Can anyone explain these bumps ? - its a long term thing now

Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here in many months.

Im a healthy,fit 25 yr old male with fair skin and dark hair who has been having electrolysis on upper arms and shoulders, for some time now.

I am now covered in what is best described as bumps/dots resembling “goose-bumps” dotted over the entire area where i have been treated. these bumps are almost “beneath the skin”-looking , flesh-coloured, and always there and feel rough to the touch. It in fact looks (most of the time) EXACTLY like goosebumps, and feels like touching goosebumps which are permanently there.

the only time these change is during/after the gym or after a hot shower,when they become very red (but still the same appearance and texture), temporarily before they return to flesh-coloured “goosebumps”.

It has been 6 months since my last thermolysis appt. (which I had been attending 1 or 3 hours a week for 5 months before quitting, despite having achieved fairly comprehensive results hair-removal wise), before those 5 months I had gotten 9 months of multi-galvanic treatments with very very minimal results but also minimal side-effects. The goosebumps only began after switching to the thermolysis practitioner, and typically manifested as “goosebumps” in an area ,about 2 weeks after each area received treatment.

HELP me please!!!
I really want to return to my thermolysis practitioner who really had achieved very good,very fast results in a short period,and whose manner and technique I was really happy with, however my skin has obviously sustained this aforementioned damage.
(after 6 months off treatment with no improvement, I doubt its gonna suddenly start to see any improvement)

*Does anyone know what this condition is ?
*what aspect of the thermolysis treatment may have caused it?
*And… NOW,whether it is permanent or not, what can I do that is cosmetically viable to resolve the skin condition, and/or initiate skin healing in the area???

many thanks to anyone thAt can help me or provide any answers or advice…


Sounds like Keloids due to overtreatment by your practitioner or just bad luck due to your tendency to get Keloids. Not easily remedied. Do a Google search on Keloid treatment, but don’t expect any miracle cures.

Sometimes it can take up to 18 months for skin to restructure itself. Have you talked to your electrologist about these bumps? Can you show us a picture?

I’m not saying this with a diagnosing tone, but it sounds similar to the inherited skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris. I treated hairy arms on a client with KP and her bumps went away. Your saying that your bumps are the result of thermolysis, so it would have to be a pretty well-timed coincidence to develop KP after the hair has been removed.

Do you have any keloids on any other part of your body? Some people are more prone than others to developing keloids, especially if they have darker skin, which you don’t.Hmm.

Does exfoliation help?


That is a kind of irritation.
You must go with a dermatologist (skin specialist)
Take care your skin man

Hair Removal

Well, based on what I know keloids to be , the bumps I describe are NOT keloids.

they very much resemble GOOSEBUMPS ( the kind people get when theyre cold or nervous,etc) , almost identically, and there is basically one bump/dot on each single follicle that was treated via the thermolysis.

as i mentioned they are flesh coloured, feel rough to touch and look almost EXACTLY LIKE GOOSEBUMPS, not keloids (unless its possible for keloids to be like that too, but not that I know of)

I cant post any pics, as I dont have a digi-cam, but am very likely going to be purchasing a camera within the next month or so, so I will definitely post some pics of exactly what I am talking about.

again, these bumps are roughly the size of the follicles and theyre almost flat on the skin, but still raised enough to feel rough to the touch.

I really dont wanna discontinue my treatments (which I havent been to for 6 months now, due to the concern over these bumps), but obviously I cant continue if these bumps are likely to be the permanent result of such treatments.

??? help - what can I do?

Have you ever picked at bumps to see what’s inside? If you haven’t, then try picking at one bump to see what’s inside (yes, I know it’s bad to pick, because it could cause scarring, but what the hell).

Sorry, I think all professionals are thinking keloid. It is the only thought I had and it has already been stated. Keloid don’t have to be massive. They can be pinpoint and it can happen to fair skined people do speak to electrologist and let us know.

Hey! jenrix does have a great suggestion- see a dermatologist.

Did you notice these bumps soon after you started treatments, but still kept going? I have had my own arms done and have personally completed many arm cases using thermolysis and have not seen what you describe.

I can’t say whether poor technique caused this or if your body is having some kind of immune response happening. When we can’t definitley tell you what is happening and what to do to resolve it, the next line of action is to seek the help and advice of a physician who can see you up close and personal.

The goal of having electrolysis is not to permanently remove hair only to cause another problem with emotional overtones.

This keratosis pilaris is very similar to what you describe and it’s lesions are usually located where you had electrolysis.


"the only time these change is during/after the gym or after a hot shower,when they become very red (but still the same appearance and texture), temporarily before they return to flesh-coloured “goosebumps”

How soon after a treatment do you shower? The heat and moisture or the sweat you produce during exersize could cause these bumps. I advise against these activities right after treatments. When my clients exercise they do it before a treatment not after and the condition stops.

Do they ever go away? Keloids do not go away. KP is a condition you would have had before your treatments.

Another posibility is a reation to the blend. You may not know but find out if you are having thermolysis or the blend. Occassionally people have an allergic reaction to the chemical process created by the galvanic current.

