Bad reactions to electrolysis on face or bad technician?

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone would like to share their opinion on my recent experience for Electrolysis which did not go so well.
For starters, I’ve had 4 laser hair removal sessions previously all a month apart.
The doctor who did the electrolysis gave my lidocaine injections first as this was for the upper area.
The bottom chin area was a strong lidocaine cream (10%).
I’m pretty certain it was the Blend Method as I had to hold the probe in my hand for the procedure.
She basically full clearing of the beard area around the mouth. Two session for top and bottom.

After doing much reading I now realize that this is a mistake and likely she should have done more sparsely session and wait for some skin healing in between.
Now after this experience I was left with incredibly swollen face and lips with many scabs. Some large.
It’s been about a month since this and I have recessions/dents around my upper lip (big ones) and smaller little “icepick” like ones or “orange peel” effect on my chin.

I’ve seen post of others where they have had large clearings and seemingly no harsh aftermath such as mine.
I’m wondering, is it because my hair was really dense and thick for this to happen and the doctor shouldn’t have done this?
This can’t be normal aftermath right?
I’m really worried about scars and how to go forward with my hair removal.

Any advice would be dearly appreciated for this scared person.

Thank for such a great community full or resources.


Can you give us a bit more information please - when was your electrolysis session, how many weeks post treatment are the pictures, have you got pictures from before your electrolysis session?

Hi, yes.
Its been 30 days exactly since my electrolysis session.

Photos are from a month before my electrolysis session.
I had some redness leftover from the last pimple outbreak which was caused by my last laser session as you can kinda see in the photos.


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Thank you for the pictures.
30 days post intensive session is a bit early still and there will be more healing happening over the following weeks and months. You look young and healthy so your skin will do its job at repairing the site. Make sure you stay out of the sun so you minimise pigmentation. I find rosehip oil helps a lot in this stage of healing - massage some with clean fingers after cleansing your skin at night.
In the future, avoid having clearance of dense patches on fine, thin skin like the lip and chin as there is a risk of overtreatment. Opt for thinning the hair until it is sparse enough to allow healing gaps and recover well. Give your skin time to recover fully before your next appointment.
If you found that you had big crusts on chin and lip after your previous treatment, report to your practitioner and see how they can adjust your treatment to avoid that.

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Thank for your input on my situation. While I know its still a little early to know how my face may heal I have yet to confront the doctor who did the electrolysis.
I wanted to see if this in fact bad practice and I should be raising this as an issue. As in this isn’t standard procedure and I need to have some arguments in place for this discussion.

What is a standard procedure would depend on the training provided to the doctor in your country of residence.
It is good practice to allow healing gaps in dense patches, but has your doctor been taught that as a standard? Or has it been left to her to learn from her practice? Is this knowledge available to her in your country? Are there many and good electrologists where you live?
I think it is always more beneficial to communicate with your practitioner and share your experiences and the knowledge you’ve gathered. you may create a great bond and help her get better while you get the results you are after. If she is open to new knowledge, of course.

Over the years I have attempted suggestions about working with anesthetic and electrolysis. I have 40 years’ experience with this. Always, I am lambasted by electrologists, or others, for even the mere mention of local anesthetic. A recent post was a case in point. I was chided and given a lecture on anesthetic … a lecture I am quite familiar with. Point being, there are many suggestions I have … but I’m always shut down. My suggestions are PRACTICAL suggestions … not arguments on the pharmacology of lidocaine. Book-learning vs. practical application and experience!

Indeed, what you are showing in your photo is the CLASSIC case of skin damage from doing electrolysis under local anesthetic … and making several foreseeable mistakes. These are mistakes that I have seen for decades … and yet they continue on-and-on.

That exact portion of your upper lip is, again, the number ONE area where I have seen tragic mistakes. I have to tell you that, in my opinion, the damage is scar tissue that is not going to resolve. At best, your skin will have an uneven look. The chin too … exactly in the “classic” danger zone. When I see the photos of Caitlin Jenner … well, I see the errors that were made! The whole thing makes me sick because it’s avoidable!

Indeed, there are more and more electrologists teaming up with physicians! … For ONCE I would like to be allowed to offer suggestions without being harassed by people who have little experience in this area … except to express panic when the word “lidocaine” is mentioned. (Facebook was a real disaster for me on this subject. “Attacked” is the operative word!)

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For those who want to learn are always lurking in the background but can’t find open source information on the subject from experienced practitioners.

Mike, I just read through search on lido and your name on here and didn’t find that much so come on, lay it on for us who want to hear it.
Disclosure: I do use a dentist who injects dental block (not infiltration) for 2 patients on upper and lower lips only. I’m always careful on lips with or without lido. I wish I could have a doctor in my practice to do injections as that would make some cases so much easier for them.

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Yes, the nerve block is excellent for the upper/lower lips. Strange that the outer corners (upper lip) don’t usually get fully numb … but the CENTER … oh yeah! And, that’s where it’s most painful too. I have been thinking about doing a whole section on local anesthetic. However, Hairtell is not the appropriate venue: topics get lost and I’d like to produce something more permanent and accessible (free of course). Also, not just talking about it … showing it! I have two physicians that said they would be happy to be involved … so, well, who knows?

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Thank you for all your meaningful replies.

Its a shame that there is such a variance in knowledge for this topic in the world. It seems to me not every electrolysis technician or doctor is aware of these necessary precautions.
In my case, Lidocaine was very very helpful in pain blocking during the procedure. Sadly I wish I knew more of the risks let alone the technician knowing them also.

I’ve now seen two different dermatologists which have recommended Fractional laser treatment which could help with the removal of the scarring but have said to wait a little more to see how this will heal.

I’m still unsure as to if I should avoid laser hair removal and/or electrolysis in these areas now until more time has passed to allow for healing.
Or how I will know when I could resume hair removal…

Truth is, is that electrolysis is not so common here in Czech Republic. There are many knowledgeable doctors, surgeons, ect here but not so with hair removal via electrolysis.
I should have just done this in my home country of Canada…

I would say first of all: DO NOT blame yourself. I don’t know why, but patients generally DO blame themselves. In reality, everything that “goes wrong” is the electrologists fault ONLY! I mean, why should you know anything about anesthetic or electrolysis? You put your trust in the technician.

Indeed, you are also correct in that physicians, that are not plastic surgeons or dermatologists, often do not know how to properly administer lidocaine for infiltration (the body). I have some frightful photos on how wrong this can go! (And yes, from a doctor … dentist … who screwed up.) Improper administration can cause “skin death” and “bullet-hole” scars! (I have the photos!)

To you question, yes, I would wait until the healing is completed and not re-injure the area with laser or electrolysis. All my patients are “anxious” to have their hair removed; especially the trans patients who want the hair removed “immediately” … and, therefore PUSH me to do more. I WON’T “do more” than I know is safe. I always tell them: “Do you plan to have your skin for a long time? If so, please let me do this job properly … so you will have clear beautiful skin.” (Besides, they cannot “push me” anyway!)

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