Gosh, where to start with this one. Well, I guess by shooting down some of the obvious misconceptions on your part. This is normal to be mislead by some concepts that havent been communicated to you or understood by you.No one starts with all the information, and trying to learn while dealing with your brains anxiety over things like "skin damage" and effectiveness can cause a lot of stress, and that in turn causes you to misconstrue what you are seeing. So all this to say, dont take what I'm about to say personally, it's meant to help you.
I'll start with this gem:
"I tried electrolysis years ago and gave up because it didn't work and gave me icepick scars." combined with this:
" I am pale with sensitive, clog prone and acne prone on my chin (mainly due to the hair)."
No, it didnt. Here's a mild example of ice pick scarring I found on google:
and here another:https://static.acne.org/ipb_uploads/mont...b01949be37f.jpg
Ice pick scars Google Ice pick scars and go to images . What you see are lots of images of scars and pock marks that look like someone stuck an ice pick into the skin. It's very logical then to imaging that an electrolysis probe inserted into a hair and burned the surrounding tissue would cause this kind of mark. In the brain, this seems to make sense. Except for that that little pesky thing, the difference between theory and fact.What is the thing I can almost hear Michael Bono saying.
Ice pick scars develop because the pore of the follicle is held open over a large amount of time, long enough that the skin begins to lose its elasticity and is unable to return to it's normal size. Electrolysis probes are fine,about the size of the hair, and cannot stretch out the follicle in this manner. They also are in the follicle for a very short period, not long enough to stretch out the follicle in this way. The reaction to a burn from thermolysis or lye does not cause the skin to lose it's elasticity in that way.
So what does cause the follicle to be held open for that period such that it loses it's ability to return to it's normal size? In all cases ice pick scars are caused by cystic acne.In every single case.
next up: " I had laser hair removal on my chin years ago which only caused more hair. For years I have been tweezing"
Of the two assertions here, the tweezing is more likely in your case to be the cause of the course growth and ingrowns. I think there are other contributing factors however.
next: "I have recently begun electrolysis. She is using thermolysis and I have had 4 or 5 sessions. During the session occasionally I hear the popping sound (crackle). I noticed like the last time I got electroysis she really has to tug on some of the hairs to get them out. "
The crackle is called high frequency blowout. It can happen on rare occasion by accident, but consistently would indicate an issue with power levels or depth of insertion. Tugging would indicate insufficient and ineffective treatment.
and finally: "Afterwards I am a little swollen but otherwise ok. After several hours I get pimples that are worse than any breakout ever. They are more like pustules or cysts. I have done my best to heal the skin between sessions not wearing makeup and occasionally even applying Calamine lotion. Is this normal. I expressed to the operator who has 20 or more years experience and is a nurse that I was concerned that after several months I would be experiencing no permanent removal. She assured me that she can do it and that it is normal and some of the hairs and follicles are curved (I am prone to this and ingrown hairs). "
the infamous "wall of whiteheads" is caused by contamination by some substance or could be related to a metalurgical allergy. I would NOT use the calamine lotion.You should use NO PRODUCT in the24 hours post trreatment. I recommend cleansing with cool water a few times a day, and ceasing makeup , suntan lotion, or facial scrubs during this period.If after cleansing, using no product whatsoever and still seeing these type of cysts, I would recommend a gold probe be used for treatment. It's not unheard of, that allergies to the nickle in stainless steel can cause a histimine reaction.And of course your electrologist should be wearing gloves.I'd be very surprised if a nurse would not be anyway.
Alright, so now I'd like to sum up what I'm thinking from your case and description.
First, modality is not going to make a tremendous amount of difference. The correct modality, is the one your electrologist is most proficient in. They all kill hair, they all leave perfect skin.
What I suspect from your description and alluded to briefly previously is, *drumroll*.............I believe it likely you have a hormonal imbalance.What's telling me this is your skins sensativity to acne, and excess hair, in combination with the hair. This is most commonly caused by an excess of di-hydra-testosterone in the blood stream. This can be genetic, but is also often caused by diet or conditions such as cushings disease, thyroid issues, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. In almost all cases where I see these 2 items combined, I refer the client over to their family doctor to have their levels checked with a blood test. When they are indeed high, often the doctors will recommend a ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts.
The reason it's important to check on this is it will affect your hair removal. If a hormonal imbalance is present and isnt addressed, new follicles can continue to be stimulated into hair-bearing long after the treatment should have been finished.
Your question amounts not so much to what modality should I be using, but should I be continuing with my present electrologist. Or should you try another and compare differences.Given the occasional high frequency blowout, the tugging. and the continued issues with contamination of the area, and also given that I believe it's a good idea to ALWAYS try out as many as you can and choose the one whose treatment you like best'm going to say yeas it's worth while. This is not to say your electrologist is doing anything wrong, but it is worthwhile on the basis of having an objective point of view.As for what modality they use, it honestly does not make a difference.