When you see a dermatologist do present all the possiblities presented to you to help him with his diagnosis.

Okay, so you had thermolysis. Is there any chance that these could be small, thin ingrown hairs that are trapped,thus causing these bumps? Did you or can you have someone get a magnifying glass and pop one to see what if anything comes out? I’m just thinking out loud here and I do think the redness will fade in time, but the rough bump description makes me really think that something is there taking up space. Can your electrologist take a close look and pop one even?


Small ingrown hairs. That is a really good thought or remotely possibility hairs that didn’t release and broke off.

Lots of possiblities when we can’t see it. Just good guesses.

I never showered the night of my treatments.
I never did any exercise for 2/3 days after my treatments.

I was always very careful about what I did and didnt do before/after all my thermolysis treatments so as to obtain optimum results.

to be completely honest - I havent been back since October '05 and there is currently a dramatic difference in the amount of hair than the amount I had before I began thermolysis in June 05. While I have obviously had a fair bit of regrowth since Oct o5, having not been back to my electrologist for 8 months now, It is plainly obvious that a large amount of hair was (as far as I can tell after 8 months) gotten rid of.

for this reason I am thinking about contacting my practitioner and going back to her regardless.
I am desperate to ne hairfree permanently, even at the cost of these bumps.

I did not have KP prior to my treatments, and I am very certain these arent keloids
Perhaps they are ingrown hairs - who knows?

so Im just wondering?
whats the longest possible timeframe theat the skin would take to return to being close to normal after electrolysis injury, if it was in fact ever going to do so?

Do I still have hope for further improvements as more months pass by?

also…Supposing that these bumps and marks are here to stay, is there any sort of treatment I could undergo or home remedy or whatnot to remedy the “bumps” somewhat or at least see some level of improvement to them? (whether this treatment be over the counter or precription/medical - lowtech or hi-tech)?

basically I would love to :
-resume the treatments I quit 8 months ago,
-prevent further skin damage,
-and remedy or minimise (as much as possible) the current damage (whether its burns from the thermolyis,scars,in-growns, allergic reactions,etc)

Anyone got any more ideas?

cheers folks,

ps: I am in the process of purchasing a digital camera, so hopefully I can post pics of what Im talking about soon.

(Thing is though - that these bumps are flesh coloured, and very hard to see with the naked eye, but more noticeable to the touch than anything - They are all over the entire area that was treated - upper arms and shoulders - and basically feel like scaly excsema or similar condition… the only time they are noticeable is after I go the gym or run when they become temporarily red and inflamed but then return to flesh-colour again some hours later)

It can take up to 18 months for the skin to restructure itself from any skin trauma. Properly performed electrolysis with knowlegde of good machine settings should not lead to an interurrption in treatments. There are a very small number cases that even when the electrologist takes all precautions and does everything right, a persons skin just reacts according to ones own biology and healing powers.

Did you ever see a dermatologist about this? Only a physician can diagnose and treat with medication strong enough to help you.

Most importantly, did you tell your electrologist about your concerns? She/he has to know what has happened so that adjsutments can be made. You only succeed to help yourself and to help her become a more cautious practitioner when you explain your concerns.

Reactions happen for many,many reasons. It can be poor equipment issues, practitioner skill issues, client aftercare issues, and LEASTLY, client healing power issues.

This is something that can’t be “diagnosed” over the internet. If you could possibly talk to a physician and your electrologist first and let us know what they think, that would be the first action to help you along.

I do hope you can resume treatments because you have gotten results!

Thanks, mrhanky.


it sounds like KP to me, which like 40-60% of the population have. Maybe you haven’t noticed them when you had a lot of hair on that area and just assumed they were hair follicles? Also, since you’re only 25, it’s quite possible that you recently started showing signs of KP.

Mr. Hanky,

I hope I have read all of the above posts carefully enough to address this properly.

You are clean and careful. You do not have keloids, or KP

You recently had thermolysis only treatments and still have bumps.
Please, please if you can post the epilator that you were treated with and we will try to solve this.

My reason? two weeks ago I had a treatment.

When she worked on my lip, I felt and heard a pop hiss. My lip was swollen for a week and I have a hole there. Also when she treated the hair on my lip I smelt burning hair. Burning hair!

Then she did my brows. I have large red bumps right on my face. They are flesh colored now. But 18 months. Oh no. My god I hope that I am not scarred. I have pictures but my battery is dead I will post them later.

I too am wondering if they are ever going away. I in fact recall the exact settings on the push button computerized epilator that was used to treat me. I am freaking out and would never do anything to purposely scar my face. I am embarrassed because everyone is staring at these bumps on my eyes. I had bangs cut to cover them. I only used ice on it because it was still swollen.

My electrologist died and I did not have anyone to treat me for years. Now this.

lets compare notes. private e-mail me if you wish.
Did you talk to your electrologist?

Anyone? anything?

