Ever wondered...how to use electrode gel?
If you have decided on using TENS therapy to treat pain, you might want to take a minute and find out how to use electrode gel.
When going through TENS therapy, the electrode when removed will pull off a very thin top layer of skin, that even though it might be almost indiscernible. Since the electrodes need to be clean every time they are used, the electrode gel can be very helpful.
The proper way to use the gel is that before you place the electrodes on the area, you apply a thin layer of gel on the area so it will create a “plastic shield”, where the electrode can go and have better contact with the skin. The main benefits of the gel are that it helps protect the patients skin (specially if the have sensitive skin) and it also helps conduct electricity to the affected area. Some gels even have an antiperspirant to not only help the electric impulses reach the nerve system, but the help keep the electrodes clean of any natural body sweat, that can be caused by TENS therapy.
The gels available in the market are water-soluble and hypoallergenic, so they are completely safe to use and its residuals can be easily washed off the skin. Also, one of the benefits of these gels is that for those who use the TENS unit while at work or on the go. The gels helps them keep perspiration from coming in contact with the electrodes whenever the TENS unit is used, it will also help them keep the skin from irritating.
When removing the electrodes from the skin the stickiness from the surface, as said earlier, might pull off a top layer of the skin, which is normal. On people with highly sensitive skin this could cause irritation, therefore the layer of gel needs to be correct. The patient can then wash the gel residuals with regular soap and water. Furthermore the electrodes can be cleaned with a very simple procedure. First turn off the machine and remove the electro. With water and a normal toothbrush you can gently rub the surface in one direction, that way you will take off the skin on the electrode. Skin is a electricity resistor, so it is important that you do this simple procedure before or after you have applied the electrodes. When in doubt, you can always consult with your physician on what gel might be appropriate for you or further information on how to use electrode gel.
Related Read: Where do I place electrodes?