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Electrolysis Frequently Asked Questions

Can the skin be damaged by electrolysis?
Because electrolysis destroys the dermal papilla of a hair, there may be a slight redness and/or swelling associated with electrolysis treatment. In some circumstances, electrolysis causes tiny scabs to form over the treated follicle. These dots are a perfectly normal part of the healing process and will not leave any permanent damage, providing you do not pick at them, scratch them, or otherwise cause them to be infected. Many clients report that their skin actually looks much improved after they've had electrolysis treatments.
How long does electrolysis take to achieve permanency?
Electrolysis requires a series of treatments given over a period of time. The length of time varies from person to person and is dependent on many factors. The density and coarseness of the hair, as well as the total area to be treated, are very important. How well you tolerate treatments and the consistency of the treatment affect the overall success. The cause of the unwanted hair and the temporary methods of dealing with the hair in the past are also involved in the treatment time. Many hairs will be permanently removed after the first treatment while some require additional treatment to achieve permanency. Treatment will be more frequent in the beginning and less frequent later on. The overall results- permanent, hair-free skin, are usually well worth the time spent.
Does Electrolysis Hurt?
There is always some degree of sensation associated with electrology. It depends greatly on an individual's tolerance to pain, the type of hair, and the area that is being treated. Some clients say the pain of electrolysis is about the same as that felt when hair is plucked. Others describe the sensation as 'a slight warmth'. The treatment tends to make a few people jittery, others fall asleep during treatment. New types of topical anesthetic (such as EMLA), and other different techniques for reducing pain, are presently being introduced into electrolysis practice to make treatments more comfortable for clients.
How does electrolysis work?
A trained electrologist inserts a small metal probe into the hair follicle alongside the hair. A small amount of electric current is then delivered to the probe by a sensitive electronic device called an epilator. Depending on the technique used, the electric current destroys the hair root either by heat or chemical action and in some methods by both at the same time.

Galvanic (direct current) electrolysis-the hair is destroyed by chemical action. Thermolysis (high frequency) electrolysis-the hair root is destroyed by heat production. Blend electrolysis-a combination of Galvanic and Thermolysis where the hair root is destroyed by both heat and chemical action at the same time.

All three modalities are safe and effective. Your electrologist will choose the modality which is best for you.


How long has electrolysis been around?
The technique for removing unwanted hair by means of electrolysis was invented by Dr. Charles E. Michel, a St. Louis, Missouri ophthalmologist, in 1875. Dr. Michel's invention was developed primarily to resolve the problem of ingrown eyelashes, but basically the same procedure is used today to permanently destroy hair roots anywhere on the face or body.

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