I’m surprised, as an electrologist yourself, that you actually allowed an unskilled electrologist to work on you with all you know about electrology and skill. Hissing sounds that blow a hole in your face, smelling burnt hair, cutting bangs to cover your eyebrows afterwards?? How could you have let that happen to yourself when you know so much more than the average bear? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I’m surprised, as an electrologist yourself, that you actually allowed an unskilled electrologist to work on you with all you know about electrology and skill. Hissing sounds that blow a hole in your face, smelling burnt hair, cutting bangs to cover your eyebrows afterwards?? How could you have let that happen to yourself when you know so much more than the average bear? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I know Dee, I am with you. Two weeks ago I was at a trade show. They wouldn’t let me work on my own legs so I was being worked on by the trainer/educator for dectro and she was using the plantinum on me. Can you believe they would put this on a trade show floor? I even remember the times and settings. you can imagine how I must have felt. The pop and smoke were from my lip. The brows are what is so painfully unsitely. I felt a lot of current, cried tears like I never had. But I didn’t feel the release. You can imagine how panicked I was. I couldn’t beleive I acted so calm when inside I was horrified. There was some guy there too. I don’t speak French so I don’t know what they were saying. I asked to try on her loops. Very low quality. Didn’t magnify much at all. I didn’t have that much hair to offer as a) I have had successful treatments in the past and b)I waxed three weeks before so that all my hair would be growing.

Well the next day I went back with what hair is left under my arms. Another lady worked on my right side. She had a difficult time finding a good hair. (these I waxed one week before) She worked the center with the platinum. Pico flash. I said I wanted to compare to senior so she did the edge for a longer time at a lower setting but it also said pico flash. I had a “rash” for over a week in the center and no reaction on the side.
(I hadn’t intended to post this info here, oh well.)

So Dee, what do you make of this person? Would you like to know her name? and aren’t you glad you don’t have a platinum? I am thinking it is overtreatment by design. And to think I was hoping to take home the floor model. I think that maybe skill and tried but true equiptment are most important. I have always regretted not buying a gentronics. Is yours still for sale?

Ahh, yes, I would love to sell a skilled electrologist like yourself my Gentronics, rack and all. Oh, heck, I’ll just throw the rack in because I like you. This would work out great because then I could take the money and put it towards a new Apilus Platinum. The digital Gentronics is a fabulous epilator. It does microflash, blend and mulitple needle. I just talked to Jim Jensen and for $89 he will install new software to update it especially for use with the S.I.M.P.L.E. technique. I would only sell this to someone skilled like you viewer, so as not to blow a hole in anyone’s face. Speaking of skill, what the heck is Dectro doing letting unskilled electrologists represent their fine product? What is the name of the person that messed up your face?

Hi Viewer,

It’s been a while since I have had the chance to post, but some of the things that I’ve just read are giving me the shivers!

In reading this post, I am very concerned about the electrologist that you are using. Any time you start hearing hisses and pops during treatment, this is a good indication that you are having either too much power applied to the follicles or that the insertions are too shallow - or both. The skin reaction that you are describing makes me think that your skin was being blanched by excessive “thermolysis blowout”. This can lead to swelling and very painful after reactions - not to mention scarring.

It is not unususal to get a small amount of redness which will clear after a couple of hours with thermolysis, but if so much power is being applied that blanching occurs (small white to grey spots around treated follicles caused by excessive steam pressure blowing between the skin layers) then you are definately being over treated.

As far as the bumps (to change posters)I would run, not walk, to your dermatologist and find out what is going on there. After I get treatments, I get little red spots that go away in the following week, but nothing like you describe. The only thing that I’ve ever seen that approaches this is a close friend of mine who has Lupis and reacts like you describe. Realize one thing! I am not diagnosing your condition, only naming possibilities! That’s why it is sooo important to seek professional diagnosis and treatment on this. We might be dealing with a tempest in a teapot on this as well. You never know until you get a pro to take a good look at the situation.

Whatever you do, I suggest that you see an MD prior to continuing treatments. We work so hard to take care of ourselves, it is worth the few extra dollars to make darn sure that you do not have some more serious condition going on.


Sorry about this, but I usually do not add post scripts to my posts, but this time I feel that I have to.

One of the problems with an epilator at a trade show is that they usually try to get the hairs out with a single pulse. This means that a whole bunch of energy gets released at once. This can hurt and cause problems with after effects.

I know from my own experience that both the Platinum and the Senior are excellent epilators. I trained on both and am currently using the Senior II with Imm*pac ™. I intend to purchase a Platinum as soon as I can afford it.

Both epilators give the ability to produce very good treatments with a minimum of irritation if used at PROPER SETTINGS with PROPER INSERTIONS. The Platinum, being a 27MHz machine is capable of giving very comfortable treatments with good results if used properly. I used it on several clients at school that were very sensitive and they found it very comfortable - as long as I divided the power into two pulses. A word to the wise! Joanie

JoanieH, I really get into your posts. Your comments are most helpful.

Being that you are so new to the profession,it is great that you “dive in” to emphasize the tried and true principles of 130 years of electrolysis practice mixed with a very fresh view on all the modern technicological advances that has graced all electrologists over the past 10 years (or so). We should really be grateful that we have better tools available, if we so choose.

Thanks for your input and keep it coming as fresh perspectives keep our profession breathing and thus, keeps us viable and healthy.