utilize that circuit with the.-improved treatment device disclosed herein. As shown in the Conrad patent, the diseased or affected part is immersed in an electrolyte containing a therapeutic agent. The solution is carried in a.receptacle, such as a common pan, and the hands also are immersed in another solution carried in a separate pan. When electrodes, which are placed in the pan, are connected with a source of electromotive force, the body serves as a conductor to close the. circuit and permit-the flow of electric current. When the affected partis a foot or hand, the treatment can be performed satisfactorily. However, it would be extremely inconvenient, if not impossible, to so treat other portions- of the body, such for instance, as an infection of the face, neck or arm. Further, the Conrad system uses a large body massý as a .conductor in the: circuit so: that any sudden surge of current due to a faulty: circuit or careless circuit control might cause undue sensory or motor discomfort. When the patient's hands are immersed in a solution in one pan, another person may be required to manipu late the current controls.

It is among the objects of this invention to provide, in apparatus of the character just discussed, a device for holding the disease-treating liquid which is small and compact; which forms a seal with the skin so that it can hold the liquid against small diseased areas; which does not immobilize the hands during treatment; and which requires electricity to flow through no more,than a, very short path in the body.

According, to the invention:the edge of a. cup is pressed against the skin around the diseased area, preferably by a strap or tape. The cup holds the electric, conducting fluid which contains .the therapeutic agent that is to be supplied to the :affected, area electrically. Electric.conductors,. closely associated with the cup, are adapted to be connected into an electric circuit .of,the type disclosed:in the Conrad patent. One of the conductors- extends into the solution. in the.. cup, while the other: is in electric, contact with the skin-outside of the cup. The current flows through the conductors, the conducting fluid and the diseased tissue area, to cause the therapeutic agent to treat that area.

The preferred embodiment-of the invention is illustrated- in the accompanying drawing, of which Fig. 1 is a.plan view of the device in operative position.on a patient's arm; Fig. 2 is a..vertical section through the device on the arm taken on line I-1II of Pig, 1; and Fig. 3 is an enlarged vertical section taken on the line IIlI-Il of Fig. 1.

The following detailed description of this invention will have reference to its.. application in the :process of electrolytically treating .skin diseaseszwith a solution such.as copper.sulphate, but it is not to be-limited to thatparticular solution. "Skin" will be used. broadly herein to include tissue.

Referring to the drawings; a cup-like container - is inverted over an affected area. 2-of a patient's zarm with the edge or lip of the cup engaging the: skin around- that area. The cup is held.in liquid sealing engagement with the arm by 'an:elastic strap: 3 or by: other means such-as a suitable-: harness. or adhesive- tape. The end wall of the cup, which -is at the top in the drawing, is provided with an opening encircled by a neck -4 in which there is a removable stopper or plug 6; By: removing the -plug, the cup can be filled 'on the arm to the desired, extent with a copper- sulphate: solution 7. The plug. and the cup are constructed of any suitabe material, such as glass, plastic or rubber, which is electrically non-conductive and which is not attacked corrosively by the electrolyte.

The plug is provided with an axial passage in which a rod-like copper anode 8 is mounted.

This electrode seals the plug passage and extends into the electrolyte in the cup. On the inner end of the electrode is mounted an insulating cap 10 to prevent accidental contact of the electrode with the skin. A set screw 9 is mounted in the outer end of the electrode to connect it to a wire I I leading to a suitable source of electricity, preferably the circuit shown in the Conrad patent referred to above. Encircling the lip of the cup is a ring-shaped copper cathode 12, which is positioned close to it. This electrode also is provided with a set screw 13 for connecting it to a wire 14 leading to the same source of electricity or circuit as the other wire II. In order to provide a good electrical connection between the annular electrode and the skin, a ring 16 of fabric, such as gauze, is moistened with a conducting liquid, for example, a salt solution, and is inserted between the electrode and the arm. The moist conductor 16 is pressed against the skin by the ring electrode 12 which in turn is pressed toward the skin by four arms 17 these, preferably, being, leaf springs. The upper ends of these springs are fastened to the side wall of the cup by rivets 18, while their lower ends bear against the cathode.

The electrodes are connected into a controlled circuit, such as the Conrad circuit previously mentioned. Anode 8 is connected to the positive side of the circuit and cathode 12 to the negative side. The current passing through the copper sulphate and the diseased area of the arm causes copper ions to migrate to and be deposited on and in the diseased skin. The use of this small device, which can be attached to localized areas of various parts of the body, makes it easy and comfortable to treat many areas that could not have been reached satisfactorily with the old system using pans. This device also leaves the hands free, and does not require electricity to flow through a large part of the body.

According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle, preferred embodiment and mode of operation of my invention, and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, I desire to have it understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.

I claim: 1. In apparatus for therapeutically treating skin diseases, a cup having its edge adapted to be pressed against the skin around the diseased area, said cup being adapted to hold against said area an electrically conductive liquid containing a therapeutic agent, an electrode mounted in the wall of the cup with its inner end adapted to extend into the liquid therein, an annular electric conductor surrounding the cup, and resilient means connected to the cup and adapted to press said conductor against the skin, said conductor and electrode being adapted to be connected to a source of electricity to form an electric circuit O0 through said diseased area of the skin.

2. In apparatus for therapeutically treating skin diseases, a cup having its edge adapted to be pressed against the skin around the diseased area, said cup being adapted to hold against said area 05 an electrically conductive liquid containing a therapeutic agent, an electrode mounted in the wall of the cup with its inner end adapted to extend into the liquid therein, an annular electrode surrounding the cup, an annular moist conductor engaging the annular electrode, leaf springs secured to the cup and engaging the annular electrode to press said moist conductor against the skin, said electrodes being adapted to be connected to a source of electricity to form an electric circuit through said diseased area of the skin.

3. In apparatus for therapeutically treating skin diseases, a cup having its edge adapted to engage the skin around the diseased area, adjustable means engaging the cup for pressing it against the skin in sealing engagement therewith, said cup being adapted to hold against said area 'an electrically conductive liquid containing a therapeutic agent, an electrode extending through the wall of the cup with its inner end adapted to be immersed in the liquid therein, 'an annular electric conductor surrounding the cup, and an arm having one end secured to the cup and the other bearing against and pressing said conductor against the skin, said electrode and conductor being adapted to be connected to a source of electricity to form an electric circuit through said diseased area of the skin.

4. In apparatus for therapeutically treating skin diseases, a cup having its edge adapted to be pressed against the skin around the diseased area, said cup being provided with an opening through which it can be filled with an electrolyte containing a therapeutic agent, a plug normally closing said opening and provided with a passage, an electrode extending through said passage and sealing it, the inner end of said electrode being adapted to project into the electrolyte in the cup, an electric conductor surrounding the cup, a spring connected to the cup and adapted to press said conductor against the skin, said conductor and electrode being adapted to be connected to a source of electricity to form an electric circuit through said diseased area.

WILLIAM R. McMILLAN.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent: UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 116,004 Amer ---------.__ June 20, 1871 309,897 Thurston -------- Dec. 30, 1884 1,573,116 Kobayashi --------- Feb. 16, 1926 2,126,070 Wappler ---------- Aug. 9, 1938 2,263,205 Conrad ------------ Nov. 18, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS Number 498,527 Country Great Britain Date ------- Jan. 10, 1939 OTHER REFERENCES Electrotherapy and Light Therapy, Richard Kovacs, copyright 1945, pages 602-604. Note Figs. 335-337 and page 603, lines 4-18.